Planning a child's memorial or funeral service
There is nothing more difficult for a parent than planning the funeral or memorial service for their child. The memorial day or funeral service is a time when you can acknowledge your child's life, and the meaning your child's life holds for you and your family. It is also the opportunity to say farewell to your son or daughter. Here are some tips offered by the M.I.S.S Foundation for planning a special goodbye:
- Choose a special song to eulogise your child. Print the words on paper and hand them out to friends and family at the memorial service.
- Bring a special toy of your child's, cards and letters from siblings or friends to place in the coffin and choose a special outfit for them to wear.
- Limit the sermon by a spiritual leader or pastor to 15 minutes.
- Both parents should write a letter to your child, include your feelings of grief, loss and love.
- Consider an open casket. Open casket services can help make it more real to others.
- Spend time holding and rocking your child prior to the service.
- Ask others to send toys or stuffed animals instead of flowers. Afterwards you can donate them to a charity on behalf of your child.
- Make a tape of your or your child's favourite songs.
- Consider closing the casket for the final time.
- Under some circumstances, you may be able to travel in the hearse or funeral car with your child.
- Request to shovel the first dirt. You can stay with your child until the cemetery staff have completely buried your child.
- A balloon release is a warm tribute to the significance of your child's life.
- Consider a ceremony at sundown or a graveside candlelight service.
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