Talking with Children about Cremations

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July 6, 2020
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Talking about cremation services in Dayton, OH to children will often be a simultaneous talk with them about death itself. Since the death of a loved one, such as a grandparent, maybe your child’s first experience with death, it’s important that you talk with them about death and cremations in a way that is appropriate for their ability to understand and that brings them comfort.

For some children, the death of a family member or friend they love that happens when they are very young is the first time in their lives that they become, on some level, aware of mortality, death, and dying. However, even older children who may be familiar with these concepts, may not know much, if anything, about what exactly happens after someone dies.

A good way to start talking about cremations with your children is to ask them if they have questions after a loved one has died. Their questions will help you know what they need to hear, what they’re ready to hear, and how to allay any fears or concerns they might have.

This will help you ensure that you convey the right level of detail and information they need to satisfactorily answer their questions and to ease their fears and concerns. Follow your children’s lead by talking about the things that they are most interested in knowing, making sure that it’s appropriate for their ages.

Since very young children may not be able to fully comprehend the concept of death, the most important aspect of cremation for them to understand is that their loved one will not suffer any pain during the cremation process.

One of the ways you can introduce them to death in this conversation is to tell them that death itself ended all the pain and suffering of their loved ones. Let them know the body was just a temporary house for the spirit of their loved one, and when the death occurred, the spirit left the body.

Without the spirit, the body can’t feel pain or anything else. Make sure they understand that the spirit, which can’t be seen, and the body, which can be seen, are two different things. Using the analogy of a butterfly exiting its cocoon may be an excellent way to illustrate this concept to very small children.

After children understand death, it will be much easier to talk with them about cremation. You want to explain cremation in a way that doesn’t make your children afraid, so there are few guidelines that can be helpful:

  • Stay calm and objective when discussing cremation and keep your explanations simple.
  • Don’t use words that might trigger the alarm.
  • If your family has religious beliefs, use them to help explain what happens to the spirit after death.
  • Let your children know that their feelings and their questions are normal. Make sure they also understand that it’s okay to be sad and to cry. Let them know you’re there for them.

School-age children may be able to handle more detailed explanations about cremations, but the information should not cause fear or concern or nightmares. School-age children may be more interested in why someone would choose to be cremated instead of buried. If you know the specific reasons why a loved one made the choice to be cremated, then talk with your children about them.

The most important thing for your children, when you are talking with them about death and cremations, is honesty. This is an important step in maturing for your children and lying to them about any aspect is doing them a disservice.

For more information about cremation services offered in Dayton, OH, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service is here to assist you.

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