Parents often struggle with the idea of bringing children to funeral services , especially if they are young. However, children often have a better capacity to understand and be present at the funeral than adults may expect. If you decide to have your children attend funeral services, preparing them in advance will help them cope with everything that happens. If your children are taking part in a funeral or visiting a cemetery for a burial service, this advice will help you prepare them for what to expect.
It is tempting to try to sugarcoat the idea of death and funerals for children, but doing so will only make them more anxious. For instance, if you say a person who has died has simply gone to sleep, your kids may become nervous at bedtime or may not understand that someone they see in a casket at a funeral home is not merely sleeping. Use clear, age-appropriate language to talk about the death and what will happen during the funeral so that your kids can approach it with confidence.
Talk About What to Say
If your children were close to the deceased person, other attendees may approach them at the funeral to say things such as, “sorry for your loss.” Your children may not understand what these statements mean, so prepare them for what they may hear and tell them some appropriate responses they can use. If your children were not close to the deceased, they may wish to approach the grieving family and offer condolences. It is also helpful to talk to your kids about some things they can say to the deceased, such as goodbye, in their hearts or in prayers.
Find Ways to Participate
It can help kids get through the funeral services if they have ways to participate. This can be as simple as drawing a picture to leave with the flowers or as involved as doing a reading or performing music during the ceremony. Talk to your children about their ideas to see how they can be involved in the service.
Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory gives families the tools they need to get through the funeral planning and grieving processes. When you need the services of our funeral home in Lakewood, Washington , please call (253) 584-0252.