For most children, going to a funeral is a necessary experience they don’t necessarily want to have. Whether it’s a beloved grandparent, an aunt or uncle, a friend of the family, or any relation, children grieve just as we do, and they don’t know what to expect from an intimidating new experience. Children shouldn’t be inadvertently made to feel alone during this process, and it’s important they’re guided through grief and the funeral process so they can build a strong foundation they will rely on later on.
How To Prepare Your Children
The preparation children receive before the funeral will be key to their experience. A few tips for preparing children for a funeral include:
Explain what will happen – The funeral service and proceedings will be a new experience for your child, which are typically intimidating by nature. On top of grief, this stress will compound. It’s important to explain to children where the service will be held, how long it may take, who will be there, and what it's like to happen. With this knowledge, children won’t be afraid or nervous about the experience.
Take them to the location ahead of time – It can be extremely helpful for children to see where the funeral will be held, and to prepare ahead of time without other guests in attendance so they can physically know better what to expect. If able, take children to the funeral home and the cemetery a day or two before the service is to be held.
Make sure they understand why the funeral is occurring – Knowing why a funeral happens, and why they should attend, is also important. They may know that a death has occurred, but they may not realize that the funeral is an opportunity to remember the loved one, honor their life, and spend time with other people who loved them. Funerals are an important part of the grieving process for many, and this includes your child.
In some instances, even with all the preparation in the world, a child may still be apprehensive about attending. It could be tempting to allow them to stay home or go with a sitter, but attendance is important. If you’re able, try to convince the child that attending the funeral is a good thing and it will help them to feel better in the end. If they’re still adamant about feeling uncomfortable, don’t guilt the child, but take some video or photos when able to show them when you get home in order to better familiarize them with the experience.
Preparing Your Family For The Inevitable
Death is simply a part of life, and it’s important to prepare for this inevitability. Like children need to be prepared for the first funeral they’ll attend, we must prepare for our own memorials in order to lessen any burden that may be placed on our families left behind. To learn more about preparing for your pre-planning with burial insurance, contact us today.