How to Prepare For a Child Funeral

A child funeral is a ceremony that honours the death of a baby or child who has died at any age. It can be a difficult experience for children but many of them benefit from being involved in a meaningful ceremony that helps them to say goodbye. If your child wants to go to a child funeral, it is important that you listen to them and make the decision that feels right for them. It is also a good idea to plan ahead so that you know what your options are and the kind of support that will be available.

Children need a lot of support when dealing with death, and it can be hard to figure out what they need on a day-to-day basis. When they are young, they may have a harder time because of their inability to comprehend what has happened and what is happening around them. For example, they may find that the funeral itself is too much to take and might not be able to sit through it. It is important to have a plan in place and think about how long you think your child will be able to cope with what is happening around them.

The timing of the funeral is a personal choice for parents and can be affected by when you want to hold a service, your plans for disposition of the body and whether you want to have an open casket or not. If you want to hold a service soon after the death of your child, it might be appropriate for your family to include a younger sibling in the ceremony.

Explaining what is happening at a funeral to your child is very important. If you are having an open casket, it is a good idea to let your child know in advance what they will see and prepare them for it beforehand. For example, you might explain that their sibling is lying in a bed, fully dressed (including shoes) with their arms folded and their eyes closed. You can also help them understand that their sibling can’t feel cold, pain or fear.

If you are not attending the funeral, it might be a good idea to ask someone your child trusts to look after them. This person can reassure them throughout the service and give them a chance to escape to somewhere quiet if they are struggling.

If your child wants to attend a funeral or memorial, encourage them to do so. It will help them to process what has happened and to start to connect with their deceased brother or sister. They might want to draw a picture, write a letter or poem, or read a story to others.