The Difficult Decision: Should a Child View an Open Casket?


Introduction to the Pros and Cons of a Child Viewing an Open Casket

Introduction to the Pros and Cons of a Child Viewing an Open Casket

Viewing a loved one in an open casket can be a difficult but necessary part of the funeral process. For children, it can be especially hard because they might not understand exactly what is going on. However, there may be some therapeutic value to allowing your child to view the body and participate in closure rituals associated with it. It’s important for caregivers to understand both potential benefits and drawback when attempting such emotional care for young children at funerals.


The primary benefit of letting your child observe their deceased loved one in an open casket is that it gives them a sense of closure that could help them better comprehend, process and move through their grief. Seeing their own family tradition firsthand demonstrates how the event is supposed to proceed. In addition, this experience helps kids recognize that death doesn’t necessarily mean a complete absence –that memories and love will remain with them in some way, even after someone has passed on. Finally, acknowledging death at an early age can also promote social-emotional awareness later on as children enter adulthood.


For young kids especially, attending a funeral can instill deep fear or extremely strong emotions which they are unable to handle properly without proper preparation beforehand or proper support afterwards. Some people even believe that viewing the person’s body in its traditional repose (versus cremation) could disturb children for long periods of time as they try to process what happened in life as well as after death. Additionally, if caregivers lack appropriate coping skills themselves or if there are real medical restrictions involved due to illness or injury – allowing them access to the display could potentially aggravate already existing conditions rather than helping resolve any negative feelings related to passing away from this world prematurely .

Allowing your child access into the viewing room should always be done with care –and must only come after careful consideration between all involved parties– including those

What Should Parents Consider Before Letting a Child View an Open Casket?

The decision to allow a child to view an open casket can be difficult and highly personal, as it impacts both the parent and their child. As such, there are several factors that every parent should carefully consider before making this decision.

First, parents should consider the emotional maturity of the child. Open caskets may evoke a variety of emotions for children, ranging from sadness to confusion or fear. If a child is too young or not emotionally ready to understand death, viewing a casket could be detrimental to their mental health and emotional stability; thus, it is important for parents to assess how able their children are of processing this information in a healthy way.

Second, parents should evaluate whether their children had a meaningful relationship with the deceased person. Open caskets provide families with procedures of closure they often cannot get elsewhere; however, in order for them to gain meaningful closure through viewing an open casket, they must have shared some type of bond with the deceased individual beforehand. If your chid did not have any sort of connection with the deceased person except hearing about them secondhand stories or remembering old photos, then allowing them to view an open casket might not be necessary or beneficial for your family dynamics.

Finally, parents need determine if their own spiritual beliefs will impact the way their children process seeing someone lying in an open coffin. Different religious and faith traditions believe differently about death and afterlife; therefore it is important for each parent finds out if taking part in funeral attendance rituals line up with what he or she have instilled religiously on his or her household over time. Furthermore, it is worth evaluating if your child’s zest curiosity surrounding death can come off from being comforted by faith verses science so early on his or her developing stages psychologically speaking—only then you can declare with certainty what instructions you grant him when directly exposed with arduous circumstances like those served when attending funerals involving an opened coffin display conventionaly seen by our culture today

How to Prepare a Child for Viewing an Open Casket – Step by Step

Step 1: Before having your child view the open casket, it is important to discuss with them why attending the funeral is so important. This conversation should include explaining what a funeral is and why people hold them for their loved ones who have died. Understanding this helps children to build respect for the process and accept that saying goodbye to someone they know in an open casket may be an important part of their grieving process.

Step 2: It’s also important to ask your child whether or not they would like to attend the viewing of the open casket, as some children may feel uncomfortable with or frightened by the prospect of seeing their loved one deceased. If they express interest in participating, begin talking about what will happen at the viewing and how it will help them say goodbye. Explain that it can be normal to feel sadness during this time and encourage them to share any emotions they might feel there.

Step 3: Assure your child that they don’t need to worry about how long they stay at the viewing; remind them there will be no pressure on them while they pay respects and say goodbye. Ask if there are any questions during this explanation that give you an opportunity to provide reassurance if needed.

Step 4: Offer resources such as books or stories with images about death so that your child has a greater understanding of what happens when people die before attending a viewing or funeral service themselves. If appropriate, try suggesting different coping strategies such as drawing pictures or writing letters as ways of expressing emotion surrounding this difficult topic which may help make it easier for your child communicate his/her feelings without speaking directly.

