30 answers

Need Advice on Whether to Take My 21 Month Old to a Funeral??

My husbands grandmother just passed away and the funeral is this weekend. I am wondering if it is appropriate to take our 21 month old to the funeral. If the funeral was local then we could just stop in and leave if we needed to but it is in another state. I am most concerned with him disturbing the funeral. Has anyone take a child this age to a funeral? Would appreciate any advice you could give me.

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I am sorry for the loss...when my daughter was about that age (maybe a bit older) my grandfather passed and he adored her to no end. He had Alzehimers and couldn't (wouldn't) remember his sons but he remembered "his girl" lol ...anyway, I talked to my grandmother and I had a sitter for the actual funeral but afterwards at the house she was front and center and my grandmother wouldn't have had it any other way. I did take her to the visitation but her daddy left early with her b/c it was getting late and she was tired. My grandmother said having her there was a positive as everyone got to see "his girl" and she brought him happiness. If I had taken her to the funeral I would have sat to the side so that if she wandered to other graves/people I would be right there at her side looking at the pretty flowers.

2 moms found this helpful

I took my little one to a family funeral. I sat with the family, but on the end for in case I needed to make a quick retreat. He slept through most of it. For the time he was awake, I think he provided a nice diversion for the family.

1 mom found this helpful

I personally wouldn 't take him , they are so loud and into everything at that age (as they should be) and do not understand that they need to sit still and be quiet. I took my son to a funeral (my grandmother's) when he was 2 weeks old and he slept through the whole thing. My 22 month old now , I would not take her.

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I disagree. But my family would be offended if I didn't bring my child. A funeral is not just about sadness it's also about celebrating the person's life. At my great-aunt's funeral my son was 22 months and one of our best memories was of him and his cousins playing ring-around-the-rosie with my Grandmother (sister of the deceased) after (my great-aunt would have loved this). I think it is a decision you will have to make based on what you know of his family. Most of the family funerals I have been to have had some sort of child care for family. Maybe you could discuss it with your in-laws. Will there be any type of reception after? Perhaps your husband could go to the funeral service alone and then you and your son could join the rest of the family after. I don't think that it is a matter of appropriateness or not. Sit near the back and bring snacks and favorite quiet distractions if you feel like you should be there. HTH. The last funeral I attended (for my grandfather) I didn't bring my children and everyone else did and people kept asking where they were. It really depends on the family!

4 moms found this helpful

I am sorry for the loss...when my daughter was about that age (maybe a bit older) my grandfather passed and he adored her to no end. He had Alzehimers and couldn't (wouldn't) remember his sons but he remembered "his girl" lol ...anyway, I talked to my grandmother and I had a sitter for the actual funeral but afterwards at the house she was front and center and my grandmother wouldn't have had it any other way. I did take her to the visitation but her daddy left early with her b/c it was getting late and she was tired. My grandmother said having her there was a positive as everyone got to see "his girl" and she brought him happiness. If I had taken her to the funeral I would have sat to the side so that if she wandered to other graves/people I would be right there at her side looking at the pretty flowers.

2 moms found this helpful

Out of respect for the other people there to remember his grandmother, I wouldn't bring bring him. Even if you were able to step outside if he gets fussy or unruly, by then it's ALREADY too late. Funerals are for people who loved and cared about the deceased to remember and pray and mourn. A 21 month old can't do any of those things... so why would he be there?

That's just my opinion, of course.

T.

2 moms found this helpful

I am so sorry for your loss. I would say take her. Last May my BIL was taken from us at the young age of 21. We had to travel a few states away for the funeral/ memorial. At the time our children were 4yrs and 23 mo's of age. We were pretty much the only ones in from out of state, but weren't the only ones to bring our little ones. (My other BIL had his two little ones there, etc) Surpisingly the children were all extremely well behaved. Our son (23 mo old didn't have much of a clue what was going on) There was only one time when he got a bit noisey & he was sitting on my FIL's lap at the time. Tears started rolling down FIL's face and my DS gave him a kiss and quite loudly said "it be ok, I love you Papa". It actually lightened the mood for most of us. Several people started to kind of giggle, but knowing my BIL he would have loved it. They did not have an open casket for my BIL, but if they would have... I don't know that I would have allowed the children to view it. Oh, not that you will be expected to, but during the viewing hours my husband was expected to stand in the "receiving line". He of course wanted us to be there with him. The children got a bit restless during this, but I was able to sneak out with them for a little while. We also had several extended family members who were more than happy to help out with them. So I guess my point is.... I think it will be fine to take him, worst possible scenario would be that you have to walk out of the room or away from the crowd for a little bit.

2 moms found this helpful

My grandpa died when my son was about that age and just before he died he moved out of state. I went to his funeral and took my son with him. I had to take him out during the speaking part of the funeral because he got antsy, but they did not close the doors so I could keep him in the foyer and still hear the service. Then we went out to the grave side and they had the 21 gun solute and a mini service there. I did not have any problems with him, and all my family that was there appreciated that I took him.

1 mom found this helpful

when we went to my step sons funeral we took our then 20 month old mostly for the surviving brothers sake. the church found a day care for us who watched him free of charge during the funeral. then we went to one 3 months later and also found a babysitter for the funeral. I say take him but find a babysitter for the actual funeral. funeral homes and especially churches can help you with that. I would advise calling the preacher doing the funeral and asking him for help there are a ton of elderly wemon who would love to do it and cant babysit more than a couple of hours. which would be perfect.

I would also highly advise to take him to the dinner afterwards. at my step sons funeral all of the teenage kids needed him. they played with him and it gave them something to distract themselves off of the sadness of 2 teens dying in a carwreck. The older peoples theroy was its a joy to see life after a death. someone at the age they didnt know what was going on and didnt care. He was the best things that happened to all of the teenagers at the dinner.

1 mom found this helpful

I took my young son to a funeral. I made sure to stay near the back in case he became too restless. At a time when death is prevalant, it can be healing to have children around to ingnite the joys of life. We had many people coming to us to just be around our son. He made them smile and even gave out a few hugs.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I had similar situation when my dad died about 15 hrs away. My son was 3 at the time and we had other small children in the family as well. My nephew had 2 small children. My mother's church arranged for a babysitter to come in during the viewing and during the funeral. My son was with me when my father passed and I had him said good bye. I believe this all has to do with individual personal choices.
I do not think you need to let your husband go alone.This is a grandparent and you can find a good babysitter through a family friend or church that will help you out. You need to be there for support and respect. If it where a job or other reason then maybe stay behind but not because of child. There are many great helpers out there during your families time of grieve. Wishing your family my prayers in their loss.

1 mom found this helpful

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