My grandmother passed away when I was 3 1/2. The day before she died, my parents visited her in hospital. Kids were not allowed in, so we had to wait in the car, and a long, hot boring wait it was.
The next afternoon, my uncle phoned my mom to tell her of her totally unexpected and abrupt passing. (She'd been in hospital for surgery on an infected toenail, of all things!) I was not allowed to attend the viewing OR the funeral.
TO THIS DAY, I REGRET NOT HAVING A CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE TO HER!!!
She was a special lady, and in spite of being so young, I do have some fond memories of her. People doubted my memories could be accurate, as I was so very young, so one day I sat down with my dad, and told him what I recalled. He said that everything I remembered was 100% accurate!
I don't think I should have been allowed to attend the funeral, but I think I could have handled the visitation. I knew what death was, and I understood. Many years later, when visiting her gravesite, I saw the date on the tombstone, and was totally blown away.
"That date must be wrong," I said to the friend who was with me, "I remember her death as clearly as if it was yesterday!" Too bad I wasn't allowed in to the hospital, or I'd have at least one clear, last memory of seeing her alive, too.