Talking to Your Children About Death and Funeral Homes
Losing a loved one is never easy, and everyone handles these losses in different ways. This includes children. It’s difficult to know how a child will handle death and a visit to a funeral home in Grand Haven, MI. That’s why many parents and guardians struggle with what to say and how to speak to children about death.
Here are some tips to make it easier to talk to your children about death:
- Be Honest – Kids are smarter than they seem, especially when it comes to emotions. Be honest with the child about how you’re feeling and let him know that he can express his feelings honesty, too.
- Talk About the Future – The child will most likely have questions about how this loss will affect the future. Be reassuring but honest about changes, like how holidays will be a bit different but still fun.
- Focus on Understanding – Focus the conversation on what death and loss mean to make sure the child understands what has happened. Let him know what death is so that he is not left confused or with questions.
- Everyone is Different – You have to keep in mind that every child is different and will deal with grief in a different way. Be prepared that just because one kid was more open to communicating another kid may not be the same.
- Grieve Together – Don’t be afraid to express your emotions in front of the child. Crying together is a good way to move forward and heal.
- Be Prepared for a Variety of Reactions – Every kid reacts differently to lose and death, so be prepared for a variety of reactions. This is especially true if this is the first time the child will have lost someone close to him. Let the child deal with the loss in his own way and be prepared to support him however he needs.
- Prepare for the Funeral – Be sure to spend time discussing what the funeral or service will be like. Your child might have questions about the burial or cremation, so be prepared to answer them. You should also discuss funeral etiquette and the exact plan for the day of the service.
You can also help your child manage and understand his grief through various activities. There are lots of activities to try, from one to get him talking about his feelings or one to have him create something to keep memories of the deceased. One activity is a feeling matching game in which the child connects his feelings with positive actions in order to help him work through what he’s feeling.
You can also create a memory box. Help the child make a special box in which he can keep keepsakes that remind him of the deceased. For younger children, you can build the box and help them decorate it, while older children might be able to build the box themselves.