Involving family and friends

When families and friends get involved in the activities around the funeral something happens. By reclaiming the funeral they can make meaning of their loss, of that someone who is precious and is gone. These ideas can be applied to traditional, contemporary and green funerals.

There are lots of ways to be as involved as you wish and feel able to be. You can be involved in making the arrangements, caring for the body, preparing for the funeral ceremony, choosing words and music, decorating the coffin or the space.

Extract from radio interview with Simon Smith of green fuse

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Find more information on involving family and friends. 

Involving Children

It is a good idea to encourage bereaved children to be involved in the preparations for the funeral and the funeral itself, without making it an obligation. A close death is unsettling and can make a child feel powerless. Research has shown that they benefit from involvement. It is generally not advisable to ‘protect’ children from the reality of death, but instead to give them clear and factual information suitable to their age, avoiding confusion and scope to imagine things and to discuss the funeral arrangements with them.

Children can:

make pictures or notes to go in the coffin

make a posy of flowers to go on or in the coffin

make a drape for the coffin or help to decorate it

be present at a viewing of the body or vigil, having prepared them with clear information about what they will see

choose a poem, reading, music or song for the funeral

read, sing or play music at the funeral

make petals from flowers to go in the grave

help to decorate the funeral venue

give ideas for the design of the ceremony sheet

be involved in the scattering or internment of the ashes

Helpsheet: children and funerals (pdf Download)