No one wants to talk about planning a child’s funeral. For those of us without experience in the matter, the topic is uncomfortable. We avoid it at all costs. For parents who have lost a child, it is a searingly painful time, and they need resources and support while going through it.
Planning a Child Funeral
When our son was fifteen, he asked us to help plan his funeral before he went through a very serious surgery. The whole story can be found in Chapter 18 of Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide for Raising a Child with Special Needs. (The release date is October 1, but it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon. Go figure!)
While writing the chapter on planning a child funeral, I found a few good resources, but not nearly as many as for other chapters of the book. Thankfully, several parents graciously (and tearfully) shared their stories for the benefit of others going through the same thing. I am in awe of their willingness to unwrap their pain so others can find healing.
In March of this year, a few weeks before the manuscript was due to the publisher, I spoke at a MOPS group in River Falls, Wisconsin and met Melissa. During her pregnancy, she and her husband learned their second child, Julia, had a birth defect not compatible with life. While waiting for her November 2010 due date, Melissa combed the internet for information about planning an infant’s funeral.
An amazing woman, don’t you think? Well, that’s not the half of it. The day before the MOPS meeting, Melissa learned she had breast cancer. Even so, when we talked after the meeting, she offered to send a list of the resources she located. A few weeks later, even though she was going through chemotherapy, she emailed the list before the book deadline. Told you she’s amazing.
Check Out Melissa’s Child Funeral Finds
Some of the information sent by Melissa is included in Different Dream Parenting. Some of it is listed below. The rest will appear in a post on April 27. If you know a family facing the death of a child, please pass the information on to them if you think they would appreciate it. Melissa and other parents interviewed for Different Dream Parenting found funeral planning to be a healing act of parenting, something they could do for their child.
- BIRTH-DEATH ANNOUNCEMENTS: www.babydeckar.com
- BOOKS: Mommy, Please Don’t Cry by Linda DeYmaz
- BURIAL GOWNS: Baby Bereavement Gowns, Angel Layettes, and Mary Madeline Project
- CASKET: Melissa says the Trappist Monks in Iowa sell gorgeous caskets for infants, toddlers, and children at www.trappistcaskets.com.
Jesus Loves Me
I am Jesus’ Little Lamb
Blest the Children of Our God
In Christ Alone
Go My Children
Be Thou Near to Me by Selah
Remember Me by Mark Schultz
I Will Carry You by Selah
Precious Child by Karen Taylor Good
Still by Gerrit Hofsink
A Mother’s Love by Randy Thompson
Eternity by Vineyard Music Group
How Can I Help You Say Goodbye by Patty Loveless
An Angel’s Lullaby by Richard Marx
Butterfly by Mariah Carey
Somewhere Down the Road by Amy Grant
- OBITUARIES: Sample Infant Obituaries
The mind can handle only so much at a time. Rather than giving you everything to absorb in one fell swoop, I’ve divided Melissa’s wonderful resources into two parts. So come back on Wednesday, April 27 for more. While today’s resources focused on the funeral, the remaining ones are concerned with grief resources for families. Not a happy topic, but oh, so necessary.
In the meanwhile, if you know of other resources please share them in the comment section. And would you join me in praying for Melissa and her family as she continues treatment for breast cancer?
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