One of the most common questions that arises during preparations for funeral services in Lake City, FL is whether children should attend the funeral, and if so, what age is an appropriate cutoff for those children to be present. Simply put, how young is too young for a child at a funeral?
This is an understandable question to have. After all, younger children are not able to process death and loss in the same way that adults or even older children are. There are also concerns that a child will not behave in a manner that is appropriate to a funeral setting.
But a good general rule is to allow children to attend a wake, funeral and burial if they wish to do so. Children can be involved in the funeral planning process for close family as well. Even if children do not have a full understanding of loss like adults, they still feel grief and can benefit greatly from the presence and support of others. Having an opportunity to say goodbye in their own way to their lost loved one can be both meaningful and healthy for them.
At the same time, you should not force children to attend a funeral or memorial service if they do not want to. But if a child expresses that they do not want to attend the service, it is a good idea to find out the child’s reasons. Do they, for example, have any fears about the service? Perhaps they are afraid of confronting their feelings, or of the finality associated with a funeral.
Preparing a child for a funeral
If your child will be attending a funeral, it is a good idea to prepare them for what will happen. Describe the process of the funeral, and go over all the steps they can expect to see during the service. Tell them about how other people might react to what’s happening at the funeral, or how the child (or other people) might feel during the event. Sometimes a child’s concerns about a funeral are simply a result of them not knowing what to expect out of the service. If they are concerned about crying, make sure they know that both crying and not crying are okay, and that everybody processes grief and loss in different ways.
It can be helpful to make arrangements with a friend or family member to allow the child to leave a funeral or memorial early if they wish to do so. It can be an overwhelming experience for a child, so having an “out” is a good plan.
You should never force children to view or touch the body of the deceased, if there is an open casket visitation. If they do wish to see the body, it’s important to prepare them for what to expect, and how the body might look.
For more information about how you can prepare children for funeral services in Lake City, FL, we encourage you to contact the team at ICS Cremation & Funeral Home today.
Categorised in: Funeral Services
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