Funeral for your baby

From the disbelief of hearing your child’s heart beat at the first scan, you feel your heart burst. You develop as a parent, as your belly grows, you grow together. Baby starts kicking and growing. Then it’s not, you experience how amazing birth is. Knowing your little one will not cry.

No, planning a funeral for your baby was, no. Your funeral director and celebrant will guide you through the arrangements and service details. The motions of planning the funeral start – do not let go of them. This funeral for your baby needs to have you at the heart of the proceedings. What does that look like? What can I do?

We had the privilege of videoing a beautiful service for Isabella. Her parents put so much of themselves and Isabella into the service. I take their ideas to share one way a funeral for your baby may look.

 

Eulogy for your baby

A Eulogy can take many forms. A poem from someone else or one you have written yourself expressing all you need to share. It is a time for you to communicate what was important to you. Start at the beginning; tell the story of your journey together. The things you need to say will rise to the top.

Here are some thoughts:

Did it take you long to get pregnant?

What did your partner say when you told them?

When was the first time you heard the heart, beating strongly?

Were there foods your baby didn’t like you eating?

How did the extended family and friends react to your baby news?

What had you changed in the house while anticipating their arrival?

Had you planned for their future? What hopes did you have for their future?

When planning a funeral for your baby, what ever you want is normal. What other people consider normal does not mater. Normal is what you need to do to for you, your partner and your baby.

Tasteful Transitions
Tasteful Transitions
Tasteful Transitions
Tasteful Transitions
Tasteful Transitions

Personal Touch

What personal touches can a funeral for your baby have?

At the viewing Isabella’s mum and dad talked to her while placing her Peter Rabbit and hand knitted booties into the coffin. Her mother had written her a letter that she would read at the service; she placed a copy with Isabella. Photos of Dad and Mum were placed into the coffin.

They had created a beautiful slideshow set to Precious Child by Karen Taylor–Good. It wove through the months of pregnancy and events that occurred including scan photos, video and heart beat.

At the burial guests were asked to greet the parents to receive a delicate purple flowering plant (Lobelia Crystal Palace) in a pretty tin bucket with Isabella’s name held tight with a ribbon. This allowed family and friends to show their support while at the gravesite. The parents had a moment to communicate with everyone individually. Everyone stayed, talked and interacted as this occurred.

Slideshow for your baby

I see a slideshow as a picture book of someone’s life. Your baby’s life was through you, with you as you moved through the months of your pregnancy. The pictures of you at different times of your pregnancy and at family occasions form a picture of how life was as your baby grew. The photos of scans and videos of ultra sounds can be put in as the family photos progress.

Song choice is up to you. Was there a song that was played on the radio a lot that reminds you of the time? Was there music your baby seemed to respond to? Did you want a song that talks about losing a child?

Precious Child by Karen Taylor–Good.

Karen wrote this to honour her nephew Paul, who “left too soon”, at the age of 21.

In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
‘Cause you are with me still

In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho’ it may be true that we’re apart
You will live forever… in my heart

In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, my precious child

In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
And you are with me still

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon,
Tho’ it may be true that we’re apart
You will live forever… in my heart

God knows I want to hold you,
See you, touch you
And maybe there’s a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you are not forgotten until then

In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho’ it may be true that we’re apart
You will live forever… in my heart

You can download a free mp3 of the song from Karen Taylor-Good’s website.

Grief

The funeral for your baby concludes and you walk away with your grief. While writing this article I found the Australian organisation Sands – Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Supports.

They offer support and information including articles by other parents. There is a list of SANDS publications, online support and contacts for state branches.

It is hard to think you are not alone.

You’re Not Alone – Sands Video

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