Many parents are hesitant to take their children to funerals. However, by the time a child reaches school age, he should be given a choice as to whether he wants to attend the funeral. Explain to him what a funeral is—that it is the time when the person who has died will be buried, and when those who knew her get together to remember her. Step by step, describe what will happen, from the time you arrive and greet people in the chapel, to the burial at the gravesite. Tell him that people will be sad and crying.
If the child decides to go, an adult should stay with him during the entire funeral. If he becomes too upset to remain (especially a younger child), the adult accompanying him should go with him out of the ceremony. At the funeral he will see other people grieving, which will make it easier for him to express his own feelings. And despite parental fears, he won't be traumatized by attending the funeral.