Home > Children > Children and Cremation

Children and Cremation

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 14 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Cremation Death Relative

Most children are unfamiliar with the cremation, so the death of a friend or relative which results in cremation may be a very confusing time for them. Children whose lives will be touched by cremation will probably require some information to understand the decision and process. Explaining death to children, explaining cremation to children and involving children in cremation decisions are all important to ensure that children have an idea of what is happening following a death.

Explaining Death To Children

How to explain death to a child will depend upon the age of the child and that particular child’s personality. However, if cremation is going to occur (or has occurred) following a death, then the adult explaining death will probably want to focus on an explanation that focuses on the fact that once a friend or relative is dead, the body that is left is not really that person any longer. Whether the adult wants to discuss a spirit or soul is obviously a personal decision, but by assuring children that the body no longer houses the personality of their loved one it will be easier to then explain why a burial or cremation is needed for the deceased.

Explaining Cremation To Children

The most basic level of cremation – the burning of a body – should not be communicated bluntly to a child. No matter the age or personality, most children will hear the word “burn” and not be able to focus on much else. It would be extremely upsetting for anyone to believe that a loved one was being burned but children, who often have a tenuous understanding of death, may well believe that their loved one is somehow being burned alive and therefore will be in danger and pain. Instead, adults might want to focus on explaining that the deceased will be in a very hot room and that (s)he will eventually be returned to the family as ashes.

Adults should try to keep these explanations simple and answer directly only the questions that a child has asked. If a child wants to know more, (s)he will ask further questions but it may be that by giving more information than the child requires (s)he could become overwhelmed by it all.

Involving Children In Cremation Decisions

Children will usually not be involved in the decision to cremate a deceased loved one or not, but if an adult believes that they would benefit from some involvement in the process then there are some decisions that children can help make. Involving children in the process by asking them to help with urn selection, urn placement, the scattering of ashes or memorial services before or after the cremation can all help children feel more involved in the process. This involvement will of course depend on the age and inclination of particular children, so it is not recommended that children be pushed to be involved or make a decision with which they are not comfortable.

Children are not necessarily familiar with cremation. Explaining death and cremation, and allowing them opportunities to be involved with cremation related decisions if they desire to be so, will help children become more comfortable with the process.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Anni
    Re: Purchasing a Burial Plot
    I have cancer and wanted to buy a plot before I die how much are they
    1 December 2018
  • Gaga
    Re: Bereavement Payment
    My daughters father past away a year ago (was killed) so what I can apply for to help support my child we was no longer together before hand…
    26 November 2018
  • Gaga
    Re: Bereavement Payment
    My daughters father past away a year ago so what I apply for to help support my child we was no longer together before hand but his was still…
    26 November 2018
  • Julie
    Re: How to Help My Sister Get Over the Death of Husband?
    My sister lost her husband of 43 years to cancer. 7 months before that we lost our mother. I still…
    26 November 2018
  • Stu
    Re: The Rights to Obtain a Headstone?
    My grandmother died way back in 1925. Her grave was only marked by a boulder with no inscription. After many years I have…
    25 November 2018
  • spencer
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    do you wish to hack a facebook account or maybe instagram account? maybe you suspect your spouse of cheating but you…
    24 November 2018
  • Gdong 30
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My mother died suddenly and her new husband of 1 year says her house and any assets are his, he says she didn’t have a will or life…
    23 November 2018
  • Stevy
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    My grandma died with no will. She had nothing to leave but her share in the buisness which 2 out of her 3 children were part of. The…
    22 November 2018
  • Rico
    Re: What if There is No Will?
    Hello. Mr brother passed away..has a joint mortgage with his ex (not married)who has since re-married ..also had joint life cover…
    21 November 2018
  • elizabethremy
    Re: How Grief Affects Your Relationships
    Seven years ago, I found out accidentally that he was texting this same old girlfriend, and I told him that if it…
    19 November 2018