A child funeral can be very traumatic. It is a time of intense grief, so it is important that the grieving parents plan the funeral in a way that is comforting for them and their children. They can plan a funeral that includes different elements, such as songs, readings, and other events. This will help the child process his or her loss in a meaningful way, and it may also give the family closure.
One of the best things you can do is enlist the help of a professional. A trained funeral director will be able to guide you through the process and offer suggestions for ways to make the service personal to your family. They will also oversee the official steps of the ceremony. Having someone who is knowledgeable about child loss and who is willing to listen to you will make a tremendous difference.
The first thing you can do to help prepare your children for a funeral is to have a conversation with them about what will happen. Ask them how they would like to participate in the service. For instance, they may want to do something special like writing a poem, signing a message board, or singing a song. You can also choose a favorite color to highlight the funeral. You might even want to use a child’s favorite blanket or bedding as the casket lining.
If you have a local high school band, you can recruit them to perform in the service. You can also ask a friend or co-worker to help you with the music. If you have any other ideas, you can discuss them with the family and see if they are willing to participate.
You should make a point to visit the funeral home with your children. They might have a few questions about the funeral and its location. You can also show them the casket, and tell them that the deceased sibling is inside. You can also show them the urns and portraits on the memorial tables.
If you have a trusted adult who is available to you, you can enlist them to be your child’s “funeral buddy.” This person can be a helpful ear and an ally in the grieving process. They can also explain to the child what will be happening and what they can do to support you.
The best thing you can do for your child is to listen to him or her. As they grow older, they will have questions. You should answer them and let them know that you will be there for them. Then, you can offer them as much support as they need.
When you do attend the funeral, it is important to take your time. You should take a break when you need to, and you should also be sure to have your child with you. You will want to ensure that they understand that the entire experience will be as long as it takes.