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Arranging a Funeral for a Child

Losing a child is a devastating experience that no parent should ever have to face. Yet, in the tragic event of a child’s passing, families are often tasked with the daunting responsibility of arranging their funeral. Amidst overwhelming grief, navigating the logistics of planning a farewell can seem insurmountable.

However, with thoughtful consideration and support, families can honour their child’s memory in a meaningful way. Here’s a comprehensive guide to arranging a child’s funeral, addressing key considerations and steps in the process.

Letting Other People Know

Informing family, friends, and loved ones about the passing of a child is an emotionally challenging yet necessary step. Consider enlisting the help of close relatives or friends to assist in making phone calls or sending messages, alleviating some of the immediate burden.

In today’s digital age, utilising social media platforms or online obituaries can be an efficient way to reach a broader network of acquaintances. Craft a heartfelt message or announcement, ensuring sensitivity and clarity in communicating the details of the child’s passing and funeral arrangements.

Choosing the Location

Selecting the appropriate location for the funeral is a deeply personal decision, often influenced by cultural, religious, and familial traditions. Families may opt for a religious institution, funeral home chapel, or even a serene outdoor setting that holds special significance.

Consider the child’s preferences, if known, or consult with family members to choose a venue that reflects their spirit and essence. Ensure that the chosen location accommodates the anticipated number of attendees and provides the necessary facilities for the funeral service.

Arranging Refreshments

Funerals can be draining, tiring affairs for all involved. Some people will also have to travel a long distance, adding further to the discomfort. Under such circumstances, some refreshments can be very welcome.

You don’t have to spend a lot on refreshments, with sandwiches and a drink fine for most people. However, others might want to be more lavish and lay on a fine buffet for the guests. Arranging refreshments is not mandatory at funerals, and many would save the catering for the wake instead.

Choose the Type of Funeral

When it comes to the type of funeral, families have various options to consider, each offering a distinct way to honour the child’s memory. Traditional funeral services typically involve religious or cultural rituals, including prayers, hymns, and eulogies, providing comfort and closure to mourners.

Alternatively, families may opt for a celebration of life ceremony, focusing on commemorating the child’s life and cherished memories. This approach allows for personalisation and creativity, encouraging attendees to share stories and anecdotes that capture the child’s essence.

Ultimately, the type of funeral chosen should resonate with the family’s values and preferences, serving as a meaningful tribute to the child’s life.

Inviting Guests

Deciding whom to invite to the funeral can be a delicate task, particularly considering the sensitive nature of the occasion. Start by compiling a list of immediate family members, close friends, teachers, classmates, and other significant individuals in the child’s life. Reach out to invitees with personalised invitations or notifications, providing essential details such as the date, time, and location of the funeral.

Consider establishing a designated point of contact or coordinator to assist with RSVPs and logistical arrangements, ensuring a seamless and respectful gathering. Encourage attendees to share anecdotes, memories, or tributes during the service, fostering a sense of communal support and remembrance.

Arranging a Wake

Following the funeral service, families may choose to host a wake or gathering to further commemorate the child’s life and offer solace to mourners. Wakes provide an opportunity for reflection, shared reminiscences, and mutual support among grieving individuals.

Select a venue that accommodates the anticipated number of guests and facilitates meaningful interactions, such as a family home, community centre, or reception hall. Consider incorporating personalised touches, such as displaying photographs, mementoes, or cherished possessions that evoke fond memories of the child.

Provide refreshments and food for attendees and create a warm, inviting atmosphere conducive to healing and connection. Encourage guests to share stories, offer condolences, and extend support to one another during this challenging time.

Speak with a Funeral Director

Navigating the complexities of arranging a child’s funeral can be overwhelming, prompting families to seek guidance and assistance from a compassionate funeral director. Professional funeral directors like the team at Family Funerals are trained professionals who specialise in coordinating funeral services and providing support to grieving families. Schedule a consultation with a reputable funeral home or director to discuss the family’s wishes, preferences, and logistical requirements.

The funeral director can offer invaluable assistance in organising the funeral service, coordinating with vendors, and ensuring that all necessary arrangements are handled with care and sensitivity. Additionally, funeral directors can provide resources and referrals for grief counselling, support groups, and other services to help families cope with their loss and navigate the grieving process.

Speak With a Counsellor

Losing a child is one of the most painful experiences imaginable and it’s often best to speak with a trained counsellor to help you manage your emotions. Charities like Grief Australia are there to help people grieving the loss of a loved one. 


Arranging a child’s funeral is an emotionally taxing and deeply personal undertaking for families confronted with unimaginable loss. By carefully considering the aforementioned steps and seeking support from loved ones and professionals, families can create a meaningful and dignified farewell that honours the child’s life and legacy. Through shared remembrance, support, and love, families can find solace and strength amidst the profound grief of losing a beloved child.

If you have any questions regarding funerals for children, get in touch and the team at Family Funerals and we will be happy to help however we can.