When a young child loses a parent, planning the funeral can be difficult. Not only do you need to take the needs of all loved ones into account, but you also have to be very careful in how you include the child on the day of the services. Use this guide to help make the experience as comforting as possible while still creating a funeral service that helps all loved ones mourn the loss.
Assign Helpers Throughout The Day
The child may not want to spend the entire wake and funeral in the room with the casket all day, and he or she may need frequent breaks to help deal with the situation. Assign several trusted friends or family members to be the child's escort throughout the day. This is particularly helpful if there is a grieving spouse as well, as it gives him or her the chance to grieve without having to parent.
Create A Child-Friendly Area
Many funeral homes offer separate rooms where food and drink can be offered to visitors. Carve out a corner of the room that is meant just for children and fill it with small toys, coloring books, pillows and blankets. The grieving child can retreat to this area to nap, play or get away from overwhelming moments during the funeral and wake.
Ask That Eulogies Talk About The Parent And Child
Some children, particularly those that are young, may feel that the deceased parent left. They may also feel like they didn't love their parents enough to keep them here. Having people deliver eulogies that talk about the parent and child can be comforting. A grandparent might talk about when the child's mom and dad were planning for his or her birth, and an aunt or uncle might talk about how much the child was loved. Including the child in the eulogy speech can help him or her feel involved in the events of the day.
Hire A Videographer
While it might sound unorthodox to record a funeral, the video may be a comfort to the child as he or she gets older. Eulogies often include stories and anecdotes about the loved ones who have passed, and having a recording of these special moments can help to keep the memory of a deceased mother or father alive. Don't force the child to watch the video, but let him or her know it exists so the little one can make the decision.
Work with your funeral director to find other ways to help a child get through the funeral of a parent. They often have experience with this type of loss and can provide guidance and support for both you and the child who has lost a parent.Share