Preparing Children for a Funeral
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When making funeral plans, young children who are close to the departed or expected to be involved in attendance are a significant factor to consider. If you’ve decided your child is at an age where they can handle a funeral, there are a few basic preparation elements you should take them through.
At McDougal Funeral Home, our staff is here to help. Let’s go over a few basic tips on how to prepare a child for the realities of a funeral.
Start With the Basics
At some proper point in advance (but not too far in advance, as children will forget), explain the broad basics of the funeral to your child. Tell them who, what, when, where and why. Before you get into explaining the precise purpose for the event, children need to know who will be there, how long it will take, and what the basic plan is.
Explain the Purpose
Explain to your child that this is a coming together of friends and family. It’s a time to say goodbye, thank you and I love you to a special person who isn’t with us anymore. It’s to celebrate their life and support others who are sad because of their passing – we share stories, along with laughter and tears.
Arrange a Visit
If possible, and particularly if the child is part of the immediate family and expected to remain at the funeral location for a longer chunk of time, try to arrange a visit beforehand. Take your child to the funeral home or burial location and show them a few areas they may need to access – bathrooms, drinking fountains or play areas. Remind them of areas where they can go to take a break from the serious event.
Help children understand that they will be seeing others, including adults, with a wide variety of feelings. These will include laughter, tears and many others. Explain to children that these are totally normal, and it’s okay for people to feel sadness or other strong emotions after someone has died.
For more on preparing children for a funeral, or for any of our other funeral planning assistance services, speak to the staff at McDougal Funeral Home today.