If someone in your family has recently passed away, and you were very close to them while they were alive, you most likely are involved in the funeral planning. If you have a child who was close to the deceased, you may have thought about having them come to the funeral so they can say farewell to their loved one. Here are some tips to use when bringing your child to a funeral home.
Consider Your Child's Age
If your child is not able to sit still, it is a good idea to have someone watch them in a separate room in the funeral home during services. It will be difficult to keep them from upsetting others if they ask questions (although innocently) about the processes used with the deceased's body or where they go after the funeral is over. If your child is middle-school aged or above, they will be more apt to act respectfully.
A rule of thumb is to see if they show the desire to be at the funeral home to say goodbye to the deceased. If they are unaware of what is really happening, or if they don't really show much concern whether they are involved or not, it would be better to have them stay in another room or at home with a caretaker.
Explain The Process
Before you get to the funeral home, give your child a complete rundown of the events they will be witnessing so they are not caught off-guard with any of the procedures used. Let your child know that there is a good chance a lot of people will be crying, and that they may feel like crying too. Tell them that you might also be crying so they are not afraid if this happens. Explain that the funeral service itself is much like a church service and that people will be speaking about the deceased. If your child feels like saying something themselves, encourage them to share with the other guests.
Dealing With The Viewing
If you plan on having a viewing with an open casket, you will need to inform your child about this in advance. If your child is scared to see the deceased's body, it may be best to avoid the viewing portion of the funeral. Explain to your child that the deceased's body will look like they are peacefully resting, but that they may look a little different than they had when they were alive due to the amount of makeup they use to prepare the body to be viewed by many people.
If you believe seeing the body will be traumatic to your child, have them go to the refreshment room or outside with a few other guests while the viewing is being conducted. When the actual funeral service happens, the casket will be closed so your child can pay their respects without worry.