A good friend of ours lost his sister this week and we were invited to the funeral. I decided to keep Amber out of school, because of time constraints and it is nice to have everyone there to support and care for the family’s loss. Besides, Amber hates to miss any chance she gets to see her Godmother, Godfather and their kids. I was pleasantly surprised at how well my daughter handled herself. My son was another story.
Since my children have been born they have gone to many funerals. This is in contrast to my life where my first funeral was at 12 years old and then I didn’t have another one until I was well into my 30′s. I don’t know about you, but my children don’t have many black items of clothing. I know that is shocking to many people that knew me in my youth. The black clothes they may have would be really inappropriate for a funeral. I don’t think anyone would understand if Amber showed up with her Target Halloween skull head shirt or Sam wore his “I do my own stunts” shirt to a funeral. And I totally understand why.
I believe that whenever you go to a funeral it is to support the family who have lost a loved one and show respect for the one that has passed on. That doesn’t mean that you must wear all black. I usually do, because it is something easy for me to throw on after I have spent most of the week thinking about what everyone else will wear. I am the one that dresses the people in my house and that means that sometimes I don’t spend as much time on me. I do my best to make it look the opposite.
So what how do you dress your child if going to a funeral? You should be fine with church clothes. Our church is on the casual side, so I went with slightly more than church clothes. However, I would steer clear of very fancy dresses for the girls. It is not time for your daughter’s fanciest party dress. I would keep colors subdued.
We are in an inbetween stage at our home. It is was rather warm on the day of the funeral, but cool today. I would have rather dressed Amber in her black and white plaid jumper, but it is heavier and comes with a long sleeve shirt. I could have change the shirt, but the coloring would have been off. I kept in mind what kind of complaints Amber may have with that outfit, so I decided to keep it comfortable but not too casual. We went with brown shoes, because her normal pink shoes were a little too much in my mind. I didn’t want the focus to be on her and her shoes, so I kept it more muted. I had reservations about the red shirt, but because it wasn’t bright red, I thought it was okay. Her outfit is respectful of the situation, but taking into account her needs, as well.
Boys in general, I think, are easier to dress for such occasions. I could have gone with a suit or just a shirt and tie. Since we have none of those for my son, because he would be constantly pulling at it, I decided that this outfit fit the bill. It is actually an outfit he wore to a wedding we attended over the summer. He was dressed appropriately, but not to the point that some one would mistake him for an extra from the Addams Family. Most importantly, he was comfortable.
There were other children there dressed in the traditional southern smock outfits. I thought these were perfect, because they are comfortable for the kids and nice for the event. When in doubt a smock outfit is usually perfect for the under 3 set, but remember this is not the time to show up with your most elaborate smocking. Keep it simple.
I wondered if Amber would have asked to wear her Belle dress. It is her go to dress for special occasion. I was glad that I did not have to fight that battle, but I would have. I was ready to explain that it was not the right type of dress for the event and that we would find another time to wear it.
While perfect for the wedding we attended, I thought it too much of a party dress for a funeral. Basically, keep the kids in tune with the event. If it is a big party where everyone is happy and celebrating than let the child’s clothes show it. If it is more of a solemn event, then keep everything low key. I don’t think you have to dress your children in head to toe black for a funeral, but remember to respect the family. It is a day to remember the one who is deceased not to show off your child’s prettiest clothes.