How To Prepare Your Child For Their First Funeral Ceremony

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be difficult, especially for children. This is especially true if they are attending their first funeral ceremony. It's normal to want to shield your child from such an emotional event, but it can also be beneficial for them to attend. 

Learning how to express and cope with grief is an important part of growing up and understanding death. Here are some tips on how to prepare your child for their first funeral ceremony.

Explain What to Expect 

You need to explain what will happen at the funeral in a way that your child can understand. For instance, if there will be an open casket, you should explain that the deceased loved one is lying in a "bed" and won't be able to talk or move. You should be honest and accurate with your child but also reassuring.

It may be helpful to read books about funerals or death together so that they can start processing their feelings beforehand. Find resources that are appropriate for your child's age, and make sure to discuss any questions they may have.

You should also explain the etiquette of a funeral. Teach them how to act respectfully, such as remaining quiet during prayers and not touching any personal items or pictures.

Give Them Space to Express Themselves 

Your child may have a lot of questions about death, which you should do your best to answer.

You should also provide an outlet for them to express themselves through drawing or writing. You can even bring a journal or sketchbook to the funeral so your child can jot down their thoughts and feelings. This will help them process what they are going through in a healthy way.

Be sure to tell your child that it's ok to cry at the funeral and that they don't have to be strong if they don't want to. Let them know that you are there for them and that it is natural to feel sad.

Allow Time for Reflection 

Attending a funeral service often means sitting still for an extended period while people share memories of the deceased person. This may not seem like something a young child would enjoy doing, but it can actually be quite meaningful when given appropriate attention and reflection time afterward.

Take some time after the service has ended to discuss any thoughts or feelings that arose during it, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. This allows children to have closure on the experience in their own way and permits them to grieve at their own pace without feeling rushed by anyone else's timeline.