How to Prepare for a Child Funeral

child funeral

A child funeral is the ceremony held when a baby, toddler or young child dies. The process is very similar to that of an adult funeral, but with a few differences. Often children have questions about the funeral and what will happen, so it is best to talk with them ahead of time. Providing them with a roadmap of the event can help them feel more prepared and less scared.

Explain what will happen before, during and after the service. This can include the music, the casket or urn and any religious rituals. It is also helpful to explain that people may cry and that it is okay to be sad. This information can be delivered in a way that is age appropriate for the child.

It is also important to provide a safe environment for your child during the service. This can be done by appointing a point person who will be available to take the child for a walk, play or to use an activity bag for distraction if needed. This helps reduce the amount of times you need to leave the service.

Providing your child with an opportunity to participate during the funeral can be comforting and help them connect with their sibling who has died. You can do this by allowing them to write a message to be placed in the casket or urn, have them draw a picture that can be displayed at the memorial service or have them place flowers or a memento at the graveside.

You can also include them in the memorial service by having them sing a song, read a poem or share a memory. This can be a way for them to help others heal and share the love they had for their sibling.

Visiting the crematorium or cemetery is another part of the funeral that can be frightening for a young child. They might have misconceptions from TV or stories about tombs and graveyards being spooky places. It is worth talking to your child about this beforehand and reassuring them that it is a peaceful place where they can come to remember their sibling.

It is common to feel exhausted after a funeral service, especially if you are the primary caregiver who has been interacting with children. Try to rest when possible, but be sure to eat and drink regularly. If you find that you are struggling to cope with the emotions, you can seek support from a bereavement specialist or your GP. You might also want to consider a bereavement break away from home or work and seek the support of friends or family members.