When there’s a death in the family, you can bet that it will hit everyone pretty hard. But it will be particularly confusing to young children who have no frame of reference to make much sense of death, what it means, and how it will impact them in terms of severed relationships. How do you prepare your child for these life events? It won’t be easy, but there are things you can do. Here are some tips to prepare your child for a South Charleston, WV cremation or funeral.
Talk to Them About Death and Dying
Your first order of business is to explain to your little one what death and dying actually mean. It won’t be easy. You’ll, of course, need to reflect on the age and comprehension ability of the child in question. You’ll also want to stay away from terms like “passed away” or “fell asleep” because children may take these terms literally, which will only serve to confuse them even more.
You might want to tell your child that their deceased loved one was sick, that their body did not work properly anymore, that when certain parts of the human body don’t work anymore, the person dies. Also explain that this means that they won’t feel any more pain and that they won’t be back. It the deceased died as a result of a specific illness, be sure to communicate this to the child. Failing to do this could cause the child to feel that anyone who gets sick will – regardless of the sickness — die. That’s why you need to let them know the cause of the death. Children may be young, but they grieve in their own way. You can help by being forthright and by answering their questions about death and dying.
Let Them Know About the Body Disposition Process
If your deceased relative will be cremated, explain what this means to your child. You don’t want them to go to the funeral home not having a clue what cremation is much less what will happen. Let them know that the body will be placed in a hot room and that their loved one won’t feel a thing. You can also let them know that the body eventually becomes dust just like a caterpillar in a cocoon becomes a butterfly. If you plan to scatter the ashes, let the child participate. Ultimately, you want to include everyone – adults and children – in the process.
Keep Line of Communication Open
Before, during, and after the cremation, you can expect your child to have questions. Let them know that you’re always available to talk. In fact, encourage them to ask questions, and feel free to initiate discussions so that they know that it is normal and healthy to talk about death and to grieve.
When the time comes to plan a cremation in South Charleston, WV, look no further than Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home & Crematorium. With our 135 years of experience as funeral service providers, we know how to work with and assist families grieving the loss of loved ones. Call us at (304) 342-8135 or visit us at 1118 Virginia St E Charleston, WV 25301 for the help you need.