Supporting Children at Funerals
Older children may like to read a poem, or perhaps light candles for family members who cannot attend in person.
We’ve found that allowing children to draw or write directly into the coffin itself, if acceptable to family, is the absolute best way to draw them into the service and to help them see for themselves that the coffin is not scary and that death is a completely natural part of life.
An easy way to encourage the younger ones forward is to follow the lead of a parent, relative or trusted friend. This simple action of leading-by-example is often the circuit-breaker needed to get the youngsters involved.
Pretty much any coffin can be decorated, it's just a matter of using the right pens. A more traditional coffin - such as the Richmond Maple - will require a different pen to that needed for a bio-board/cardboard coffin. We provide the best pens for the occasion and with the bio-board/cardboard option we’ve found things can get very creative or remain subtle with short messages of love and farewell.
Contrary to popular concern, children actually deal very well with death and funerals provided they are told the truth in a clear, honest and gently manner.
Often they will have experienced the notion of death in TV programs or books. They may have suffered the death of a family pet, or known other children whose pets have died. Children quietly absorb all these experiences and you may be surprised at how accepting they are.
We've found that children need to know the person died, not that they are “lost” or “sleeping”. Kids are scared enough of getting lost without it being associated with dying!
Depending on your own beliefs, you may choose to tell a child that someone is now "in heaven" or "with Jesus" or even just "in a nice place where they won’t feel ill//pain/old anymore".
For children in deep grief, the catharsis of a funeral service can be very helpful provided they’re allowed to take part in their own way, without feeling any pressure.
Some kids relate best to scattering the ashes, letting the persons spirit “go free so that they can now be everywhere”. Biodegradable scattering urns that can be floated out to sea or on a lake/river. They're are a great way to say farewell without having to handle the ashes directly.
Every person is unique. Every family is different.
With us, every Funeral is Individual.
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