Here are some thoughts to help you with planning the day of the funeral, dealing with practicalities and looking after yourself and your family:
The order of service
If you decide that you want an order of service for the funeral you may want to include photographs of your child on the service sheet. Don't be afraid to ask other people to help out with the order of service and other practical tasks.
As there may be a lot of people at the service you might want to ask a friend or the funeral director to arrange to take a list of names as people enter the service so that you know who attended.
Relaying the service
It may be possible to relay the service outside the church or crematorium in case there are more people attending than can be accommodated. Again, this is something that you can ask a friend or family member to check for you before the day of the funeral.
If you have other children who want to attend the funeral they may need some explanations and preparation so that they will know what to expect. You could ask a trusted adult to keep a watchful eye over them and reassure them that there is someone to turn to during the day if you are not available to them at any time.
The day of your child’s funeral is likely to be both physically and emotionally exhausting. If you are worried about how you will manage think about talking to your GP.
After the funeral
You may want to get together after the funeral with family, friends and people from your child's community. This might just be taking some time to talk to people following the funeral. You could also:
- Make arrangements to meet at a local hotel, a place of worship or community venue and invite people to attend the funeral. You can then choose whether your not you wish to go.
- Arrange for people to come back to your home. You may like to think about asking a friend or family member to be responsible for asking people to leave when you want to have time alone.
Your family and friends will understand that you need to do what is right for you, even if this means that you prefer to have time for yourself without making any special arrangements for others.
We wanted the funeral to be a celebration of our daughter's life. We knew that there were going to be lots of young people there and it may well have been the first funeral they had been to. So we wanted to make it something they would like. We put a lot of thought into it and asked her friends what music they thought we should have.
Reviewed July 2014, next planned review 2017