A Viewing or Wake ~ This is where the body is laid out in an open coffin for all to view. Held at the funeral home
A Funeral or HomeGoing ~ The church service where we remember the deceased and the casket is closed and carried from the church
A Repass - After the body is taken to the cemetary, the family meets at the church for fellowship and dinner.
My daughter erupted in tears at the Wake and again at the funeral. I am sure the tears were from sadness, but I think some of them were also because she was scared and unprepared. I failed to tell her what to expect. I did not inform her that she would be seeing her grandmother's body. I did not tell her what a cemetery was. I could not prepare her seeing her father as he wept for his mother. Of course hindsight is 20/20. If I had it to do again, it would have definitely been different.
Here are few tips that I would recommend to get your child ready to deal with the loss of a loved one.
Explain life and death to your child.I cant tell you how to go about doing this because we all have different belief systems. One thing that is constant no matter what you believe is that we live and we die. Explain this in your terms.
Talk to your child about what to expect at a funeral.Again traditions vary but this can be a very shocking experience to a child that has no idea what happens.
Remember Your Love One.Help your child to think about the good times they had with their loved one. Bring out old pictures. Talk about fun times from the past and pleasant memories. Encourage them to speak on what they remember.
Send a Note to School.Explain to the administrators what has happened so that they will understand your child's possible behavior changes.
Allow your Child to be a part of the process.I love the way my husband's family included the children in the services. Naming the grandsons as pall bearers and presenting the grand daughters with roses were just 2 of the ways that I believe helped the kids to cope by participating. The girls also all wore gold ribbons and the boys wore gold ties.
Hugs.Hug your child. Its a simple gesture but when administered frequently can do wonders for understanding.
The funeral is over now, but the sadness still lingers. RIP to our dear Mother Juanita Taylor. Please pray for us as we go through this difficult time. I hope that you never have to experience such a loss. If you do, I hope that you find my tips helpful. Please share any tips you have in the comments, we would love to see them.
Thanks for reading.