First Viewing Support

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers 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 in an honoring and respectful manner.

During this time, Academy support staff will:

  • Introduce themselves along with Hamilton The Bunny (a puppet the Academy uses with children) 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, 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.
  • Allow the child to ask questions or express any worries they may have.
  • When the child is ready, enter the vistation room with them, pointing out details that were previously discussed and responding to any additional questions they may have.
  • Give the child the opportunity to see their special person's body. The length of time and level of interaction will be determined by the child.