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Have the Talk of a Lifetime

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Children learn about life and loss through fiction. It’s a safe place for them to identify with a character and see the decisions that character makes, along with the consequences. It’s where they can vicariously feel loss and examine those emotions. More importantly, they bond with the person with whom they are sharing the story.

Five Tips for Talking to Children about Death

I often get asked, “Is it difficult to be a funeral director?” Yes, it can be. But also, being a funeral director and serving families during their most difficult times is an honor and a privilege. For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to care for others. Funerals are an important part of grieving, for both adults and children, and I take a special interest in meeting the needs of children. Funerals offer us a time to say our last good-byes and help start the realization that a loved one is no longer with us physically. Two questions I often get from parents are, “Should my child attend a funeral,” and “How do I talk to my child about death and the events to come?”

When it comes to painful, complex realities, it can be difficult to know how much we should share with children. Many people have an instinct to protect kids. But as someone who has worked with and advocated for grieving children for many decades, I’ve learned that what they really need is honesty combined with steadfast care.