Category: Children

What to wear to a funeral

Funerals are a time when we pay our respects to the dead. It’s important that you’re dressed appropriately and in black, though there is much flexibility with what color or style of clothing would suit your personal tastes best- bright colours can be very uplifting during this somber occasion!

This passage talks about how funerals have changed over recent years as more people look towards celebrations instead; traditionally reserved only for those who die young (or otherwise), these services allow everyone else also have their say so they do not feel left out leading up until an emotional goodbye afterwards where feelings may run high depending on circumstance.

If you are unsure of what to wear, it’s important to be respectful to the deceased. The family may set a specific dress code, or want you to wear a certain colour, so it’s always best to double check with them first.

Here is our guide for what to wear to a funeral:

What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?

Traditionally, funeral etiquette suggests men and women wear black clothing that’s conservative and respectful. Black or dark colours are most common, but some cultures expect mourners to wear a less traditional funeral colour. The weather and location of funeral services can also play a factor, so try and consider these elements before you decide what to wear.

If you are attending a celebration of life, woodland burial or a funeral in an alternative venue to a place of worship or crematorium, you may find that the family of the deceased are expecting a less formal attire for these occasions. They may request a less traditional dress or may have a personalised theme they would like you to adhere to.

What to wear to a funeral that is not black?

Wearing black to a funeral is generally acceptable across Western society. However, not all cultures consider black as the appropriate colour for a funeral. For instance, black is considered inappropriate at a Hindu funeral or Sikh funeral; instead, mourners (both male and female) are expected to wear white. Here are some other popular colours worn worldwide:


  • Red – in South Africa, red is sometimes worn as a colour of mourning. For a Ghanain funeral, it’s traditional for members of the community to wear black and white while the immediate family will wear red and black.
  • Purple – in Thailand, purple represents sorrow and is often worn by widows during the mourning period. Purple is also worn in Brazil alongside black.
  • Grey – in Papua New Guinea, a widow applies a stone-coloured clay to their skin while mourning their husband.
  • Bright colours – many African, Caribbean/West Indies, humanist and non-religious funerals in the UK and across the world will opt for more vibrant colours. Wearing bright colours to a funeral can reinforce the celebration of life.
  • Subdued colours like grey, maroon and navy blue can be a good alternative to black.

That being said, it’s best to speak to a family member regarding what they want you to wear.

How Books Can Help Children Cope With Death

Death is a taboo subject. Something most people don’t talk to young children about unless they ask. Even then it can be difficult to explain when young minds think that life is eternal.

Sometimes though death can be all too real when there is a death of a family member. Then it is often the job of parents to try to explain that our time on this earth is limited. However there is no easy way to put this into words without upsetting young children or giving them nightmares.

One way to help children understand is to use books specially written for children which deal with the subject. There are many to choose from dealing with different aspects of death from terminal illness to what happens after we die.

One interesting book on the subject of death is a German book called Duck, Death and The Tulip. The intriguing title introduces the two main characters, death in the form of a figure with a skull wearing a tartan coat and a duck, who realises that the figure is always following her around.

Familiarity between the duck and death leads to a kind of friendship which makes death seem threatening and more a part of life. The moment when the duck eventually passes away is peaceful and eases some of the shock and grief we all experience when someone dies.
Viewing death as a companion somehow makes the prospect of dying a bit less frightening.

Telling Children

The death of a loved one is an incredibly difficult time for friends and family. Compounding your own feelings of loss may include how to explain to a child that someone close to you has died. Parents in particular instinctively want to protect their child from pain or fear. So we often try to sugar-coat the concept of death by saying the person is ‘asleep’ or they have ‘gone away’ but this may only further confuse the child. As difficult as it may seem, it is important to provide your child with information and explanations they need to help them understand the process.

Children are incredibly resilient, at time adults don’t give them enough credit for their ability to adapt to new sets of circumstances or understand the complexities of life. By explaining things as accurately as possible, you may be preparing your child to not fear death. Of course, each particular situation is different and there care certainly instances where you may want to withhold certain graphic information if there has been a terrible accident or a criminal act has been perpetrated. But as we have been taught from a very young age ourselves, honesty is the best policy.

Here are a few suggestions for getting through this difficult situation:

• Tell children as soon as possible. Avoiding the conversation will not make it any easier, in fact it might make it more stressful
• Have someone with you to help support you and answer questions your child may have
• Find a quiet, tranquil place to tell them
• Be close to the child. They may need a hug
• Use simple words appropriate for the child’s age. Remember to use actual words like ‘death’ or ‘died’ as synonyms may get lost on the child

If you have deceased loved ones, you may want to bring the child along to the cemetery so they can understand it is a beautiful, peaceful place and not somewhere to be frightened of. Show them the memorial that has been erected and read any loving words or thoughts that have been inscribed so they see that people remember the departed fondly and with love.
At Buckley Memorial we understand what families go through in these difficult times. We are here to help make the process an easier one.

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