5 Tips to Help Young Children Understand the Loss of a Loved One

Fewer things are harder than explaining to a young child that a beloved family member has passed away. Children in this situation often feel a wide range of emotions, from fear of their own mortality to confusion as to why he or she can no longer visit their loved one. When it comes to explaining the loss of a family member, parents should focus on remaining clear and compassionate.

If you are a parent who has recently lost a family member, use these tips to help your child understand the strange new emotions that he or she is likely feeling.

  • Use clear, simple language. Children often have a difficult time dealing the concept of a loss in the family. Approach your child using clear, easily-understood language that leaves no room for interpretation.
  • Allow your child to grieve in their own way. Every child is unique, which means that every child has their own way of handling emotions. Some children may cry, others may ask questions, and some may not seem to react at all. Allow your child to grieve in their own way, and offer emotional support and comfort should they ask for it.
  • Explain the process that will follow. If you are planning to honor your loved one with a cremation in Philadelphia, explain to your child beforehand what will happen at the proceeding. For example, you may want to say something like: “We are going to have a special gathering to celebrate how much we loved Aunt Sarah. We will sing, pray, and talk about how kind she was.”
  • Let them know it’s okay to cry. A first funeral or cremation service can be very overwhelming for a child. Prepare them ahead of time, and let them know that it’s okay to express how they are feeling. You may want to say something like: “When we go to the church service, there will be many people who feel sad that grandpa is gone. They might start to cry. If you feel sad, you can hold my hand.”
  • Allow them to help. If your child was very close to the family member you have lost, allowing him or her to assist in the proceedings can help them to feel better about honoring their memory. Your child may want to offer a reading or lead a prayer during the service as a way of saying goodbye.

At McCafferty Funeral Home, we pride ourselves on providing respectful and affordable cremations in Philadelphia. Give our team a call today at 215-531-5014 for immediate attention today.