children and funerals


The Purple family have lost a very dear family member very recently. Purpledad’s beloved Father has passed away. The funeral has been arranged for this Friday and we are left with the question of whether to take the children to the funeral.

On the one hand I feel like this is an opportunity to teach our children about death and how we deal with death in our culture. It’s a part of life and I don’t want to hide it away or make it something to be scared of. I think that perhaps if it becomes a fact of life from an early age then it is normalised and easier for them to deal with.

On the other hand at the funeral there will no doubt be an outpouring of grief. Their Dad and other close relatives will cry and I’m not sure how all this emotion will make them feel. I don’t want the children to be upset or worried by all the grief.

Like any self respecting internet geek I have obviously googled this topic to look for advice. The general consensus seems to be that aged four and over children should be asked if they want to attend. You should explain to them exactly what will happen at the funeral and then let them decide whether to go. Since Wonder Girl is only two she won’t be able to make an informed decision so it is up to us to make it for her.

I think we are leaning towards taking them if this is what they choose. If Wonder Girl is noisy or disruptive I will take her outside so as not to disturb the funeral. We will explain everything to them before the event and address any concerns they have before, during and after. We are a very open family and no question will be taboo.

What do you think? Have you taken children to a funeral? How did it go and in retrospect was it the right decision? Did you leave your children at home, and how do you feel now about that? I’d love your input to help me to make this decision. I really want to do what’s right for Purpledad and be there to support him but I also want to make this decision based on what’s right for our children.