Saying Goodbye to Your Child
then you shall truly dance.”
Burial Options & Information
Selecting the Funeral Home
Ideas for a Special Goodbye
- Be careful to choose a special song to eulogize your child. Listen to the words several times and make sure they have meaning to you. Print the words to the song on special paper and hand them out to friends and family at the memorial service.
- Bring a special stuffed animal such as a lamb, toys from siblings, cards and letters from siblings, a special necklace for your child to be buried with. Choose a special outfit (perhaps the siblings could assist in choosing the outfit) and a special blanket. Don’t forget booties and perhaps a bonnet or headband (for a girl). Be sure they have removed your child’s identification bracelet prior to burial for you to keep.
- If you elect to have a spiritual leader or pastor speak at the memorial service, it is a good idea to limit the sermon to 15 minutes maximum. You have permission to ask about the format or outline.
- If at all possible, mom and dad should try to write a letter to the child. The letter should be read by a close friend or family member on behalf of the parents. The letter should be about the feelings of grief, loss and love for the child. Also, chose a special poem or two as a eulogy.
- Open casket services help to make an infant more “real” to others.
- Spend time holding and rocking your child prior to the service. You certainly can take the baby out of the casket and hold him or her. This is still your child.
- Ask others to send stuffed animals or toys instead of flowers. After the services, you can donate to a local charity on behalf of your child (see Kindness Project.)
- Make a tape of your own favorite songs so you are not limited to the choice of the funeral home. (see songs list on Cherish Corner)
- The parents should strongly consider closing the casket for the final time.
- In some instances, the parents can ride to the cemetery in the hearse, with the child.
- The family can request to shovel the first dirt. This is a therapeutic ritual for many. Guests may also take a handful of dirt and sprinkle it onto the grave. You may stay with your child until the cemetery staff have completely buried your child.
- A balloon release is a warm tribute to the significance of the child’s life. Consider this ritual at the very end of the ceremony.
- If possible, a ceremony at sundown is beautiful. Consider a graveside unity candlelight service. This is a service where one larger candle is lit, and each person lights their candle off the main unity candle in honor of the child.