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First Viewing Support
We offer support for children to help them understand the meaning of death and prepare them to view their loved one. This is important because it helps a child to grasp the finality of their loved one’s death and honor them in a respectful way. During this time, the Academy support staff will:
- Introduce themselves along with our bunny puppet, “Hamilton,” and begin learning from the child about their special person who died.
- Engage in discussion about what a funeral home is and what it’s used for, the purpose of a funeral service and final disposition (burial, cremation, body donation).
- Describe the casket (if applicable) that their special person’s body has been placed in, talk about how their special person will look when they see them and how their skin will feel if they choose to touch.
- Discuss the room that their special person is in, including location, flowers and details about how the room looks.
- Answer any questions the child wants to ask and allow them to express any worries.
- Enter the visitation room, when the child is ready, pointing out details that were previously discussed and respond to any additional questions.
- Give the child an opportunity to see their special person’s body. The length of time and level of interaction will be determined by the child.