Losing a loved one can be a time of immense sadness and stress for everyone in the family. Young children may be especially sensitive though not quite able to understand the situation. Before the funeral, it’s important to talk to your children and explain what will take place during the service and why it’s necessary. Here are a few ways you can prepare your child for a memorial service.
Starting the Conversation
Begin the talk by learning what your child thinks about death. Depending on the age of your child, they may have already experienced the loss of a pet and have some concept of death. Children younger than 5 years old likely won’t have a clear idea of what dying means, but you can explain it in simple terms that will relate to their life. Whatever age your child is, directly address the absence of the loved one and what it means.
Your child may ask where the body is or why death happens. If you have religious beliefs, share them and answer any questions your child may ask. Be open about your sadness and let your child know that it’s okay to feel sad or upset, and share stories about your deceased loved one.
Discussing the Funeral
Help your child understand that the funeral will be a celebration of your loved one’s life. Explain that people may be upset and cry during the service. Encourage your child to create art or write a letter that can be placed in the casket. If you are comfortable taking them to view the casket before the funeral, it can help them understand the permanence of the situation.
If the body will be cremated, explain what that process entails and that the ashes will be kept in the urn or scattered in a special place. Let your child walk around the funeral home and familiarize themselves with the building. Gauge your child’s comfort level and follow their lead throughout the experience.
Helping your children understand what death means and the importance of a funeral is a part of good parenting. The caring staff at Leeward Funeral Home in Pearl City, HI, can help you prepare your children for the memorial. If you are dealing with a loss and require assistance, call (808) 455-104 to schedule an appointment. Visit their website for a complete list of their funeral planning services.