A child’s funeral can be a difficult experience. It is important to prepare children for the event and make sure they’re comfortable with it. They will likely watch the service, look at the wooden box with grandma’s body inside, and have the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved one. There won’t be time for games or other activities. If possible, arrange for a babysitter to accompany the child.
It is important to provide simple and honest information to children. Though they may not remember every last detail of the service, they will remember that they were included and felt a part of it. During the service, they may need someone to distract them. If this is impossible, offer to help. This will go a long way in helping the grieving parents.
Involving children in planning the funeral will help them process their grief and remember their child. It also helps them connect to the deceased. However, the level of involvement should be based on the child’s comfort level and wishes. For instance, they may wish to wear the colors of their favorite sports team or superhero, or draw pictures of their favorite cartoon character. Other options include having them write a message on the casket or the ceremonial shroud.
Another way to involve children is to create a kids’ room at the funeral. This will allow them to participate in the service if they wish. This way, they will feel empowered and supportive. It will also give them the chance to change their minds if they’re not interested in attending. However, it’s important not to push the child to attend the funeral if they’re not comfortable with it.
If the child is young, they may not understand the details of the funeral, but as they grow older, they’ll likely appreciate the experience. In this case, it may be a good idea to appoint a trusted adult as the child’s “funeral buddy”. This person should be able to leave the service, explain the rituals, and help them feel safe. Also, it’s a good idea to take breaks frequently so that they can rest.
When planning a child funeral, consider the kind of service you want to hold and the location. If you want a more traditional funeral, you can choose a church, synagogue, or faith center. Alternatively, a backyard ceremony may be more unique and meaningful. The location should be appropriate for the family’s situation.
Parents can also invite older children to attend the funeral if they wish. It’s important to make the child feel comfortable before the funeral, so they’ll feel more comfortable with it. Involving children in the funeral planning process can also help them process their grief and find closure.