Unless they have attended one before, children don’t know what to expect from a funeral. You can help by explaining what will happen before, during and after the ceremony. Let the child’s questions and natural curiosity guide the discussion. Give as many specifics as the child seems interested in hearing. You might tell her how the room will look, who will be coming and how long everyone will be there, for example. When possible, arrange for the child to visit the funeral home before the funeral. This allows her more freedom to react and talk openly about feelings and concerns. If the body will be viewed either at a visitation or at the funeral itself, let the child know this in advance. Explain what the casket and the body will look like. If the body is to be cremated, explain what cremation means and what will happen to the ashes. Be sure the child understands that because the person is dead, he doesn’t feel pain or anything at all during cremation. Also help children anticipate that they will see people expressing a wide variety of emotions at the funeral. They will see tears, straight faces and laughter. If adults are able to openly show feelings, including crying, children will feel much more free to express a sense of loss at their own level.