There’s a fine line to walk when it comes to children and funerals. Obviously, it’s important to make sure the child does not disrupt the service in any way. However, when the child is old enough to behave, the child may be confused or concerned by the service. The child could easily end up with a lot of questions and concerns, especially if it’s the child’s first exposure to a real life death.

My general rule is that babies at visitation and after-funeral celebrations are a nice touch, as long as the baby. They comfort some people and seem to remind people of the circle of life. It’s important to make sure said baby is well-rested and fed because a fussy baby provides comfort to no one, especially the parent.

Older children are tougher. I did not bring my kids to my mother’s funeral because they were 1.5 and 3 and I simply couldn’t deal with traveling with them across country and trying to mourn for my mother at the same time. I felt like I would be too distracted to grieve properly. My mom lived across the country, so my kids didn’t see her enough to notice a disruption in their lives. If they had been six or seven, I might have considered bringing them.

How have you handled funeral situations? What age is appropriate for family funerals?


Photo via Flickr.

Christa T. Palmer (265 Posts)

Christa T. Palmer is a mother of 2 small children who lives in Colorado. She worked in the corporate world for more than a decade, but she was laid off the day after returning from maternity leave. Since then, she has worked as a freelance writer.