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Attending the Funeral

Attending the funeral

Attending the funeral can be a very controversial issue and family members can have very mixed views on whether children should attend the funeral.

    • If bereaved children and young people have been included in discussions about the death, then it is natural that the funeral should be discussed too. The child should be given the opportunity to choose whether or not to attend the funeral.
    • The child should be given a full explanation of what will happen at the funeral and what to expect.
    • Give the child the opportunity to change their mind, even on the day of the funeral. Reassure the child that whatever choice they make is okay.
    • It is helpful for the child and family if the child is seated close to someone they feel safe and secure with and who is able to leave the service at any point if the child chose to do so.

How can attending a funeral or memorial service help a grieving child?

It helps to accept the finality of death;

    • It is a way of saying a final goodbye;
    • It may help the child to feel less frightened;
    • The child will feel they have been included in the family decisions.


 If they do not attend maybe another way of saying goodbye could help them to be involved:

    • Write a letter or poem;
    • Light a candle;
    • Be involved in the choice of music or readings for the service;
    • Make a special place in the garden and plant a special flower or plant.