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This edition, Honoring Our Loved Ones: Going to a Funeral, helps to prepare children, ages 3 and up, for calling hours and funerals.
In this edition, Barklay and Eve will address the following questions:
- What does the word "dead" mean? The body COMPLETELY stops working.
- What is the difference between the body and the soul? This distinction is essential, or children will be frightened about the body being buried or cremated.
- What is a "wake"? Where did that word come from? If this is not explained, some children will think that you are going to "wake the person up!"
- What is a casket? Even 5 year-olds have asked many questions about caskets.
- Why do you sometimes only see half of the body in the casket? Some children will think that the person is not folly dressed, or not "all there" if the lower portion is closed.
- Why does the body look and feel different? Children ask many questions about the body.
- During calling hours, why are some people crying, while some people are laughing?
- Why do we have wakes and funerals? We all need support when confronting loss.
- What happens at a funeral? Common characteristics and options are discussed
- What if the person who died wanted to be cremated? A very brief explanation is given in this edition. A more thorough discussion of cremation is offered in Barklay and Eve's,
- Our Special Garden: Understanding Cremation.
Please read this book before you read it with a child Discuss what may be similar to, or different from, the ritual that they will experience. If the casket is going to be open, please be sure to have a responsible adult view the person's body first. Then, describe in as much detail as possible, what the casket looks like, what the person who died looks like in the casket, what they are wearing, as well as what the funeral home looks like. Invite the child to make something or bring something to place inside the casket, to be buried or cremated along with their loved one. Ask if they have any questions. If you don't know the answer, please consult your funeral director. Children do best when they are afforded a complete explanation, and then allowed, but not forced, to participate.
Dragonfly Publishing Company
funeral service, children, coping, death, bereavement, farewells
Psychiatry and Psychology
Carney, Karen L., "Honoring Our Loved Ones: Going to a Funeral" (2001). Human Services Book Gallery. Book 2.