Help please - trying to arrange funeral for my baby is so hard, I don't know what to do

(202 Posts)
ruthlouise Wed 29-Mar-06 15:46:06

We lost our precious son at 18+3 weeks gestation on 17th March after a prolonged threatened miscarriage. Have finally decided on cremation which will happen on 7th april in the morning but I'm not coping well with the details of it.

I'm coping ok most of the time but this bit is sooo hard . I know he's dead and gone and that's just a body that will be in the coffin but I can't bear the thought of it.

Its been difficult to think about the service because I have a faith (although very shaken now) but dh is a humanist. This afternoon the funeral directors rang to ask what type of service we want. They suggested a universalist which I've okayed. But its all the details like music, poetry etc. Then she asked about dressing him etc and did I want to see him in the chapel of rest. Its doing me in. I desperately want to see him again but i know he won't look how I want him to look.

I haven't a clue about service content, neither has dh who is working away at the moment. I'm afraid of not doing the right thing and regretting it later. I already have so many regrets.

I'm also scare stiff at the thought of the moment when the coffin goes through the curtain at the end of the service. The only other time I've been to a funeral or seen that happen is at my mums nearly 11 years ago

Does anyone have any experience of this or suggestions of music etc?

thank you

OP’s posts: |
desperatehousewife Wed 29-Mar-06 15:48:38

I;m so sorry. I can't really offer any good advice becasue when I lost my son at 25 weeks last year I couldn't bear the thought of being present at the cremation. It just felt too sad. So I asked our lovely local vicar to represent us which he did and then he brought the ashes to us afterwards. We didn't even want to know when the cremation was taking place - just asked him to do all the arrangements for us.

We found this worked best for us.

MaloryTowers Wed 29-Mar-06 15:48:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ggglimpopo Wed 29-Mar-06 15:54:27

Message withdrawn

desperatehousewife Wed 29-Mar-06 15:55:23

SANDS 0207 4365881

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 29-Mar-06 15:56:03

There are some really touching poems on here somewhere. I will look for them and come back. You dont necessarily have to watch him go through the curtains. You can organise it however you wish. There are no hard and fast rules. It might be nice if you had a friend do a reading or poem for you if you feel you cant speak. I think dressing your angel in something lovely is a good idea. Maybe someone on here could help you with that to get the size right?

Im sorry - i dont really know what else to say to you. Im so sorry for you loss.

Will get that link for you. xxx

ruthlouise Wed 29-Mar-06 16:06:49

Thank you. will look on the sands website this evening

It also hard because only dh and I will be there. Most of our friends etc will be at work and I wouldn't expect them to attend when they never even met him. Then there are people who I wouldn't want to be there because they would make it more difficult emotionally for me but who I know would want to be there if they knew the day and time iyswim

I'm tempted to run away and not go at all but everyone says we should because we would regret it later. I think they might be right. I never expected all this emotional stress about the funeral arrangements. Tbh as he only lived for a short time after his birth and was born so early I didn't think there would be a funeral. Although couldn't bear thought of him being treated as clinical waste either So there's no winning. I just wanted my baby

OP’s posts: |
amyjade Wed 29-Mar-06 16:11:48


So sorry for your loss.x

We used the song 'Somewhere over the rainbow' by Eva Cassidy at our little girls funeral.

I thought you might also like this poem.

Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.

The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you.

- Author Unknown -

triplets Wed 29-Mar-06 16:15:46

I have just read this and feel so very very sad for you, I lost a child though he was 14, and his funeral was one of the worst days of my life. I organized everything, you only get one chance to do it right. As it will only be you and your husband, would it not be possible to have a service made up by you, I mean could you not choose a sweet lullaby instead of hymns, twinkle twinkle little star is in my mind. A few precious words of your own, then prayers. Does the coffin have to go on that awful table thing, couldn`t you hold it then at the end hand it over to the minister? I hope this hasn`t upset you further, I just think it should be simple and sweet, I feel so much for you xxxx

cori Wed 29-Mar-06 16:18:05

I am so sorry to hear about your loss, it must be very hard to make the arrangements by yourself
I lost a baby last year at 17 weeks. We didnt have a funeral, but instead planted a tree of remberance in a local forest.
I would be tempted to leave before the coffin goes through the curtains, it would be too much.
As for music what about some nice classical music. Sure the chapel could advise.
Here is a link to some miscarriage poetry on MN here

jmum6 Wed 29-Mar-06 16:31:12

I feel for you so much ruthlouise I don't have any advice or suggestions for you, just wanted to give you my support.

