Many families find comfort in including their child in planning the service. Their child may have strong opinions or wishes, and this can ease their grief. You should be prepared to spend time with them during the funeral and memorial service, as well as provide extra attention and support to them. During these times, try to keep them well-nourished, wear comfortable clothes, and take frequent breaks. You can also check in with the child’s family and other loved ones regularly to help them deal with the loss.
A child funeral can be especially difficult to plan, as you’re still in shock about the child’s death. You may find it comforting to ask someone else to help you plan the ceremony, or you may find it helpful to work with a funeral director. Whatever the case, try to plan it in a way that works best for you.
Some families choose to place special items in the coffin of the child. These may include a favorite teddy or toy, or a poem or story for the child. Other families choose to have a special vehicle to carry the coffin. This is a touching way to remember the child’s life.
If you don’t plan to share the child’s funeral, you can have a private service instead. You can invite family and friends. Children may want to participate in the service or visit the deceased’s body. If you do, ask someone to care for the other children. It’s also important to keep in mind that the children won’t understand the death, so it’s best to make sure they are included in the process.
Including your child in the planning of the child funeral can help them to process the death in a healthy way. They may not remember the details of the service, but they’ll remember that they were involved. Having someone they know is there to keep them occupied during the service can also help them to stay focused.
You may also want to consider hiring a babysitter. This person can come to the funeral and take care of the children. Depending on the age of the child, this person could be a friend or a member of the funeral home’s staff. Be sure to make it clear to your child what is expected of them at the service.
Your child should know that their sibling’s body is inside the casket. This way, he or she can remember that their brother or sister could no longer feel pain and that he or she can’t feel pain. Encourage your child to ask questions and to express his or her feelings. In addition to the funeral service, he or she may see photos, urns, or portraits of the deceased.
If your child was not old enough to attend the funeral, you may consider inviting your child to the memorial or burial instead. In addition to offering your child the opportunity to attend the service, it will allow him or her to receive grief support and to say goodbye to their loved one.