Arranging a funeral for someone who has died can be a hugely challenging and stressful time for everyone involved. As parents, there is the added concern of having to explain what has happened to your children and then finding ways to involve them, which are right for both them and you. 

With additional Government restrictions currently in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, being as clear as possible about what is and is not allowed will help maintain some certainty at a time when life can feel out of control.

Throughout the planning of the funeral your Funeral Director will be able to explain the new arrangements for funerals and guide you through the process. Along with our ongoing advice on funerals, the following information reflects the current guidance and we hope this will be of some help to you and your family at this most difficult of times.

  • It may no longer be possible to see the person who has died to say goodbye. Your Funeral Director will be able to advise you on this.  Should a visit not be possible, it can help to write some words or private message to go in the coffin.  A child could be invited to write or draw a picture and for this to be their way of saying ‘goodbye’ to their special person.
  • Be honest with your child when answering their questions, acknowledging that you may not have all the answers.
  • Usually at a funeral, family and friends get together and share their memories of the person who has died, support one another in their grief and say goodbye together. Anyone who has the virus, or is self-isolating, may not attend.  As the numbers of mourners is limited, it may mean that children who want to be at the funeral cannot attend.  Take time to explain clearly why this is the case.  With younger children it may be hard to explain why some relatives are given priority so perhaps drawing a simple family tree could help illustrate this.  For children who do attend, they will need to know that they have still to observe social distancing from those outside their own immediate family. 
  • There may be an opportunity for an online streaming service of the funeral or for it to be recorded, which will allow more family, friends and children to be involved.

A gathering after the funeral is unlikely to happen because of social distancing rules.  However, you and your children can find ways to remember and celebrate the life of the person who has died in different ways:

  • There are various group meeting online platforms where the family can share stories and memories together.
  • The eulogies and readings from the service could also be shared.
  • Family and friends could be asked to light a candle at a certain time, offering a chance of shared remembrance.
  • There could be an online memorial page where people can leave their personal messages, photos and memories.
  • It may be an idea to arrange a memorial service to take place in a year’s time, when everyone can come along.
  • In our Daisy’s Dream regular advice and guidance sheets you will find many ways to support your children in the time following the death of a special person.

Children often have many questions and need answers they can understand, often with some  repetition.  Parents or carers play an important part in offering reassurance, honesty and clarity to children in the time following the death of someone special. 

At this time, children will need additional reassurance that, although things may feel strange and worrying for a while, they will slowly calm . It can also be helpful to reassure children that they will not forget the person that has died and as time goes on they will find their own special ways to remember them.

Should you wish to talk with one of our team, please call on 0118 934 2604 and you will be directed to one of our Therapeutic Practitioners.

 

LAST UPDATED: 3 APRIL 2020