Planning a child funeral can be difficult, but there are many things you can do to prepare your youngster. Make sure you discuss what the funeral will consist of, so you can be prepared to answer a variety of questions. It’s a good idea to introduce your child to your own beliefs about death and the end of life. If possible, show your child pictures of the type of behavior you expect at a funeral. If your child is young, you may have to change some expectations.
Make sure to incorporate different elements into the funeral, such as music and video. Choose a location where you and your child feel comfortable. You can have a private ceremony in your backyard, neighbourhood park, or even the beach. If you’re planning an outdoor coffin, it’s important to get a permit from the council, but this is becoming a more common practice these days. For more information, check out “Choices for a Child Funeral” from Red Nose Grief and Loss Services.
Make sure you let your child have some input on the funeral, including the location. Most children have specific ideas and may even want to be involved in the service. For example, a child might want to see the body before the service. If the deceased was cremated, they may want to visit the cemetery. They may have a wish to have a tree planted in memory of their loved one. A child funeral is often difficult for the immediate family, but it can help ease the pain.
While a baby will not understand the funeral, older children will most likely appreciate it. If your child is restless, you can ask a close friend or family member to hold him or her. A favourite toy or small snack can help to soothe a restless child. They’ll appreciate the touch of the deceased. A child’s death is never easy and they’ll need to be included at a funeral service as part of the grieving process.
Children this age are more likely to understand death and realize the meaning of life. If you’re planning a child funeral, don’t let age dictate how you deal with the situation. While chronologic age is an important factor, it’s not a final decision. Rather, consider other factors that may be important to your child’s well-being. You should also avoid pressure and allow them to make their own decisions. You can always discuss the details of the service with them, and give them an option if they change their mind.
Whether the child will be viewed or cremated is a choice for the family. It’s important to explain the process to them and let them know that crying is perfectly normal. As your child grows older, you may want to ask them questions about the funeral. If possible, answer their questions about the location and time, and encourage them to share their feelings and emotions with you. Then, you can arrange to visit the funeral home with your child before the service starts so he or she can get a feel for the setting.