Funerals, weddings, graduations and other milestones are all important events in the life of a family. It is our belief that – with proper preparation and support – even young children should be encouraged – but not forced – to attend visitations and funerals. Children lack knowledge and vocabulary surrounding death and funerals. So, before attending a visitation or funeral it is important to take time to explain funeral customs and “talk through” with your child what they will experience. Children are very literal in their thinking, so use simple, honest, age-appropriate language such as “died, dead, viewing, casket, and buried” and avoid euphemisms such as “sleeping or passed away or gone” because, due to their abstract nature, those terms are very confusing to small children. If Mom and Dad are unable, assign a trusted adult to be with your child the entire time they are at the visitation or funeral. That trusted adult can answer the child’s questions as they occur and offer comfort as needed. A three hour visitation is way too long for a young child’s normal attention span. We suggest that you limit young children’s time in attendance to no more than an hour. When you return home, “debrief them” by asking them to tell you what they saw and heard and what they have questions about. Use that opportunity to reassure your child and clear up any of their misconceptions.