concern was about leaving her in ‘a hole in the ground’. After discussion, it was
decided that the whole family would help to fill the grave. Ten large shovels and
three small ones were on hand, and so it happened just like that, initially placing
fresh hay and flowers on her coffin. The children however, only did two shovels full
each, were satisfied, and then wanted to know if they could go off and play!!
Specialising in woodland burials, I do feel that the whole experience is far less
formal. This can also be replicated for a cremation. Whether I lead the ceremony or
the family takes control, it is more laid back and personal, which can only mean an
easier situation for children and parents alike to cope with.
One of many lovely goodbyes recently was to a special Uncle. An abundance of
Sweet William (his name sake) was gathered from various gardens. Close friends
played the recorder and guitar and sang unaccompanied. At the end of the
ceremony the children, family and friends sprinkled hay and flowers, which gave
them all a feeling of togetherness; sadness, but fulfilment. The children were
delighted to hand out their home made decorated biscuits with faces. They called
them their feeling faces, showing happy and sad. Emotions they had talked about
There are many good publications about children and bereavement. My favourite is
called ‘Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine’ described as ‘an activity book to help when
someone has died’.
(Biscuit Feeling Faces recipe included!)
A little gift I give to families with children and the feedback is always good, for the