The passing of someone in the family is bound to affect everyone and in different ways. Generally speaking, it is usually the ones who were closest to the deceased that feel the pain of grief most profoundly. However, this does not mean that they are the only ones who might need to process their hurt. The youngest ones in the family that can also feel the impact of such loss pervading the family.
Children are the most susceptible to emotional cues and the atmosphere of the setting. They might not have been close to the deceased but they are able to pick up on the grief and mourning that the family is deep in. Given their vulnerable state of mind, it is, therefore, crucial that the young ones in the family have a solid support system.
For most of them, it could be their first time dealing with the loss of a family member or a friend. It becomes needless to say that they will definitely be unable to process the situation at hand. They might be in shock but lack the words to describe how they are feeling. The reality of absence might not even have dawned onto them; that they would not be able to see this person anymore. If you are the parent or guardian of a child, here are some pointers and tips you should be aware when bringing up the topic of death.
The age of the child matters a lot in how you will approach the subject with them. If they are older and reaching adolescence, you can start to discuss more abstract and complex issues pertaining to death and grief. If they are younger, such as small children, you should be honest and straightforward when engaging with them.
You should also assess their understanding of the situation. How curious are they about the matter? Are they able to understand and process the death of someone in the family? Given that grief is an ongoing experience, you should also let them know that you will be able to talk to them about any questions they might have sooner or later. It is useful to frame your conversation with them as an ongoing dialogue, instead of a one-off session. If the child was not close to the deceased, perhaps one or two discussions should suffice.
As much as one wants to shield the child from pain, it is usually best to be truthful. Children look to someone to clarify and to understand what just happened. Speaking honestly about death will help them process it in their own way. Not giving them clear answers will only feed into uncertainty and fear. Using euphemisms may also cause them to grow up with a misunderstood conception of death.
At Embrace Funeral Services, we strive to cater to the needs of the family during trying times of mourning and grief. Providing dignified funeral services in Singapore, we aim to help loved ones have a respectful ceremony in bidding farewell to the dearly departed.