How To Gently Involve Kids In Making Headstone Choices


Memorial grave markers serve as a way of marking the life of a loved one. It's a last way to pay tribute to the person and tell the world how great they were. One's headstone continues to speak about the life they lived for generations to come. It's only natural that a child would want to have a say in how a parent or another loved one is remembered. Gently involve a child in the headstone choices as part of the grieving process.

Talk About the Child's Feelings

When approaching the subject of the headstone, it's important to discern how the child is feeling. Not all children will be ready to open up about their pain. They may be trying to protect their caregivers from how sad they truly are. Others will be openly bereft. It's important to reach your child at the level of grief they're prepared to show, then dig a little deeper to help them open up. Express how you understand whatever feelings they have, then guide your questions to see how they may feel about participating in headstone choices. Some questions you may ask are:

  • It's easy to see how much you loved your parent. What do you wish the world knew about them?
  • It's okay to be mad sometimes. When someone dies, it can feel like they wanted to leave even though they really wanted to stay. Do you think that expressing how much you love them might help?
  • People like to express their love in all kinds of ways after someone dies. One way to do that is by choosing what should be written on the headstone. Would you like to help choose the words on the grave marker?

Be sure to listen carefully to how a child responds and don't force the issue.

Enlist the Help of a Grief Counselor

You don't have to face the situation alone. If you are unsure about how to approach the subject with your child, it's okay to get help. You may go to a grief counselor to explain that you need help ensuring your child's emotional needs are met during the discussion. You might choose to only have the gravestone discussion with the help of the counselor.

Offer Multiple Choices

When you are enlisting a child's help in choices for the memorial grave marker, you need to be careful. If you give the child total control, you may end up with a headstone that pays homage to Dr. Seuss. On the other hand, denying a child's choice can help them feel excluded or powerless. To solve this potential problem, offer the child multiple choices that are all appropriate for the headstone. That way, the child does get to choose, yet all the choices are appropriate for the grave marker.

Finally, keep in mind that memorial grave markers are important. The words that are chosen will literally be set in stone. After the decisions are made, it can be costly or sometimes even impossible to have the words on the headstone changed. Guide the child carefully and only approve choices that are likely to be appreciated for many years to come. For more tips, contact a company like An Thiel Monuments.


28 July 2016

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