Going to a funeral can be a challenging idea for people of all ages. For kids who have never attended a funeral before, the fear of the unknown can be intense. They may have a wide variety of preconceived notions about funerals based on things they have seen on television or in scary movies. They may even have myths in their head from things that they have heard others say about funerals and death. Here are four common myths that kids really shouldn't believe about funerals.
Myth #1: The deceased person may move in their coffin after death.
Truth: Here's one common myth that terrifies kids: many people fear that the dead may move in their coffin. While there once were incidents of people coming back to life after being presumed dead, modern medical science is not going to allow that to happen. Nowadays, bodies are embalmed before being placed in the coffin, and there is no way that someone could then come to life even if a medical miracle healed them.
Myth #2: People must be quiet throughout the entire funeral.
Truth: Children are naturally going to have a hard time sitting through an entire funeral service, but they should be on their best behavior. They don't have to be quiet for the entire funeral, though. There may be specific times where people are encouraged to share memories, and other specific times of the funeral may be set aside for visiting with one another. Establish a signal with your child to let them know when it is okay to chat.
Myth #3: People who attend the funeral must see the deceased person.
Truth: The truth is that many memorial services are closed-casket funerals. That simply means that the casket will be closed throughout the entire memorial service. Although the person's body may be shown during the wake, the body may not visible during the funeral itself. Even if the funeral does include an open casket, explain to your child that they may look away from the viewing if they want.
Myth #4: Both kids and adults must bring flowers to a funeral.
Truth: Although floral arrangements are welcomed and appreciated at many funerals, not everyone will appreciate this gesture. Some religions exclude flowers as part of the rituals of burial while in other cases families will establish a memorial fund for those who wish to give a gift. Explain to your child that not everyone wants flowers, but add that bringing flowers is something that you should consider when attending a funeral.
Finally, keep in mind that your child may feel embarrassed about believing in myths. Break the truth to them gently, making sure to figure out why they had the wrong idea about funerals. Talking things out can help both you and your child feel better when you go to the funeral.
Talk to a funeral home such as Maham Funeral Home for more tips.