There are many aspects of planning a child funeral that you and the immediate family should keep in mind. It can be difficult to understand the emotions of your child’s death, so it’s important to listen to them. There are ways to support them, however. First, offer to help with the arrangements. If you can, offer to be there at certain times to help them. This can help ease the burden on the immediate family. Also, remember to reach out and offer your support on important dates.
Secondly, you should let your toddler know about the service beforehand. Explain to them how it will go. A child can be unpredictable, so be prepared to remove them from the service if they become upset. Also, make sure that they’re comfortable with the idea of the funeral. If your toddler is especially upset, he or she may not understand the meaning of the service. Bringing a babysitter will be helpful. A child’s reaction is often very emotional, so allow yourself a little time to process the loss.
Lastly, try to avoid bringing up the topic of the funeral too much. Talking about it with a toddler is not likely to provoke a visible response, and you don’t want to overstress your child’s death. Remember that your child won’t process a complex situation right now, so it’s best to keep the conversation as simple as possible. You can discuss how you’d like the ceremony to look, and the songs you’d like to hear.
In the case of a stillborn child, you may not receive a Social Security number or a formal death certificate. Your local vital statistics office can help you determine the proper way to handle this. You may be able to have a public or private child funeral. Either way, you should be aware of the rules of the crematorium in your state. If you choose a crematorium, you should check with the chaplain about the rules for the committal.
During the funeral service, your child may want a companion, such as a family member or a friend. This person should be willing to stay with your child during the entire service, answer questions, and propose structured activities for them to participate in. If your child can’t sit through the whole ceremony, you should make arrangements for a babysitter or a caregiver who can do it for you. The child should be comfortable with the companion, as well.
Choosing a service can be an emotional and difficult time. It can be difficult to make decisions during this time, but a well-planned child funeral service can give your family some closure and help you process the loss. When planning a child funeral, you must keep in mind that most people who lose a child have never planned a funeral or attended a memorial service, so you must be prepared for the challenges. You can choose to hold a small gathering at the graveside or even hold a full-fledged service in a church.