When the excitement and hope of pregnancy ends with the tragedy of stillbirth, it's natural to feel devastated. Many parents in this situation find that honoring their baby with a memorial service or funeral helps provide closure and a sense of peace. While planning a funeral under these circumstances is difficult, following these tips will help guide the process and make things a bit easier.
Appoint Someone to Help
While having a funeral for your stillborn baby can be an important part of your healing process, the actual logistics and planning may be overwhelming in this time of grief. It's a great idea to delegate aspects of funeral planning to a close friend, family member, or even to several people.
For example, one friend might plan the music and readings for the funeral, while another handles communicating the details to your guests, and someone else orders a catered meal for afterward. Your friends and family likely want to help you during this difficult time and may not know how to do so. Delegating tasks can be an ideal solution.
Gather the Right Documents
You will want to work with your hospital administrators as well as your chosen funeral home to ensure you have any required funeral documents. This varies by state, but in most cases, you will need an official death certificate from the hospital and you may also need a permit from your local jurisdiction in order to have a funeral. The funeral home staff will likely be happy to manage this process for you, since dealing with paperwork is an additional headache at an already difficult time.
Plan to Memorialize Your Baby
Finding a way to memorialize your baby allows you to pay tribute to the love you have for them and provides an outlet for your grief at the same time. Some parents choose to buy a funeral plot with a beautiful headstone, plant a tree in their memory, or have a memorial bench with a plaque placed at your family's favorite park or hiking trail. The idea is to create something permanent as a way to honor your stillborn baby's memory.
Following these funeral planning tips will help you honor your stillborn baby, grieve in a healthy way, and provide an outlet for the sadness your family is experiencing. By working closely with a funeral home with experience with stillborn and infant funerals, you will end up with the funeral ceremony that works best for your family.