Making Arrangements For a Child Funeral and Memorial

The death of a child is one of the most traumatic experiences a family can face. Parents often feel a profound sense of shock and disbelief, as well as a complete loss of control, following the loss of their baby. For many families, making arrangements for a funeral and memorial is an important step in finding some form of closure. It can also be a time to reflect and share memories of their lost child with other loved ones, which is an important part of the healing process.

As parents, it is normal to be nervous about how children will react at a funeral service, however it is vital that you allow them to choose whether or not they attend. It is a good idea to ask them, as early as possible, if they would like to attend a funeral and provide them with clear and honest information about what will happen. Children are usually able to cope better with difficult and uncomfortable situations if they have been prepared, especially when they are reassured that they can change their minds at any time.

If a child decides to attend a funeral, it is important that they are provided with adequate comfort and support throughout the ceremony. Many parents find that it helps to bring their child a favourite snack or toy to play with so they can rest and remain calm during the services. It may also be a good idea to arrange for someone to care for them after the service so that they don’t feel left alone.

For children who have lost a sibling, it is important to consider whether or not they want to see their body. It is essential to offer them clear and honest information, encourage questions, and reaffirm that they can touch their sibling if they wish. Children can have very big imaginations and what they imagine their sibling will look like may be far scarier than the reality.

Explaining to children that their sibling’s body is in a casket will help them understand that the body can’t be revived. It’s also a good idea to let them know that their sibling will be lying comfortably and that they can still feel them, even though they are dead. It is also a good idea to discuss how the funeral director will care for their sibling’s body with them, e.g. by stroking their hair or arms.

A number of parents choose to hold a private celebration for their children after the funeral, either in their home or with close friends and family. This can be a lovely way to celebrate their life and share memories, while being in a setting that is less formal than a public event. Many children also enjoy receiving gifts from those who attended their funeral or memorial service, such as photos, flowers or special objects. They can keep these special items as a reminder of their loved one.