How To Talk To Children About Cremation

Discussing death and cremation is a sensitive subject for people of any age. If you are a parent or guardian, however, you might wonder how to talk to a child about these topics. If your loved one's final wishes included being cremated, it is normal for a child to want to know more about what that means. Some of these suggestions should help you discuss the topic.

Use Simple Terminology

Try to avoid using big words that might be difficult for a child to understand. Explain only the information the child requests. It is advisable to avoid using explicit words, including fire or burned, because the image is not something the child should associate with a beloved absent member of the family.

Explain the process is painless: The best way to answer the child is with honesty. A child should be told that their loved one is not going to be in any pain if he/she is cremated. Begin by explaining to the child that the loved one is no longer occupying the body. It depends a great deal on the child's age of how you will provide the necessary words of explanation and how detailed you make the story. 

Explain the basics of the process:  The child should know the process is relatively short, approximately two or three hours. The body is carefully placed in a hot chamber. It will make the body turn into an ashy substance.

This is a simple explanation the child can understand, and it covers the basic steps of the process. Therefore, the questions won't surface when he/she sees an urn appear at home, and everyone is talking about the deceased person as if he/she is still with them. The child won't be shocked to hear everyone talking about the urn or referring to it as the deceased person.

The Final Goodbye

It is good for a child to realize the loved one is gone, but you must do so gently. You don't want to further hurt the child. However, the child needs to somehow understand the family member is not coming back to them.

By remaining calm and keeping the topics light, you can include the child in the process. Don't offer any gory details, but answer the questions honestly. Pay attention to the child's behavior, and that will be your best guideline. If you have other questions or would like more information, a funeral home like Sosebee Funeral Home can offer assistance.