Unfortunately, this past year my family had 2 funerals to attend. My husband’s uncle and my aunt passed away after both being sick for a while.
For us, it was never a question on whether we would take our children to the funerals. There were other children in attendance at both.
As they were running around and playing with their cousins, I decided that kids DO belong at funerals. (Of course, during the service they were not allowed to run, play, or be disruptive. And when my 2 year old did get fussy, I was sure we left the room before we disturbed anyone.)
In thinking about the events I realized there are several reasons why I believe children should go to family funerals. Here’s why:
- First and foremost – as awful as it is, death is a part of life. Children are naturally curious about life and death. Especially with video games and movies that portray death rather often and lightly. Instead of letting the television teach what death is – I want to have that conversation with my children.
- Children lighten the mood. Both Tony’s uncle and my aunt loved children and loved having them around playing. So we knew their laughter and smiles would be appreciated. When my mother was especially sad about seeing her sister for the last time – it was my 2 year old hugging her that helped stop the tears.
- In some symbolic way – children at a funeral remind us that life is cyclical. Life always goes on. And it’s a good time for that reminder.
- It’s an opportunity for us to get to see our extended families. While we try to see our families as much as possible, it’s never as often as we would like. And while this is a sad occasion – it is still a chance to see everyone.
Of course, I understand and agree that all children and families are different and that should be taken into consideration when making the decision for you and yours.
Now, hopefully this is not something anyone has to think about again for a very long time.