Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Funerals of Children

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Question: I have been a Funeral Director for the last 11 years and it is still hard for me personally when we have funerals for children. Is there anything you can suggest that I can do to take care of myself personally during a funeral of a child?

Answer:  Losing a child is never easy even when the child is not your own. Children are the hope for the future and should have so much of their life ahead of them. When a child is lost so are the dreams and the hopes of the future. It seems unnatural to be taking care of the final arrangements of a child. Because of this, many funeral homes don’t display caskets, vaults or items related to child loss.  There is for many a sense of loss of innocence when a child dies. Expectations are cut short, and the deep, unexpected grief of the parents of the child is an additional factor that makes taking care of the child and the family difficult.

Here are some things you might do to take care of yourself while helping a family who has lost a child. (more…)

Children & Pet Loss

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Question: Our family dog died last week and my son is beside himself. We held a small funeral for Scruffy and then had him cremated. Should I be worried about my son’s grief?

Answer: Pet loss, and the grief related to it, is just now coming into sharp focus. Researchers are beginning to contrast how the loss of a pet can affect a person with the loss of a relative or a friend. In 2006, the Journal of Death Studies (Volume 30: pages 61-76) did an article about children and the loss of a pet. Here is some information from the article which might be of help to you.

  1. Depression and anxiety might occur over the loss of a pet but it probably won’t be as intense as the loss of a family member. (more…)

Children at the Death Bed

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Question: A family came into my funeral home to make arrangements. The husband’s previous wife was dying of a terminal illness. The husband and his new wife asked me: “What my husband and I would like to know is if it is too traumatic for the kids (12, 9 and 7 years old) to be with their mom at the moment that she
dies as she has requested?  How do we handle this and still honor her
wishes?” What should I tell this family?

(more…)

Celebrating Mother’s Day after she passes

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Question:  I have been babysitting for three brothers for the past four years.  Last Thursday their mother died suddenly at the age of 30.  The boys are ten, six, and four years old.  They go to school with my children and I have been asked to help find ways to help them deal with Mother’s Day at school.  All of the classes will be making Mother’s Day cards and gifts soon and no one is sure what to do.  Any help or resources you can give me would be greatly appreciated.  She was a single mom and Grandma and Grandpa have stepped in to take care of the boys if that is any help.

Answer:  A child can celebrate Mother’s Day even though they have lost their mother. When a person dies it does not mean all the love they have given to people just disappears. A mother leaves a lasting imprint on the children she leaves behind. Helping the children remember this love will be important to them as they grow older. (more…)