Cristina7 Wed 29-Mar-06 16:35:28

So sorry to hear you lost your baby son. We had a humanist funeral for our stillborn baby son and had the song "Asleeep" by The Smith and a couple of poems.

tamum Wed 29-Mar-06 16:36:30

ruthlouise, have you considered the possibility of having a service for him somewhere other than the cremtorium, but happening simultaneously? So you are all there thinking of him but having to face the mechanics of it a bit less? I don't know, maybe that's wholly inappropriate. I am so sorry

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 29-Mar-06 16:44:04

The link is here Sorry it took so long....

wools Wed 29-Mar-06 17:12:33

Ruth, I haven't got anything practical to suggest - just wanted to say my thoughts are with you.

coggy Wed 29-Mar-06 17:32:10

Ruth, bless you. Keep with your faith if you can. My boy was stillborn - he died on his due date as he had a knot in his cord and it tightened as he 'dropped down' to be born. We knew nothing about it until I went into labour and the midwife came the next morning to assess whether it was time to go into the hospital or not. Obviously she couldn't find a heartbeat and so that was pretty much it. We had only myself, dh and our parents at the funeral service so we didn't have any hymns. We played an instrumental version of 'Be still' and it was good just to have a few minutes to be quiet with our thoughts of our precious boy. I don't know if you would like any readings from the Bible - maybe not as your dh is humanist, but let me know...a few people gave us some lovely ideas. I am thinking of you lots and lots.
Take care of yourselves. x

ruthlouise Wed 29-Mar-06 17:40:10

Thank you so much for your kind responses. Sorry that sounds 'wooden' but I can't find the right words. Your support is so appreciated. Even though it makes me more emotional as I read this, it’s a great help. I am generally coping – better every day – it’s just this bit that’s so hard

There are some really lovely thoughts and ideas. It will be hard to just choose a couple of pieces but that’s so much better than the nightmare I was having this morning thinking we would have nothing appropriate for our little boy.

I can see some of the contributions really come from the heart - I'm so sorry that so many of you have had such sad personal experiences. I also recognise some of your names from support you gave me before the threatened miscarriage became an actual m/c – thanks for sticking with me. I shall re-read the thread a few times as tbh I can't take it all in at the moment, I didn't expect such an overwhelming response.

Coggy - I'll consider anything. I only know for sure I don't want hymns.

Thank you. you are such a fantastic group of people. So glad I discovered MN.

OP’s posts: |
coggy Wed 29-Mar-06 17:51:54

My dh read from Revelation 21 at the crem service (I don't know how he did it but it was something he felt he wanted to do). Also, I meant to say that they didn't send the coffin through the curtain, they left it on the table and we walked out. I don't know if that is how the crems do it now but it was MUCH better than having the trauma of that end part of the service. Ask your funeral directors or tell them that is what you want to happen.
The reading that made me smile inside (although I just wanted to cry when I first heard it) was read by a lovely elder of ours who did the ashes commital for us. He also had a baby die many, many years ago so we knew that he would be sympathetic. He put together a verse from Zechariah with one from Revelation - taking about Heaven - "The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
I hope this may be some help to you.

MrsWood Wed 29-Mar-06 21:56:15

We lost 2 babies in the similar period (first one in 2001 at 18 weeks and second one in 2002 at 19 weeks pregnancy). We had service for both - I was a catholic (until I lost my faith) and my dh doesn't really have any beliefs so we just opted for Catholic ceremony. Our sons were both cremated by the way. The hospital chaplan arranged the clothes for the little ones, we just had to show up at certain time. The whole thing was like a mass - we had a programme with songs and chapters from bible which we all had to recite. We were allowed to bring any family members etc. - there were two other couples there too (with their families). It was nice, we put them to rest and were quite relieved afterwards - a bit of a closure for us.
I'm sorry for your loss and wish you all the happinnes in the future. Thinking of you...

Snips Wed 29-Mar-06 22:24:09

So sorry for what you're going through. We lost our boy at 21 weeks. We had a cremation too, but the coffin just stayed in the room we were in as we left and they took it afterwards. It was just my husband and I as no-one else had seen him. We took one poem which was read out. We did go to see him at the hospital to dress him. I was absolutely petrified to see him (sounds like a strong word but that is how I felt), but the lady who was taking us said that babies of that age will look exactly as they did when they were born, and she was right. I'm glad now I went though it was hard at the time. I hope everything goes ok, and really feel for you. x

Eeek Wed 29-Mar-06 22:25:30

I had a humanist ceremony for my dt1 who died at 32 weeks. The humanist celebrant helped hugely with the details of music etc and provided suggestions. We used 'Spem in alium' by Thomas Talis which sounds religious but itn't. It has that ethereal tone which i wanted. The words were Khalil Ghibran and a friend gave us a native american poem to use. The funeral directors will deal with the details and you'll find it easier than you imagine. They have a special tact for the funerals of babies. And yes, that final moment will be awful - but that's the point of a funeral isn't it? You have that moment to mark ttheir death and remember them and then you go on and continue your life without them. You'll have the hole in you but you do still go on. It's 3 years 3 months since our loss and it really does get easier.

Eeek Wed 29-Mar-06 22:28:00

sorry - so caught up in trying to help I forgot to say how sorry I am you're going through this. My best wishes go to you and your family. And if I can give you one last piece of advice - find someone for your dh to talk to - the men seem to cope particularly badly.

FrumpyGrumpysatonawall Wed 29-Mar-06 22:35:21

Just saying hi and love to your wee baby. Wishing you strength for the day x.

ruthlouise Wed 29-Mar-06 22:41:31

To those of you who went back to see your babies - how long was it after they had died. Isaac died 11 days ago and Petrified is a good word to describe how I feel about seeing him - I am so torn

OP’s posts: |
Angeliz Wed 29-Mar-06 22:43:06

ruthlouise, just wanted to add my love and support on this thread. I have no idea what you're going through, can't begin to imagine the sadness you feel but do hope you get throught the day and that it leaves you with some loving memories.
So so sorry to hear about your loss
Want to say more but don't know what.+++++

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