How to Prepare for a Child Funeral

A child funeral is a special way to say goodbye to your baby or child who has died. A child funeral can also be a healing experience for the parents. However, it is important to consider the child’s feelings and wishes as well. Children are often able to tell you what they want and need. Forcing a child to attend a funeral is often unsuccessful, so it’s important to let the child decide whether or not they want to go. Explaining the funeral process and what they will see can help them feel more comfortable making this decision.

Many children have a lot of questions about funerals and what will happen. It is important to answer their questions as calmly and truthfully as possible. They may have many questions at once and it is okay to give them a moment to think before responding. It is often helpful to have a designated friend or family member to be available to answer their questions throughout the day.

Explain that the body of their loved one will be present at the ceremony. This can be comforting to some children, as it allows them to connect with the deceased in a more personal way. If you have a casket, it’s a good idea to show the child their sibling in it before the funeral so that they are familiar with what they will see at the ceremony.

A funeral can be a very emotional and tense time for a child, as well as adults. If your child is feeling overwhelmed or fidgety, it can be a good idea to give them something to hold – a book, their favourite teddy or toy, a quiet game etc. It’s also a good idea to take a break if your child is feeling overtired or restless, even if you are still in the middle of a service.

Some children will be afraid that they will die as well or that they have somehow caused the death of their loved one. It’s important to reassure them that this is not the case and that it is normal for them to feel this way. If you are unsure how to respond, it may be helpful to talk with a grief counselor or psychologist who can provide you with further information and guidance.

In addition to attending a funeral service, some children will choose to pay their respects in other ways. For example, some will choose to have a memorial celebration at home or another venue with friends and family. They can share stories, play games and reminisce about the person who died. They can also write a message on a matted picture frame or create a memory book with photos of the person and a short story about them. They can light candles with close adult supervision. They can also have a balloon release. Depending on the age of your child, they may wish to be present at the burial site as well, although this is not always a necessity.