The death of a loved one can be hard for a child to handle while they're young. Events like funerals, wakes, and memorial services can be overwhelming, confusing, and full of questions. If you are planning a funeral where a lot of kids are attending, then there are multiple ways to get them involved while honoring the loved one in your life. Whether it's a group of grandchildren for a grandparent that has passed or a lot of young cousins and relatives mourning an uncle or aunt, you can engage the children while showcasing the importance of the loved one. Consider adding the five memorial service activities specifically aimed at children. It can help them cope with the death and understand the event that just occurred.
Coloring Dedication Pages
Attending memorial services can mean that a child is spending hours sitting around. No matter where a child is at, it is natural for them to get antsy and bored. Add a small coloring table to the funeral proceedings to help keep them occupied and still show respect for the loved one. Not only can children color pages, but they can color ones that are specifically catered to the loved one. For example, if the person loved superheroes, then you can print out a collection of free superhero coloring pages. By explaining the purpose of the pages and the theme, the children can have a better understanding and focus on creating a nice picture.
As you plan a wake or memorial service, some older children may have the desire to participate. One way to directly allow this is by gathering a group of children together for a song selection. Singing a memorial song is a nice tribute that can showcase the kids' love for the deceased person and help keep them focused on the task at hand. One of the more important parts of this process is selecting the right song. There are a number of religious songs you can choose from, or you can select a song from an artist that the person loved. There are a number of free karaoke song resources along with lyrical videos that children can read along with. If you are playing the real version of the song, you can simply print out the lyrics and hand them to each child.
Flower Picking and Placement
A large aspect of any funeral is choosing flower arrangements for various ceremonies and the burial. Keep a child involved by allowing them to choose a small arrangement that can be placed at the memorial service or a gravestone. You can take a child to a flower shop or garden center or even go pick wildflowers that can be potted and used. While picking flowers, this is a good time to explain the typical funeral process and answer any questions the child may have about death. Once the flowers are picked out, your child may bring them and display them during the various funeral services.
Letters & Poems
With so many thoughts and feelings, it may be hard for a child to express them during a funeral service. Help them get the words out by using writing instead. By purchasing special stationery, your children can express their thoughts and write messages to the loved ones that have passed. These letters can become part of the burial, or you can actually save them to give the child when they are older. Your child may love looking back and seeing how they felt during those important times.
Showing respect and kindness during funeral services is one of the best ways to honor a loved one and their family. As you're planning a funeral, work with funeral directors to help set up a special children's area. This area may be in the corner of the room or another room altogether. Here, children can gather together, quietly play, and talk to each other about the event. Small activities can keep them occupied and an adult can remain in the room to monitor them.
By communicating with a representative from an establishment like Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd, you can get more ideas for ways that past services have included children and the best way to manage them.