Preparing for a child funeral can be challenging and emotionally devastating, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are plenty of resources to guide you through this process. For example, Red Nose Grief and Loss Services has a booklet called Choices in Arranging a Child Funeral that provides plenty of ideas and information.
When arranging a child funeral, it is important to keep in mind the age of the child. Children have many questions and concerns, and they may want to be involved with the service. They may even want to visit the body and participate in the ceremony. You may also want to take them to the cemetery or crematorium to see the deceased’s casket. Whatever the age, you can include them in the planning of the funeral by preparing their speech beforehand.
Explain to the child that their sibling will be buried in a casket. It is important to explain that the body of the deceased will be completely covered, with the eyes closed, and with arms folded. This way, they’ll feel that the deceased won’t be able to feel pain. They may also want to look at the urns and portraits, or even the photo boards.
Arrangements for a child’s funeral can be challenging, and can be overwhelming when parents are in shock. However, if you enlist the help of family and friends, you can make the arrangements that are right for your child’s departed. You can also choose to have another person to coordinate the funeral in the absence of a parent. This person will help you communicate your wishes and handle the calls.
While a child may be too young to understand the details of the funeral, it’s important to make the experience as meaningful as possible. If possible, bring a caregiver to accompany the child and keep them busy while the service is in progress. This person can also provide support to the child in times of need, such as if the child becomes restless or needs to be entertained.
Involving children in the funeral planning process can help them process the grief process and connect with their loved one. Include their favorite color, cartoon character, or sports team. Whatever they loved, try to incorporate them into the decorations of the child’s funeral. Remember, it’s their life and they should be remembered in a meaningful way.
If the child’s religion does not permit a religious ceremony, consider planning a non-religious funeral ceremony. You can choose an independent celebrant, funeral director, or close family member to lead the ceremony. You can also put a picture of the child on the order of service. Afterwards, you can place the picture of the child in a memory box.
The costs of a child funeral can be high, but there are several options that can help. If you’re unable to cover the costs, you can apply for a child burial assistance grant. This nonprofit organization works with various funeral homes and approved providers to provide the funds you need. Another option is to apply for a donated burial plot from Children’s Burial Assistance, an organization that provides donated burial plots for children aged one to seventeen.