Should Children Attend Funerals?

Posted on May 7, 2019 by Cleveland Jewish Funerals under Grief
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Frequently, when a loved one passes away, parents question whether children should attend the funeral. Often people consider the age of the children, but age is only part of the answer. The emotional maturity of the child is important as well as the interest of the child.

Deciding whether your child should attend a funeral is ultimately up to you. If you decide to have your child attend a funeral, make sure to prepare them. Involving family members of all ages in funeral planning gives them a chance to grieve as well as say goodbye to their loved one which is often a beloved grandparent.

If you decide to have your child attend a funeral, here are some ways to prepare your child:

  • Tell your child what they can expect. It is important to explain to them what a Jewish funeral is all about. This can include information on why we hold funerals, how long they are, who attends and what events take place at them.
  • Assign a trusted loved one. Ask a trusted family friend or family member to be the child’s buddy for the funeral. This can help the child feel secure and enable them to ask questions.
  • Involve your child in the service. They could write a poem to be read or draw a picture to be placed in the casket. If the child is old enough, they may want to say a few words at the service.
  • Prepare them for what they could see. You could show them photos online of the funeral home and describe what casket looks like.
  • Help them understand it’s an emotional event. They may see both children and grownups crying and may feel like crying themselves, and this is perfectly okay. Let them know it’s a good thing to express emotions, even sad ones, and sometimes being sad and talking about it can help you feel better.
  • It’s okay if they choose not to attend. Some children can feel strongly about not attending a funeral. Don’t force them, but do ask them if there is anything they would like to do on their own to say goodbye to the deceased.

Enabling a child to say goodbye to a loved one who has died, is a wonderful way to help them grieve and move on.

Cleveland Jewish Funerals

The Cleveland Jewish Funerals story is not about us, it is about you. Our story is about the families who trust us, the caregivers who call us in the middle of the night, and the rabbis who recommend us to their congregation. Our philosophy is to treat your family as if it were our own.


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