I remember when my uncle died when I was in basic 4, I was just 8 years old. My mom said that I won’t be attending the funeral because children are not supposed to see a dead person. I asked why? She said they may start to have bad dreams and they may become afraid of things as they grow. I didn’t attend the funeral, I was taken to her friend’s place and I stayed with her kids till the event ended.
There are some many factors to be considered before deciding whether to take the child or not to a funeral:
- Knowing the right part of funeral rites to involve your children: Most times it is not always advisable to allow your kids to view the body of the deceased in a casket. This is due to the impression the kids may have, they might think the deceased is sleeping or playing and to some kids, it might turn out to be traumatic for them. Another rite that the children shouldn’t be involved in is in the lowering of the casket into the grave because this part can be extremely emotional, that is why some parents stand their ground as to not allowing their children to come close to graveside while others allow their kids to participate fully during the memorial/funeral services. Others allow their kids to attend just the church service and then prevent them from going close to the casket containing the deceased.
Some children would also want to give their final goodbyes either through a poem or writing. If necessary, it always good to encourage them to do such but in a pleasing and matured manner. They could read out things that the deceased once told them or memories compiled together that they shared with the deceased but have to help them write it down. A poem is also good for the readout.
Generally speaking, children less than 2 years are better off being at home because they won’t benefit from the funeral. some kids may not understand the change of mood of a family member. The effect of not being able to say goodbye to a loved one may not be felt until a later stage in the child’s life. Children should have a sparingly amount of knowledge about them. Some children mature even at a tender age, others remain childlike and don’t mature till adulthood. As parents or guidance, it is our duty to protect our children from harm because at some point this may actually do less good than harm. Use your best sense of judgment to decide whether your kid(s) should actually attend a funeral or not and whatever you decide, maintain your stands. Whatever you decide is for their own betterment. May you be strengthened through the loss.