Should You Take A Child to a Funeral?
Christ, that’s probably the most depressing title for a blog post I’ve ever written, but it’s a question I found myself asking last week. *pours a double vodka*
I had mentioned that my Uncle Tony sadly passed away two weeks ago and I felt it only right that I paid my respects and went to his funeral, even though it was a five hour drive away. My family and I had decided to stay overnight as it was so far away and I didn’t want to leave Dexter behind.
I had never taken Dexter to a funeral before and, unfortunately, there have been a few since he was born (including my Mum’s,) but at eight years old, was he now old enough to cope?
I don’t think what I decided is the right or wrong answer because there are so many factors to take into account: a child’s age, available support, the child’s character.
The determining factor for me, apart from what type of person Dexter is, is what type of person my Uncle was. He was a bloody ray of sunshine that bloke and, granted, I didn’t live with him, (and we all know how different it is living with someone 24/7!) but I just knew that as poignant and sad as the funeral would be, it would also be filled with a lot of laughter.
And, I was right.
I had explained to Dexter beforehand that we were all sad and that he would see some people cry, but that actually, a funeral was our way of saying goodbye. It would give us all a chance to think about what a nice person Uncle Tony was.
Dexter was a superstar. He coped brilliantly and was pretty much just uber excited about staying in a Travelodge. He even managed with the tragic news that … breakfast wasn’t included.
I was glad I took him. It’s a fact of life that these days, we just don’t see my extended family unless it’s at a wedding or funeral – and I ain’t get married any time soon … CLEARLY! So Dexter got to see Uncle Ken, and Uncle Mike … cousins Rosie, Matt, Dan, Manda, Lee and Paul. He got to give Auntie Sandra a much needed cuddle and made pretty much everyone smile.
It was the right thing to do … for us.