When a girlfriend or loved one passes and you need to decide even if it is to have actually an open casket, it can be a difficult choice.

It can be even harder for you to have to decide if you have actually a child that will certainly be attending the funeral if they must view the deceased in your casket.

There room certainly great arguments on one of two people side, yet what is yes, really the anwer?

Viewing an open casket have to be a person’s choice, whatever their age. You must never force a kid to see an open casket or even to walk to the funeral. Take the time to describe the situation and also to prize all concerns the kid has. Also, think about your very own grief (Speak come a expert today indigenous the lull of her home) and also needs throughout the funeral.

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Every boy will be various in their understanding of what is happening, this has actually a many to perform with maturity and also not constantly as much to do with age.

By making sure that they room comfortable and understand the instance as ideal they can and also knowing that they can back out at any type of time is critical.

If you room still in 2 minds about this, then you re welcome do continue reading.

I’ll explain how to decide whether your son is ready and how to prepare them.


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Is the child even ready to walk to the funeral? 

Before you even think about having the kid look in ~ an open up casket you need to think about if your son is also ready to go to the funeral.

There is no particular age as soon as a son is all set to go to a funeral. It depends on the child however in general, youngsters start to know permanence around the age of 7.

Permanence is the concept that once someone or something is gone and will not return.


If girlfriend aren’t certain if your boy is even the right age to deal with a funeral, please read my short article here where I go into a lot an ext detail about it.



The best means to recognize whether a child have to go is come ask castle after friend have defined what death is and how a funeral works.

I have actually written a an ext in-depth article around when a kid would be prepared to go to a funeral and also how come prepare because that it here. 


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Should my kid view the open up casket? 

Now that we have figured out if the child is able to handle going to the funeral and also if the answer is “Yes”, exactly how do you understand if castle are all set to view the open up casket?

It is walking to it is in the very same thing because that the whole process and steps, girlfriend ask them. You desire to asking the kid if they desire to check out the body and also make sure they do not feel pressured to carry out so.

Often world are afraid of what they may see when they peer into the casket. Other than for very rare cases, the deceased have to still look the very same as they go while alive.

Explaining that the human they shed is now at peace, feeling no pain and will not injury them are good ways to help a child cope v their fear.

For very young children, they may not even be conscious of what is happening, and also this is something that is easy to call by talking to the child before the event.

If friend personally have never watched a dead body, then it is a an excellent idea to look for out someone who has and also ask lock some inquiry about. The better prepared you space the far better you deserve to prepare your child.


How come prepare your child for the funeral and open casket

You should always prepare kids for what might and also will happen. This will certainly relieve a lot of their anxieties and also fears.

This is specifically true as soon as this is the very first time the they have ever also been come or recognize someone that has dies.

The younger they are the less complicated you desire the language come be, you desire to describe as lot as possible in a means that they have the right to understand. 

When explaining the funeral come the child you perform not desire to lied or big the truth (a white lite).

Telling lock things prefer “grandma is resting or going away on a trip” deserve to be both confusing and also potentially damaging come a child psychological health.

If the son actually believes this they may become afraid that bedtime and also vacations. Regularly it’s better to usage a an ext common euphemism such as “to pass away” or “to overcome over”.

Children know a lot more than we offer them credit transaction for and can regularly digest even an extremely upsetting info if told in the ideal way. 

When you define the funeral process do so action by action I have outlined some key talking points because that you to talk to the kid about. 

What they will certainly see- Start native the son waking up the morning to the end of the day. Lock will view everyone usually dressed in dark colors and why. Who they will see- often when a young kid goes come a funeral, there will certainly be many new faces and also that the child has actually never checked out or maybe simply once before. These civilization often know who the son is so having actually them ready to greet all these human being is important. How they will certainly feel- Feelings room a difficult thing to define to a child, but they should know that there space no wrong means to feel around a lost loved one. The they deserve to cry, or be silent and it’s ok. You may need to offer extra attention and also affection to the kid so they do not feeling forgotten or neglected. How lengthy it will be- Funerals can be very long, and also if the boy is going to walk throughout the entirety thing it will certainly be a long day not only emotionally but additionally physically. So, having actually a location where they can rest might be a an excellent idea. How castle can and also can’t act- You perform want the child to express your emotions, you also want castle to understand that having actually an outburst or tantrum is no something they must do. If they space prone to this having actually a safe an are for them to walk is crucial. 

Children’s publications to explain death

One method to explain what will occur at funerals and even the concept of happen on native this life is to usage a children book.

There is normally a wide choice for different ages in ~ your neighborhood bookstore.

Here are some suggestions you can discover on Amazon.


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The endless Story: Explaining Life and Death to kids (Melissa Kircher)

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Available on Amazon

Where are You? A child’s Book around Loss (Laura Olivieri)

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Available top top Amazon

Something an extremely Sad Happened: A Toddler’s overview to Understanding fatality (Bonnie Zucker)

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Available top top Amazon

Encourage authorized in the funeral

If they perform want to go let your child be a part of the funeral services as much as they feel comfortable.

They could want to simply want to produce a drawing for the memorial table, pick a song for service, place flowers on the casket/ tomb or also touch the body.

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If they room attending the funeral the a close family member or friend, they may even be able to give the deceased something to take with them, such as a drawing.

These are options that you desire to discuss and also let them recognize that lock have and they can always earlier out if they don’t feeling confutable 

What if my son does not want to walk to the funeral or see the open casket? 

This is additionally fine together the son may simply not be prepared for this or for attending the entirety service.

By being sure to arrange for adult supervision to look after your child during the service could it is in an option. They can be near everything but just not close to the body. One more family member or close relative that is older and also would not mind taking the boy out of the organization for a rest or walk roughly is another option.

If there space other youngsters hiring a babysitter for the day because that the kids is acceptable as well. If nothing else, it’ll provide you a opportunity to grieve without having to worry about your child.

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If your boy doesn’t desire to to visit the funeral solutions or component of the funeral, view if friend can figure out why this is. Friend may be able to uncover some fears or doubt which friend can explain to them.

Children have wild imaginations and also it may acquire the far better of them at this time. If your kid still adamantly refuses to go, don’t force it. 

What space other alternatives for the kid not attending the funeral? 

 If they select not to go assist them discover their own means of closure. If your boy doesn’t attend the funeral or stays away from the totality thing, still aid them come grieve and also find closure.

There are alternatives for a exclusive viewing that the body and funeral homes. This is also a great way to bring them to the places and also have a “walk through” before the actual service.

Many funeral residences are open up to this and also just call the funeral director forward to set it up.