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Determine your child’s comfort level when dealing with death of loved ones

June 8th, 2012 · No Comments · It's a Matter of Life

Kenneth McKenzie
Columnist

Do you take a child to see a deceased relative or not? I can only speak from my own experience.
I am very grateful to my mother that she had the common sense to simply ask the four of us kids if we wanted to go see our father’s body the day after his death. We all four quickly responded, “Yes!”
I hear horror stories from countless people over the years how their mother or father made them go to an open-casket funeral and they were brought up front to the casket to view the deceased. Many of the people telling these stories still suffer and give off clear discomfort while speaking.
Children seem to embrace death better than most adults. If you have to deal with a death and you have young children, my suggestion would be to talk to the child. I am not a psychologist. I can only tell you what I have witnessed. Ask the child if they want to go to the funeral. Ask if they want to see the person that has passed. Children will tell you very clearly how they feel, with a simple yes or no.
Those who do not wish to see the deceased, or simply may be too young to understand, do well with drawing a picture or writing a letter and placing it, or having the parent place it, in the casket or within the urn of the person who has died.

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