Involving Children in a Child Funeral

child funeral

Involving children in a funeral can help to bring a sense of finality and help to ease the grief process. However, it is important to consider how they may feel and to ensure that the timing is right for them. It is not helpful to force them to go or to assume that they wouldn’t want to attend – it is much more beneficial to give them the option and to prepare them ahead of time.

It is a good idea to talk through what will happen at a child funeral with your children, especially younger children. This helps them to understand the situation and can also answer any questions they may have. It is important to remind them that people will be grieving, and they should not shout or laugh as this can be upsetting for those around them. It is also a good idea to explain proper funeral etiquette, as it can be confusing for young children.

If you plan to bury your child or have them cremated it is a good idea to visit the crematorium or cemetery with your children beforehand so they know what to expect. Depending on your children’s age, you can show them the body or urn and talk about how the service will take place, where they will sit and who they might see there.

For older children you can involve them in the planning and arranging of the ceremony by asking for their ideas, preferences and wishes – this could be as simple as helping choose music or flowers for the service. Children will appreciate being involved in the ceremony and this can also be a good way to help them come to terms with the death of their sibling.

If your children are attending a funeral and you will not be there with them it is often helpful to have someone who knows them well, such as a family friend, sit with them if they start to get restless or overwhelmed. It is also a good idea to have something they can play with or distract themselves with such as a favourite toy, book or quiet game.

Whether your child is being buried or cremated it is often appropriate to have them in the ceremony with you, and this can be comforting for both you and the children. It can be helpful to have a cold mattress or cot (called a cuddle cot) for the child to lay on in case they start to feel uncomfortable.

If you are having a burial or funeral for an infant or small child there is often a discount price available for their services from a funeral director and many crematoria, cemeteries and churches will not charge at all for burials of babies and children. If you are having a cremation you can buy an urn designed specifically for children which may be more suitable for their smaller frame. Many of these urns also have themes that are familiar to children such as angels, hearts or animals.