Helping a child cope with a funeral
Funerals are never easy, and children may find them particularly hard to cope with. Decisions are often made on their behalf, on whether or not they attend. There’s no right or wrong answer here, and you and your family will need to decide together. If your child is going to attend a funeral, here are some ways to help them cope.
Explain clearly and honestly
Death is a scary concept for a child, and a funeral can be hard to understand. While it’s tempting to shield children from the grief, it’s also important to be honest. This isn’t to say they need to know all the details, but just enough to understand is fine. Describe what to expect, to help them prepare for the day. Of course, these explanations will vary in depth depending on the age or ability of each individual child. As long as you’re honest and clear, it can help ease some of the confusion and uncertainty.
Answer their questions
Following on from your explanation, be sure to allow the child to ask questions. Listen carefully to their concerns and queries. Take the time to answer as best you can. Children are curious, and at a time of grief they may need to know more to be able to process things and go through their grief. You may not have all the answers, but listening to them and comforting them will truly make a difference.
Encourage their emotions
Make sure they know it’s okay to feel sad, and it’s okay to cry. Holding in emotions can slow the grieving process and lead to a stronger outburst of feelings when they finally release them. You can also be honest about your own emotions and explain how you’re feeling too. This way you will be supporting each other, and you’ll draw strength from that.
During this time, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Your funeral director will assist you through the planning and preparation of the funeral, to ease the pressure from your family.
Far and Beyond Funerals are one of the most experienced funeral directors in Manchester. Get in touch to see how we can help you today.