Step 5: Once you arrive at church / funeral home on day of service, explain exactly where you’ll go and show your child pictures displays within room so everything feels familiar when entering + established expectations (i.e., staying close by mommy/daddy & no running around). Letting your young one know these details beforehand

Common Questions & Answers About Children Seeing an Open Casket

We all have questions when it comes to the sensitive subject of a child witnessing an open casket visitation or funeral. With so many emotions bubbling up during this difficult time, it can be hard to find the answers. Here are some common questions and answers about allowing a child to witness an open-casket visitation or funeral service, as well as some tips for how to help your child better cope with their grief.

Q: Should I let my child see an open casket?

A: Ultimately, this decision is entirely yours depending on your comfort level and the age of your child. It helps to consider a few key points first that may assist you in making an informed decision for what’s best for you and your family. First and foremost, does seeing their loved one’s body invoke further distress or closure? If the answer is yes, then in most cases, you can go ahead with allowing them to view the deceased if they choose. Secondly, consider the age of your child — viewing the deceased may come naturally depending on their maturity level (the same way each person has different limits regarding what they can emotionally handle). Lastly, speak with other family members beforehand; if there’s consensus among everyone who makes such decisions that it’s best not to allow children at an open-casket visitation or funeral service due to age or emotional instability issues within the family then you should honor those wishes.

Q: How do I prepare my child for viewing an open casket?

A: An important first step is educating them about death prior so they feel equipped with knowledge during this challenging time – simply explain that death is natural but permanent and give clear examples of how it affects us differently depending on our relationship with the deceased (e.g., our grandfather passing away). Explain in advance why you are taking them along; if another significant adult will also be present for comfort then talk about what this means too — showing compassion towards children by

Top 5 Facts About a Child Seeing an Open Casket

1. It Can Be an Intensely Traumatic Experience

Seeing a loved one in an open casket can be an intensely traumatic experience, especially for a child. During the viewing period, it’s common to feel overwhelmed by sorrow and grief; seeing the loved one in their current state of death can lead to sadness, anger and confusion. This range of emotions is likely exaggerated for a child who hasn’t fully developed cognitive maturity for understanding the concept of death and mortality. If you are considering having a child view an open casket, do so only if it will not cause additional emotional harm or trauma.

2. It Can Lead to Questions About Death

For young children, viewing an open casket might spark questions about death and dying that they don’t yet understand — such as where did the loved one go? Will they ever come back? Seeing someone present yet missing from life can be overwhelming and confusing; because of this, it’s important to take time to answer any curious or difficult questions with age-appropriate explanations ahead of attending the funeral service.

3. It Helps Normalize Death Acknowledgment in the Home Environment

Viewing an open casket helps normalize death conversation and acknowledgement within the home environment– particularly if similar rituals have been previously absent or downplayed in your home culture (e.g., religious dynamics). Having conversations around death and dying is critical to helping your child process impending loss while also developing body awareness while teaching important emotional regulation skills which will impact them throughout their lifespan development trajectory.

4. It Enables Opportunity for Mutual Support Platforms

Because each family member may process emotion differently during a period of bereavement–especially dependent on their age stage –viewing deceased bodies together enables opportunity for mutual support platforms among family members despite age differences and varying levels of knowledge about deceased relative/loved one details like diseases or terminal conditions – allowing everyone involved know full extent of comprehension &/or intensity level

Conclusion – Weighing the Pros and Cons of a Child Viewing an Open Casket

The decision whether or not to allow a child to view an open casket is one that weighs heavily on parents and other family members who are grieving the loss of a loved one. While it is not recommended for small children due to their age and lack of understanding, teenagers may benefit from viewing an open casket. Weighing the positive and negative aspects can help determine if allowing a child to see the deceased is in their best interest.

On the pros side, witnessing the reality of death may be more comfortable than holding onto out-of-reality expectations. Seeing physical evidence that life truly ends can bring closure; this notion allows room for acceptance, which can be hard to come by when dealing with such a difficult topic. Furthermore, attending funeral services with surviving family members constitutes part of being present—an experience that helps promote healthy grief responses in adolescents as well as adults (Janicka et al., 2018). It is suggested that children have reflective conversations around bereavement following time with the deceased at a viewing (Villarreal & Rush, 2019). Lastly, providing opportunity for children to say goodbye plays an important role in allowing them control over how they process a death and provide closure through remembrance and acknowledgement (Freeman et al., 2011).

Conversely there lies some risks associated with exposing younger children who are unable to fully comprehend what it means for someone close to them—mentally let alone emotionally—to be gone forever, according to Atun et al., 2017). Additionally, younger children’s attendance could interfere with those paying tribute or further agitate those emotionally affected by mourners crying while near the deceased body of the loved one (Freeman et al., 20111). Furthermore, forcing a child into an uncomfortable situation not tailored appropriately towards his/her age level could possibly deteriorate perceived quality interactions within mixed family structures during times of bereavement based on Janicka et al., 2018 findings.

In conclusion, different cultural approaches vary when The Big