Arranging a child’s funeral can be an overwhelming task. If you’re still in shock, it can be easier to delegate the planning to a trusted individual. You can enlist the help of a professional funeral director or an old friend to help you. If you need help with the arrangements, reach out to them and let them know that you’re there to support them through this time. These services are available to help you through the hardest time in your life.
Aside from the flowers, you’ll also need to decide what type of service to hold. Decide whether the service will be religious or non-religious. Also, decide on the type of music and readings. If the child was religious, arrange for a speaker to address the attendees. Remember that decisions made now will impact the child’s life for years to come. Choosing the type of service depends on your child’s religion, family members, and other people.
When you choose the type of service, you’ll want to choose a meaningful celebration that honors the child’s life. An infant funeral is not necessarily organized as a formal ceremony. You’ll want to choose a funeral service that pays tribute to the life of the infant and their family. The funeral service can include readings, music, and resources. You’ll also need to decide if a memorial service is right for your child.
For children, a child funeral is likely to be stressful. If possible, prepare them for the events that will be involved. The child will be able to express grief in small doses and may want to play. Designate a trusted adult to accompany them to the funeral services. This person will explain rituals and make them feel safe. Also, allow them to visit the funeral home and other memorial sites to familiarize themselves with the deceased. It may be helpful for parents to bring a babysitter if they don’t want to attend the funeral.
If you are a child’s death is unexpected, consider involving them in the funeral service. This way, they can participate in the service and express their feelings. They might want to visit the deceased’s body or say a special prayer. While this may be difficult, letting them say goodbye to the deceased will help them heal from the experience. It may even help them to create new memories of the deceased that they can cherish for a lifetime.
Before the ceremony begins, let the children know that their sibling will be laid in a casket. They should be reminded that the deceased’s body no longer worked and was preserved in a casket. The child will want to know about the deceased’s appearance and whether they have visible scars or marks. If a child is afraid of the casket, it’s important to explain that they can always change their mind later. If the child still refuses to participate, a private viewing with a supportive adult is recommended.