How to include young children in funerals

“I am not sure if I should take my children to the funeral. What do you think?”

It’s a question parents often ask me as a funeral celebrant. If prepared well, attending a funeral can be a healthy, healing and positive experience for children. The following feedback from a parent explains how attending a funeral has helped a 5-year-old girl:

“The person it all helped the most was Chloe. She’s been sleeping better and talking much more openly about it all. Seeing that so many people feel the same helped ‘normalise’ her pain and confusion. And the focus on happy memories helped her to think about her dad with more lightness.”

For The Celebrant Directory, I wrote an article in which I explain why attending a funeral can be a healthy, healing and positive experience for children. I also provide some advice and ideas on how to prepare young children for a funeral and how to include them, tailored to their age group.

Children are wise, resilient and very creative. They might surprise you positively with their views on death and their ideas for a funeral. Including them in a funeral will not only help them in their grieving process, it will also help everyone else to see the beauty, hope and light that life, even in death, brings.

Read the full article here.

I would like to thank Anna Groot and Sacred Stones Ltd for allowing me to share their photos, and the families for the case studies that are included in the article.


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