Post # 1
I was talking to a friend recently and she mentioned that she was having to babysit because the kid wasn’t old enough to go to a funeral with the parents. I looked at her like she was crazy and she thought it was weird that we always had kids at funerals. She didn’t go to one until she was in her late teens. Kids just didn’t attend, I guess for the same reason people have childfree weddings, not wanting them running around or being fussy, etc.
I know that I went to at least 2 funerals before I was in 5th grade, age 10, probably more (my dad’s side of the family is older). I don’t think I’ve ever not been allowed to attend a funeral because of my age. For that matter, we don’t have childfree weddings in our family either.
FI, I think, hadn’t been to a funeral until 2 years ago at 20 when my grandmother passed away. He’s never had any significant deaths in the family with the exception of his great grandfather and that was when he was very young and they probably didn’t go to the funeral because of distance. I’ll have to ask him.
So, how old were you when you went to your first funeral? If it was later on, were you not allowed to attend as a child or was there not an opportunity (lucky)? If y’all have childfree funerals, are childfree weddings also common in your circle?
Post # 3
I have not been to one yet, but we are about to lose my grandpa, so, barring any miracles, I’ll be 25
ETA: it was lack of opportunity, no one close to me had passed
Post # 4
I was definitely under 10. My grandma died when I was 10 so I remember that funeral. However, I know I was at funerals before hers, I just don’t remember how old o was.
Post # 5
@HonoraryNerd: I was 30 when I went to my first funeral, it was just a few months ago.
Reason: only 3 family members have passed in my lifetime, 2 of my great grandmothers and my great aunt. For the great aunt and great grandmother, they were in another province and only the parent who was related travelled for the funeral. My other great grandmother, I was 18 when she passed, I was away at school and in the middle of exams, my parents opted to not tell me she had passed until after exams – I was pretty mad about it.
During school I had friends who had parents who passed and we decided amoungst ourselves who would go to the various vistiations nights and the funeral so there was always someone there for the friend who was suffering but we weren’t all there all the time – I never ended up at funerals.
The one funeral I have been to was for an infant and there were quite a few children there.
Post # 6
As weird as this sounds, I grew up going to funerals quite frequently. I come from a large, close family, and when I was 0-10, the older generation (great aunts, great uncles and the like) passed at least a few each year. We’ve also had our fair share of tragedy in my family, so there have been some younger deaths as well. One of my close friends took his life when I was 16, and a friends brother did the same a week later. Not to say that funerals aren’t hard for me, but I have gotten quite used to them and they don’t make me nervous the way that they make some people.
I can understand not wanting children at a funeral because there is always the chance they will make a fuss, and also because they can easily become upset if they were/are being raised to think that everything is sunshine and daisies. I grew up accepting that death is a part of life, and that funerals are not something to be feared but rather are opportunities to celebrate a person’s life and their impact on yours. I’ll be raising my children the same way.
Post # 7
Oops, I should have also clicked there was a lack of opportunity. I didn’t know anyone that passed away until I was 21.
Post # 8
I probably would have gone to more as a kid if family lived nearby. It wouldn’t have been anyone I was close to though, great great aunts and uncles most likily. I was about 10 when the great grandfather I never met passed away, he had bad dementia by the time I was born and my grandpa didn’t want me to meet his father that way. The first funeral I went to was for my great grandpa when I was 16.
My parents went to funerals without me, for neighbours’ parents. I think in those types of cases, it’s best not to have kids there. They don’t know the person and can be disruptive when people like my parents are there to be supportive.
Post # 9
I’ve lost 3 of my 4 grandparents but only went to one of their funerals. It was my only one so far. The first one I was only 7 and was considered too young by my parents and the second one was on the day of a school outing. My parents thought my Grandpa would have preferred me to go and enjoy the day with my friends rather than go to his funeral and be upset.
For the last one I had been living abroad for several years and he died quite suddenly. There was no way that I would have missed saying goodbye to him.
Child-free weddings are not really a thing in my family/friend circle. For our wedding, my cousin’s MIL offered to take care of her 2 year old because he’s a bit of a handful and she wanted them to have fun withhout having to deal with him. We would never have not invited im.
Post # 10
I was 19 when the first significant death in my family occurred, when my grandmother passed on. We were expecting it though as she had been ill for quite some time. So that was the first funeral I went to.
Post # 11
@HonoraryNerd: I was 6.5 when I went to my first funeral. My grandmother passed away (my dad’s mom). I know my younger sister came to the funeral and she was 4, but I don’t remember if my baby sister came or not–she was just a few weeks old. I imagine she was there because she probably would have been too young to leave with a babysitter.
My mom’s mom passed away when I was 2, but I obviously don’t remember if I went to her funeral or not.
I think it might depend on the age of the child. I could understand if someone has a baby (or young toddler) that they don’t want to bring because of interruptions or something. The parents might want to focus on their grieving rather than tending to a small child that doesn’t understand what’s happening. I think that is understandable.
Post # 12
- Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID
@HonoraryNerd: I went to my cousin’s funeral when I was in 10th grade, so around 15? I’m not sure exactly how old I was. I think I had just turned 16. Regardless, that’s the only funeral I’ve ever been to.
Post # 13
@HonoraryNerd: The only way I would bring a kid to a funeral is if the person who died was their parent or grandparent. None of my kids know their aunts/uncles/cousins well enough to need to be there. It’s respectful to cause as few disruptions as possible. My cousin died a few years ago, I left all 5 of my kids with my Dad (the cousin was from my Mom’s side) so as not to have a ruckus going on at a funeral for someone they didn’t even know. My uncle’s wife, however did not have such respect. She brought her 4 year old (not my uncle’s kid) and he sat there making noise/whining/playing in the middle of the funeral. My aunt was shooting daggers out her eyes she was so pissed and I don’t blame her. The woman’s daughter was laying in a casket.
Post # 14
I was probably three or four when my dad’s stepmom died. I went to the funeral with my parents because it was out of town and they couldn’t find anyone to look after me.
I might have gone when my dad’s father died, but I was so young I don’t remember it.
Post # 15
My babysitter took me to a funeral when I was like 5. I don’t know if I ever told my dad. Weird and unacceptable, in my opinion.
Post # 16
I think I was 7 or 8? I’ve seen babies at family funerals though. Unfortunately I had the “opportunity” for lack of a bettwe word to be at many funerals growing up. As for kids at funerals…I mean, if you have a kid that’s going to be running around having the time of his life then yeah, leave him at home. If your kid is capable of behaving properly at the service then I think it’s fine.