Deciding Whether or Not to Attend the Funeral

Funerals, wakes and memorial services are an important part of the grieving process and a way to say goodbye to the person who has died. But when it comes to whether a child should attend the funeral of a loved one, there is no right or wrong answer. A child should never be forced to attend a funeral. If he indicates that he wants to go, then he should be encouraged to do so. If the child is young, plan to bring a favorite babysitter or someone the child trusts who can leave with the child if he decides he’s had enough before the service is over.

Be sure to prepare your child for what he will see. Let him know that people might be dressed in dark colors and that they will be very sad and some might be crying, for example. Explain if there will be a casket that contains the body, and any other important details.