One of the most commonly asked questions to funeral directors is whether it is suitable to bring a child to a funeral. While there may be concerns over looking after a child while being very upset, or worries that the child we be emotionally harmed by the experience, a funeral can also be a good opportunity for a child to receive some much needed closure after losing someone close to them.
While a funeral can be a sad affair, it is not something that can be avoided forever. Your child will at some point have to attend a funeral in their life. But, you can make the experience much easier for them by explaining what will happen in advance.
A funeral is likely to be a very upsetting experience for your child, particularly if they were close with your loved one who has passed away. Explaining to them what will happen before, during and after the ceremony can help them to be less apprehensive and frightened on the day. So try to make them aware that people attending may well be very upset and emotional, and that this is entirely normal.
For children under the age of 3 there may be practical reasons of not having them in attendance on the day as very young children may be particularly noisy and this may be disturbing for other mourners attending the service. Even for slightly older children you should be prepared to take them out of the service if they become to restless, need to use the bathroom, or would like to leave the ceremony.
Of course, the choice to attend or not attend is very personal and it’s a choice that only you and your child can make. Consult with your child and ask them their thoughts on attending and try to be respectful of their decision. If your child decides not to attend the funeral then be sure to explain to them that they should not feel guilty for their decision.
For help and advice on organising a funeral, please contact us on 0151 228 3900, or leave us a message through our contact us page by clicking here.