Explaining Death To Your Child

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Explaining Death To Your Child

The death of a loved one takes it’s toll on everyone, even children. The first time your child experiences a death in the family, they may have a lot of questions. They may not fully understand the concept of death. Children may not also be able to fully understand the abstract of an afterlife, if they are taught that through their religion. The first death in the family for a child may be a learning experience on the realities of life and death. It is important to communicate with your children.
Children will usually ask questions. You should encourage them to ask questions about death. A child’s natural curiosity is healthy, especially in a situation where they may not be able to fully grasp the concept of death. The loss of a loved one in young children can be a hard process to understand without being able to ask questions and look for answers themselves.
It is alright for children to cry. It is OK if they do not. Every child grieves in their own way; no two will feel loss in the same way. Children may experience headaches or anxiety due to loss. They may even show signs of regressive behavior, such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking. Some may experience anger and aggressive behavior. Denial is also a common reaction for children.
Children that have never been to a funeral may not know what to expect from one. Explain to them what happens during the wake and funeral ceremonies. Funerals are as much about the death of the person as they are about remembering their life.
Adults sometimes struggle with whether or not to bring up religion with children at this time. This is a very complex issue, and one that may be hard for them to fully understand. If you decide to bring up religion into the conversation, try to explain it concretely. Children may not be able to understand abstract concepts and theological ideas fully, especially if they are young.
Matthew Funeral Home has bereavement  resources and literature geared towards children available upon request.

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