Helping Children Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

April 20, 2017 2:05 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Although many children are aware of death, they may not fully comprehend what is going on. A child’s understanding of death depends on several factors—including their age, how close they were to the individual and what their parents tell them about what’s going on. But exposure to death is common, as little kids see it in movies and read about it in books. That means it may not be as difficult to explain to them as you may think; the hardest part may be simply telling them who died. One thing is for sure, though: young children will show their grief and feelings in different ways.

Here’s some good advice from a funeral planner in Lake City, FL for how to help children cope with the loss of a loved one:

  • Explain the death in simple phrases: Having to break the news that a friend or family member has died is never easy. Use a gentle voice when telling young children of a death, be clear with your words and use simple phrases. Give your child a moment to process your words before continuing.
  • Listen to responses and offer comfort: Because every child reacts differently to news of a death, be prepared for your child’s reaction. Some will cry, some will ask questions and some won’t react at all—at least not initially. If they want comfort, give them hugs and kisses, or offer to stay and sit with them for a while.
  • Encourage that they express their feelings: It’s important that you allow your child to express their feelings. Talking it out can help children with the grieving process, just as sharing happy memories of loved ones who’ve died cushions the hurt. While you want to encourage your child to talk, never force them; wait until they are ready.
  • Funeral attendance is not mandatory: Attending a funeral service may be too much for little ones who are still trying to understand death, but whether your child should or should not attend the funeral or memorial service is a personal decision. On the one hand, you’ll likely have to make a judgment call for very young children, while it makes sense for an older child to make their own decision. If they want to attend the funeral or memorial, you need to prepare them, but you should never force a child to go.
  • Give keepsakes: There is a personal way to let young children remember someone who has passed. After cremation, you have the option to place small amounts of the cremated remains in what are called keepsake urns. Although keepsake urns are available as smaller versions of full-sized urns, they can also be objects like figurines, music boxes, jewelry, picture frames and clocks. But for children, you might consider a teddy bear keepsake so they can hug and talk to their loved one.

When you need help from a funeral planner in Lake City, FL or are looking for cremation services, ICS Cremation & Funeral Home is here to take some of the weight off your shoulders. Contact us today to speak with our understanding staff about your funeral service needs.

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