You’re planning a child funeral and want to know what will happen next. While there’s nothing wrong with including a child at a funeral, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure that your child’s funeral goes as smoothly as possible. Below are some things to consider. First, don’t force your child to see the body inside the casket. Even the best morticians can’t recreate the exact body, and your child may turn away or hesitate. To prevent this from happening, always let them back out.
Whether or not to invite a child to the funeral depends on the age of the child and the closeness you share with the deceased. In general, children under five should not be allowed to attend the funeral if they’re not fully responsible. Similarly, if you think a child is too young to understand the funeral, you shouldn’t force it. A child’s reaction to the death is a direct reflection of how the family dealt with it.
Planning the funeral for a child can be very emotional and difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the loss, it can help to have some guidance. There are funeral guides available online that offer a wealth of information and ideas. You can also contact your local Red Nose Grief and Loss Services office for support. Their booklet Choices in Arranging a Child’s Funeral is packed with helpful ideas and information. This booklet will be a helpful tool in making sure that your child’s funeral is fitting and meaningful.
Asking your child about their experience at the funeral will help them understand the process and help them process the pain. If a child is a good listener, they should be given the opportunity to say goodbye. Using age appropriate language when speaking with children will help them process the funeral and make it easier for them to cope. It also helps to keep the details of the funeral age appropriate, so as to avoid causing them unnecessary fear. If your child is afraid of death or has a tendency to get scared easily, it’s best not to use them at all.
Consider whether your child will be able to handle a funeral by himself or herself. Asking for a babysitter before the funeral is a good idea. A babysitter may also help keep the child calm. Having a babysitter at a child funeral can give you the time you need to process your feelings. Many churches provide babysitters. If you’re unable to afford one, it’s a good idea to seek help from a friend or family member.
If your child isn’t accustomed to attending funerals, consider having them explain the spiritual significance of the event to them. While explaining the spiritual significance of the funeral to a child is often difficult, it is especially challenging because children struggle to understand abstract concepts. Try to use concrete language whenever possible when discussing religious concepts. This will help them understand what is happening. They may have questions or need to express their feelings. Once they understand what’s happening, they’ll be more likely to be emotionally supportive of the funeral and its attendant activities.