Chapter 4: Supporting the person

Whether to attend the funeral

The grief expert says
Cara Grosset, social worker, about preparing for a funeral and exploring options to help support, reduce overwhelm and ensure inclusion.(3:22)Video transcript
Cara Grosset, social worker, speaks about the sensory experiences around dying, death and funerals.(3:22)Video transcript
The support worker says
Karen Campbell, developmental services worker, speaks about how attending a funeral can be benficial.(3:22)Video transcript
I've been there
Claire shares about going to her Grampy's funeral.(3:22)Video transcript
Claire shares about the importance of going to funerals even when it is hard to do. (3:22)Video transcript
Claire shares that she has been to many funerals.(3:22)Video transcript

Funerals are really important because you can be with family members. But the funeral was the hardest thing. I felt really sad that he was gone.  –Young woman with an intellectual disability 

Whether to attend the funeral

For many reasons, a family member may not want someone with an intellectual disability to attend the funeral. Sometimes the person with the disability themselves is worried about attending the funeral, fearing that they may act inappropriately.

If you and the person with the disability decide to attend, you can try the following suggestions:

  • Ask beforehand if they are concerned about anything, and offer support.
  • Offer to sit with them, or for someone else to sit with them, perhaps near the back of the room. This can set up an opportunity for them to go to the funeral and say goodbye without additional worry.

If you and the person with the disability decide not to attend, you can consider other options. Perhaps the person could attend the visitation or a smaller, private gathering at home or elsewhere.