When a child dies, you are faced with many decisions. Arranging a child funeral can be a heartbreaking and painful task. It is helpful to plan ahead to minimize your grief and help you honor your child’s life. The following are some suggestions to help you plan the funeral of your child. Make sure you consider the wishes of everyone who will attend the funeral. Having an open, honest conversation with family members about your child’s wishes and funeral planning is a good way to get started.
Try to understand the spiritual significance of the funeral. Even adults can have trouble explaining abstract concepts to young children. Use concrete terms when discussing religious concepts. Even if your child is not religious, the ceremony should be meaningful to him or her. During the service, he or she may want to read a favorite story and participate in a song. While this might be painful, the idea of an activity like this will give him or her an opportunity to feel involved and important.
Talk about the deceased. Ask the child how he or she felt during the service. Make sure to let them explain what happened. You might want to let them share their feelings with a trusted adult. A child’s experience during a funeral is different for each child, and you don’t want to scare them. Make sure to talk about the deceased’s life in a simple way so they can understand the funeral more clearly. If they feel scared, you might want to consider bringing a friend or family member who knows them well.
Children who are young enough to understand death may not be interested in attending the funeral. But it is best to give them the opportunity to ask questions so they can express their feelings freely. You may even want to visit the funeral home with them so they can see for themselves how the room looks like and who will be attending. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, a trusted adult may be able to step in and help them out. The experience will be easier on them than they might otherwise be able to express themselves in a more mature manner.
If the funeral is non-religious, you can plan a memorial service for the child at a church or community center. You can also invite members of the child’s community to officiate. Adding special touches to the funeral can include flowers, balloons, or even a memory table. You can choose to place a reading or biblical verse next to the child’s body. If you choose to have a burial ceremony, it is a good idea to make a donation to charity.
You should allow your child to attend the funeral. This will help them process their grief and say goodbye to their loved one. Alternatively, you can have a private memorial service, where only family members and close friends attend. For privacy purposes, it may be appropriate to visit the graveside to pay a final respect. You can ask the funeral director to help you decide on what will be best for your child’s needs. So make sure to follow all local regulations and consult with the funeral home.