By Lauren Griffith
Preparing a child for a funeral service requires patience and strength, both for yourself and your little one. This is one of the most difficult moments in caretaking for children, but it must be done. Although the task of preparing children for a funeral service is daunting, there are ways to help ease you into approaching this difficult matter.
1. Stay Strong (As Much as Possible)
When telling a child that they must attend a funeral service, it’s important to manage your own emotions before the discussion. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to cry or empathize with your child, but you should make sure that you can maintain the discussion without becoming overwhelmed. After all, your little one will look to you for guidance on how to handle this hard situation. Be their rock. And, while it’s natural to be upset yourself, make room for your child’s emotions, too. Giving space for their feelings is especially relevant if they have never attended a funeral service or lost a loved one before.
2. Talk Through the Events of the Day
Whether or not your child has been through an event like this before, take it upon yourself to explain how the day will go— from arriving at the service location to the funeral procession, burial, and everything in between. Make sure that there aren’t any surprises throughout the day of the funeral. This can provide them with stability during this difficult event. Remind your child that you’ll be there with them through it all.
3. Prepare Them for the Casket
Whether the funeral service will have an open or closed casket, preparing your child for this portion of the funeral is especially important. Let them know that the body of their loved one will be in the casket. They can choose to say goodbye to their loved one or remember them from when they were alive instead. It isn’t necessary to subject a child to look at the casket if you can help it. Viewing a casket can be extremely difficult for children of all ages.
4. Reminisce on Happy Memories
After discussing the funeral service and events with the child, remember to add positivity to the conversation. Reminisce with them on happy memories, and remind them that it’s okay to bring these happy memories up to family and friends at the funeral. A sad day can have brighter moments— which are important for the child to experience along with the difficult portions of the service.
The Best Way to Honor Your Loved One
Stuhr Funeral Home is a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years. Here, we take pride in providing great care for families of those whose lives have ended. We are committed to providing quality arrangements to honor loved ones and family traditions. For more information about available funeral services, visit JHenryStuhr.com or call (843) 723- 2524.