Admit it; dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult. While your mind is overdrive making funeral arrangements, logistics, reception, and whatnot, you also have to consider the kids that may be affected by the loss.
Kids react to loss in different ways. Some of the factors attributing to this may include their age, their relationship/closeness to the deceased, and the kind of support they should receive at a time like that.
It is your responsibility as an adult to help the kids navigate through a death. We provide some helpful tips to pull that off.
Use Simple Words
When speaking to a child about the loss of a loved one, your statements should be clear and direct. Use words they can understand quickly. Instead of speaking in ambiguity, just tap them and say, “Hey [name of child], I’ve got some sad news. Grandpa died today.”
Give your kid a moment to process what you said. If they’re too little to understand what you just told them, you can simply say, “Grandpa has gone to heaven,” or something to that effect.
Listen to What They Have to Say
As previously stated, kids react differently when they’re hit with such news. Some of them may cry, ask plenty of questions, or not react at all, and it’s totally fine. If they’re asking questions or making a comment, take note of what they’re saying and answer their questions appropriately.
You can even ask them to tell you what’s on their mind and see how it connects with your own feelings. You can also convey your thoughts to them. “I’m sad, too. I know you loved Granny so much.”
Tell Them What to Expect
If the loss of the loved one will affect their daily routine, it is essential to tell them. By so doing, it will help them prepare for what’s next. If they’d need to stay over at a friend’s so you can have ample time to draft the funeral program and plan other things, you should inform them as well.
Let them know that no matter the slight changes, you will always be in touch with them.
Explain the Funeral Events
You should also explain to your kids the nature of the funeral service. If possible, tell them where the funeral service will take place and how many persons will be in attendance. It is also necessary to inform them that there may be a lot of crying and whatnot.
Also, explain what will happen after the funeral service, if there will be a reception.
Give Them Responsibilities
Allow your kids to have a sense of belonging by assigning a little task during the funeral service. You can ask them to read a poem, select photos to be displayed on the slideshow, or some other minor roles.
Help Them Remember the Deceased
You can ask them to write stories about the decedent to help them remember. Your kid should keep their memory fresh in their minds.
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