The planning of a child’s funeral can be a stressful and heartbreaking task. It’s important to keep the child in mind, but it’s also important to consider all of your family’s needs. After all, your child deserves to have a funeral that honors their life. You can help your child to feel empowered during the process by involving them in the planning.
Children have big imaginations. This is not to say that they cannot understand the concept of death, but they may have different ideas about what a funeral should look like. One way to help your child be involved in the process is to encourage them to ask questions. Let them know that they are always welcome to ask.
Your children may have their own ideas about how to make the funeral a memorable event. These ideas can include writing letters, playing games, or singing songs. Be sure to check with your family to find out what they’re interested in, and then make plans accordingly.
Make your child’s favorite toy a part of the funeral. Line the casket in a light color, and decorate it with items that represent your child. For instance, line the casket with a favorite blanket, or decorate it with your child’s favorite team flag.
Another thing you can do is to hire an ice cream truck to serve a frozen treat. A small snack can also be a comfort to your restless child.
If you’re unsure about how to involve your children in the funeral planning process, you may want to check out a guide such as Choices in Arranging a Child’s Funeral. This booklet includes a wealth of information about a variety of topics.
Having a loved one attend the funeral may provide your child with an extra level of comfort. In addition to a family member, you may want to choose a trusted friend or adult. This person should be available to answer your child’s questions, keep them safe, and be available to make arrangements if needed.
Your children will be very busy at a funeral. They may not remember every detail, but you can help them prepare by offering them clear, accurate information. Explain the rituals, and let them know that they can ask any questions they have.
Let your children know that the funeral is a time for people to come together and share memories of their loved one. Whether the service is held in a church, crematorium, or cemetery, everyone should have the chance to participate.
Your child may be a little unsure about attending a funeral. He or she may not have the right amount of knowledge or understanding, but you can reassure them that it’s OK to cry and that it’s important to be present to mourn the loss of your loved one.
Your child’s friends or classmates can be included in the memorial. They can write messages on the casket or urn, read poems or books about the deceased, or sing along with some of their favorite music.