How To Prepare Your Child for an Open Casket Funeral

January 23, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Open casket funerals are emotional for everyone. It can be especially emotional for children who don’t quite have an understanding of death. An open casket funeral is a service in which the deceased’s body is openly put on view in a casket for the attendees. Since children may have more difficulty processing or comprehending this, this guide will help you prepare them for the services.

Tips To Prepare Your Child for an Open-Casket Funeral

Children may not understand what to expect at an open-casket funeral. So it is your duty to try and help your child understand before that day comes. Open-casket funerals only show the person’s torso, shoulders, and face.

Most children have never seen a deceased’s body before. The best way to prepare them is to talk to them. Make sure you explain to your child/children that while your loved one is no longer physically with you, he or she is no longer suffering or in any pain.

You should also explain to your child that if they need to excuse themselves, that is okay. Also, if your child doesn’t feel comfortable going up close to the casket, they can keep a distance.

Open Casket Etiquette 

With this being the first time your child is attending a funeral service, they are obviously not aware of open casket etiquette. You should explain to your child that it is common for people to kneel in front of the casket and pray. When people are doing this, you should provide them with space.

When it is your turn, or if your child makes the decision to kneel in front of the casket, a neutral facial expression is best. Avoid looking in disgust or cringing, as this can be seen as extremely offensive to the family. If possible, escort your child to the casket, as they may be uncomfortable or afraid.

You should also remember that while crying is totally acceptable and normal, hysterical crying should be avoided. It is important that you try and contain yourself. These things should also be explained to your children.

The deceased’s body will be hard and cold to the touch. With this in mind, don’t forget to tell your child that your loved one may look different than they did in life. If your loved one passed away due to significant trauma or an illness, you should be sure these things are explained prior. These things will prevent your child from being in shock while standing in front of the casket. Also, avoid carrying your cell phone with you to the casket as it is not seen as “respectful” to take pictures of the body in the casket.

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