Death impacts everyone, no matter how old they are. It’s natural to struggle with the emotions connected to death, but it’s also part of the grieving process to acknowledge them and say goodbye. If you’re trying to decide whether to include children in a deceased loved one’s funeral service, take some pointers from the following guide.
Should You Bring Children to a Funeral Service?
Whether a child should attend the service will depend on several factors. If the child is an infant or toddler who doesn’t yet understand death and has little to no connection with the deceased, then they may not benefit from attending. They might even distract other guests.
On the other hand, if the child is related to the deceased, then, like the adults, they deserve a chance to say goodbye. Remember that not all children are equally mature, and some may be more prepared to deal with the emotionally charged atmosphere of a funeral than others.
Which Parts Should Children Attend?
If your child has asked to attend the funeral, but you’re worried that parts may be too intense for them, have them only attend certain segments. For instance, you may want to keep them out of sight of the body, though they might like to sit with you during the ceremony and hear the memories people share about the deceased. Conversely, some children may have a hard time staying still through the whole service, in which case you could bring them in at the beginning or just have them attend the reception afterward so they can still feel involved.
How Can Children Be Involved in the Funeral?
If the deceased was significant in the child’s life, they will likely appreciate having a role in the funeral service. This could be as large as sharing a story during the ceremony or as small as sitting with the guest book. If the child wants to share something, but doesn’t feel comfortable speaking, you can have them write it down and read it for them. You can also ask them to help you greet guests during the reception so they can meet all of the people who care about them and their family.
If you could use help planning a funeral service, turn to Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary. Since they were founded in 1949, they’ve served the families of Honolulu and throughout Oahu, providing a resting place built to resemble a beautiful garden. Learn more about arranging cremations and mausoleum burials by visiting them online or calling (808) 537-5255.