Funerals can be emotionally challenging for everyone involved, especially children. Attending the funeral of a loved one can be stressful for them and learning about death can be frightening. With this in mind, it’s important to pay extra attention to your little ones to help them prepare for a funeral service. To make this easier for you, we’ve shared our advice below.
Let your children decide whether they want to attend the funeral
As guardians, it’s important to show your children that you respect their wishes and feelings towards the funeral service. If they don’t want to attend the memorial, consider allowing them to stay at school or with a friend. The day could be very challenging for them to cope with, so if they would rather not attend, try to honour this.
If your child wants to honour the deceased without attending the funeral, plan an alternative arrangement for you to do together. This could be as simple as sharing stories about your loved one or spending time in their favourite place.
Allow your children to ask questions about death
During this time, you might find it emotionally difficult to answer your children’s questions about death. However, it’s important to remember that our early experiences with death can shape our attitudes towards this natural process. Allow your children to ask questions and try to answer them honestly and openly. This could eliminate fear and help with their grieving process.
Explain what’s going to happen at the funeral
For children who have never attended a funeral before, the quietness and stillness of the service may come as a surprise. To prevent any sense of fear that may stem from this, prepare your children by explaining what’s going to happen. Let them know that funerals are a celebration of life and that it’s a chance for you and your loved ones to remember lots of happy memories about the deceased.
Show your children that experiencing a range of emotions is natural
If you open up to your child, they are more likely to open up to you. This can help to stimulate healthy discussion and show your little one that they have the support they need. Tell them that experiencing a range of emotions following a loved one’s passing is completely natural and that they don’t need to be ashamed if they feel sad or angry. Allowing them to express their emotions before the funeral could make the day much easier.
At Normington & Sons, we understand that dealing with the loss of a friend or family member can be difficult. Allow our professional and compassionate funeral directors to lend their support with our funeral services. To discuss our funeral options and plans, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’re always here to help.