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Explaining the loss of a loved one to your child is never easy. When that loved one has opted for their remains to be cremated, you may face even more of a challenge. Your child won't get to see the casket being buried in the ground or attend an open casket wake. However, there are still ways to explain cremation to your child in a way that is honest, yet comforting. Here are some tips to help you with this process.
Focus on the turning of the body into ashes.
Your child's experience with fire and burning is probably associated with campfires, cooking, and being careful not to burn themselves. Thus, they may have trouble grasping the idea that in this case, fire being used to incinerate a body is an okay or good thing. For young children, it is okay to simply leave this detail out. Just say the funeral home will be turning your loved one's body into ashes. Most children won't ask for too many more details. If they do, you can say that your loved one is put into a very warm room to make this happen.
Make sure your child knows this is just a body.
Children often have trouble understanding death because they think of the body as a person. You can help them understand death, and therefore why cremation is okay, by explaining that when a person dies, they leave their body behind. That body is not that person—it is just a physical place where their spirit was staying. So cremating the body is not hurting that person. Amend this explanation according to your own religious beliefs, of course.
Explain how you'll honor your loved one's ashes.
Another way to ease your child's feelings around cremation is to explain how you will honor your loved one with the ashes. You can discuss places where you may want to go spread the ashes together and explain how this process helps you remember your loved one. You can also discuss how cremation makes it easier for you to keep your loved one close by since you can store the ashes in an urn in your home.
Explaining cremation to a child can be challenging, but the tips above will help guide you. Reach out to cremation services such as Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel if you need additional tips and advice. They will likely tell you what has worked for other parents in your situation.Share
16 May 2019