If you are reading this after suffering the loss of a beloved child, our heart goes out to you.
Nothing can prepare you for the burden of grief and sadness that you will be feeling, and we are sure that you feel overwhelmed and hardly able to face the prospect of planning your final goodbye.
Arranging any funeral is immensely difficult, but organising one for a child is one of the most painful things you’ll do.
The formalities involved after a young person dies will be the same as those for an adult, so it is the funeral itself that can be tailored to reflect that the one who has departed is a child.
Of course, you may decide that you want a traditional service, which is fine, but many people want the occasion to tell the story of the child’s life and all the things they loved to do.
Planning a funeral is part of the bereavement process, but there will be times when you just don’t want to contemplate all of the things you have to do.
This is where we can step in.
We can do as much, or as little, as you would like, from caring for your child before the funeral to helping make special requests happen.
Rest assured we will be there for you from the start, ensuring your farewell is filled with meaning and an abundance of love.
Before the funeral
- If you feel you can’t cope, you might want to designate another person, such as a friend or member of the family, to act as a coordinator. Someone who can make the necessary phone calls and sort out any paperwork involved.
- At our chapel of rest, you can spend as much time as necessary with your child before the funeral service. You can dress your child in his or her favourite outfit and touch and hold them as much as you want.
- We will do our best to deal with all your wishes and requests. For example, if you want a lock of your child’s hair as a keepsake, then please just ask.
- Restrictions in place because of the pandemic mean that you may not be able to gather after the funeral itself, so think about all the things your child loved and try in some way to weave them into the ceremony. Maybe everyone could wear a favorite colour, or choose a reading from their favourite book.
- Try, if possible, to involve brothers and sisters in the plans. Maybe they will have suggestions of what to include, or you could ask them if they’d like to place any special keepsakes in the coffin.
- Ask us about fingerprint keepsakes, things like handprints, footprints and fingerprints.
Where should the service be held?
For those of faith the choice will be simple, but a non-religious location is also possible so please don’t hesitate to ask us if you want the service held at a hall, hotel or even your own home.
How do I choose someone to lead the service?
If you are not holding a religious service, then you can choose anyone to lead the proceedings. You may want this to be a family friend or a celebrant who can help to create a service that reflects your child’s life and personality.
Order of service booklet
This is a few pages given to people attending the funeral, often containing pictures, readings and words to the music featured.
How can I make it special?
There really are no rules when it comes to designing a ceremony so you should feel free to make it as personal and bespoke as you like. Incorporate wishes your child might have had, like the music they wanted or colours that people should wear. We are here to help you with any requests, whether it’s the music your child loves, or arranging for a special coffin.
After the funeral
- You might want to mark the funeral with a balloon release after the funeral service or by the graveside.
- We want you to take as long as you wish by the graveside so do not feel you must leave quickly. Only leave when you are ready.
- If you choose cremation feel free to bring an urn of your choice.
Please remember there is no right or wrong way when planning a funeral.
This is your chance to honour your child, and tell people how blessed you are to have had them in your life.
Feel free to do the service your way.
What we don’t want you to do is look back and think it wasn’t really what you wanted.
You might not be able to think straight at this time, but however you choose to do it, you will do so with love.