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The Time of Death can be mystifying and troubling to a young person.We at Boakes Funeral Home, Inc., help children understand the processes of dying, death and bereavement and how it affects their lives. Our children's program offers interactive discussions of what happens when a person dies, what the children will see, and examination of the caskets help children deal with the situation in an honest and caring setting before seeing their grandparent or other loved one. We encourage children to be part of the funeral by putting pictures, letters or other meaningful items in the casket. Young people may also act as honourary pallbearers during the service.
How Should I Explain Death?Death is a subject most of us do not like to talk about but eventually we all have to face it. We, at Boakes Funeral Home, Inc. would like to help prepare your family before the need arises. We have designed a program to meet the needs of your family, in respect to the ages of your children, your faith issues and cultural beliefs.
When & How Do We Participate?Individual appointments will be made for your family or group at a time that is mutually convenient to your family and ours. The program is best conducted at Boakes Funeral Home, Inc. this gives the children more of a hands on approach to learning. The intention of the program is to give a better understanding, and remove the mystery around what happens when a person dies. Depending on the ages of your children, and the size of your family or group, we would like you to allow us 60 minutes for discussion, tour, and questions.
2. The child will probably have many questions and may need to ask them again and again.
3. The child will not know appropriate behaviour for the situation.
4. The child may fear that they also may die or that they somehow caused the death.
5. The child may wish to be a part of the family rituals.
6. The child may show regressive behaviour.
Adults can help prepare a child deal with future loses of those who are significant by helping the child handle smaller losses through sharing their feelings when a pet dies or when death is discussed in a story or on television.
In helping children understand and cope with death, remember four key concepts: Be Loving, Be Accepting, Be Truthful and Be Consistent.
EXPLANATIONS THAT MAY NOT HELP
Outlined below are explanations that adults may give to a child to explain why the person they loved his died. Unfortunately, simple, but dishonest answers can only serve to increase the fear and uncertainty that the child is feeling. Children tend to be very literal - - if an adult says that "Grandpa/Grandma died because they were old and tired" the child may wonder when they too will be too old and they certainly get tired - - what is tired enough to die?