William G. Harris, Supervisor

Daniel Kovacs, Supervisor

Laurel Highlands Crematory

Helping Children with Funerals


When a child is grieving, it is up to the adult to step in as a role model and helper. One of the first oportunities for a child to exprss grief is at a funeral. Too often, children are not included in the funeral because adults want to protect them. Funerals can be very painful, but children have to be involved and they are important to survivors of any age because they:

  • help acknowledge that someone has died
  • provide a structure to support and assist them through initial mourning
  • provide a time to honor, remember and affirm the life of a person
  • allow for a "search for meaning" within the context their beliefs

Children usually don't know what to expect when attending a funeral. You can help by explaining what will happen. Let the child's questions and natural curiosity guide the discussion. You might tell them what the room will look like, or if the body is to be viewed, let them know in advance.

Help them understand why we have funeral, and how we use them as a time to say goodbye. This is a good time to explain your beliefs about life and death. Never force your child to participate. Understand and accept their way of mourning, explain to them how to behave at funerals.

Most importantly, being there for a bereaved child is the best way you can help. Grieving children need to know that they are not alone. Remember to observe them, being patient and available.

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