A child funeral is an emotional time for everyone involved. But while it can be hard, it can also offer a way for kids to connect with the life of their loved one.
Children are often very sensitive to death, so it is important that they feel comfortable at the funeral or memorial service. It is also essential that they know how to handle their feelings so that they can make the best choice possible for themselves.
If a child is old enough to understand what is going on, it is usually okay to let them choose whether or not they want to attend the funeral. However, if they are not ready or don’t have the information they need to make this decision, it is a good idea to talk to them about their concerns and fears.
Explain what will happen at the funeral or memorial service, including where they will go and how long they will be there for. Allay any fears by explaining the funeral process in a way they can understand, including the possibility that they will cry and see others grieving.
Remind them that they will see people expressing many different emotions, including crying and laughter. This is normal and can be a helpful way to show them that they are not alone in their grief.
Depending on the age of your child, you may wish to ask them to help prepare some items for the funeral or memorial service. This could include writing a message, or making a card for the person who has died.
It is also a good idea to allow them to be involved in choosing the funeral clothing, makeup, and music that will be used. This will give them a sense of control, and it can be a comforting experience for them to see the clothes they chose being worn by other family members and friends.
You might also want to consider allowing your child to help choose the casket, urn or other decorative elements for the funeral or memorial service. They might have some ideas about the colors or design of these items, and they might like to wear a favorite item as part of their outfit.
The child might also prefer a certain kind of food, or they might have special wishes for the type of music that will be played during the service. It is always a good idea to give them some input into the funeral or memorial service so that it will be a personal and meaningful celebration of their loved one’s life.
Another thing that might help is if you allow them to visit the place where their loved one is buried before or after the funeral. This can be a comforting and healing experience, and it may even help them to process their loss more easily.
When you are at the graveside, encourage your child to leave a flower or memento for their loved one. This can be a way for them to express their love and support, as well as a chance for you to say goodbye.