How To Make Funerals More Comfortable For Children

If you have a child who knows a person who has just died, he or she might not know quite how to cope with the event. A person dying might be out of his or her range of understanding or the emotions that the death have brought up might be more than he or she knows how to handle. If there is a wake or a funeral for the person who has died, your child will need to make the decision about attending the funeral and deal with any anxiety should he or she choose to attend. Here are some steps for making the funeral process more comfortable for children.

1. Don't Make a Child Go to a Funeral

If a child is overwhelmed and vehemently does not want to go to the funeral, make sure that he or she knows that it's okay to not attend. Don't make your child go. It is going to be unpleasant if your child is overwhelmed and upset at the funeral and this outpouring of emotion causes her to make a lot of noise, since this is going to disturb the grieving of others. Disruption of grieving is a worse slight than not having your child there.

If your child feels bad about being too scared to attend the funeral, have him or her draw a picture and tell him or her that you will put it into the coffin of the loved one or make sure that it gets to the family. This will allow your child to participate in the grieving process without having to actually attend the funeral.

2. Explain What's Going to Happen

If your child does choose to go to the funeral, then you need to explain exactly what is going to happen so your child feels she is in a little bit more control of the situation. If your child knows the order in which things are going to happen, she can plan to avoid doing something wrong, a fear for many children, and anticipate what is going to happen next. This can make children feel much more comfortable. Give your child a general summary of the day, including arriving at the funeral home, viewing the body, possibly going to a church for the funeral itself, going to the cemetery, and returning to the funeral home for a luncheon.

Then, tell your child more details about each step. For example, talk to your child about how, when you first arrive at the funeral home, you will stand around and talk to people that are also standing around. Then, you will either approach the coffin or get in line to approach the coffin. You might tell your child about how you will kneel in front of the coffin and then how you will get up again and go to talk to other people standing around. Knowing what is going to happen will make your child feel much better.

For more information, talk to a company that specializes in funerals.