“If you are here, you have either experienced or are experiencing your babies loss, and I want to start by saying I am so sorry for your loss, for your pain and for the season you are currently facing. My prayer is that God will use us and our experience to bring you some answers, comfort, or to remind you that you know you are not alone.”

I have to be honest; planning a funeral is one of the most painful experiences a parent will ever have to go through. So I do hope that some of the information I share with you will help you make your process smoother. If I am honest, this is just a post I did not ever think I would have to write, But I do believe in putting pain to purpose and that our experience can be helpful to others.

My husband and I planned the funeral together, and it was beautiful, personal to us and surrounded by love. This experience, I am sure, is different for everyone, but we will share our journey with the hopes it can give you some insight and help you.

Choosing your options:

At the hospital, we were given four choices;

  • Private funeral arrangements by family
  • Communal cremation (cremated with others)
  • Individual cremation (arranged by the hospital)
  • Burial (8 babies per grave)

We initially agreed for the hospital to take care of the cremation arrangements, but it took too long, so we decided to arrange them privately, which we are happy that we did. We were referred to an outstanding family-run funeral director called Chas. A. Nethercott & Son Ltd., Who is based in Potter bar. I have nothing but beautiful things to share about them as our babies funeral was handled with so much care from start to finish.

First step.

We spoke to a wonderful lady called Charlotte, who not only handled the funeral arrangements with care but offered us a listening ear, comforting words, and so much kindness.

First, we had to sign documents;

  • An authorisation letter to allow them to pick up our baby from the hospital.
  • Cemetery and Cremation agreements
  • Funeral arrangements terms and conditions
  • Confirmation of funeral arrangements

The arrangements you choose to make to mark your baby’s passing in the ceremony are very personal. You may have faith-based wishes that you would like observed; please do not be afraid to ask or make any request. What happens at the ceremony is your decision.

Fees.

Bereaved parents will no longer have to pay the cost of their child’s burial or cremation after the Children’s Funeral Fund for England opened. The scheme is called ‘The Children’s Funeral Fund’.

Through the scheme, funeral providers will be able to directly claim burial or cremation costs and a contribution towards the price of a coffin; Parents can also claim directly from the scheme if they choose not to use a funeral director.

The scheme is available regardless of a family’s income and will cover costs for children under 18 and stillbirths after the 24th week of pregnancy.

Please note* This fee does not cover cars and other additional requests; therefore, please speak to your funeral directors to discuss this further.

The services provided to us were;

  • Conveyance of our baby from the hospital to the funeral directors
  • Conveyance of our baby from the funeral home to the crematorium
  • White baby coffin with a plaque which had her name engraved on it
  • Provision funeral staff/admin
  • Crematorium
  • Minister/Service

All of this did not cost us anything. If we had chosen to go for funeral cars and a church ceremony, there might have been additional charges; however, as mentioned, this could be looked into by the funeral home regarding the scheme funding.

Please see below for further additions we added on the day.

Other things to think about.

I wanted to share some of the things we did for our service to make it memorable. 

We decided on a cremation service to out keep her ashes rather than burial because we do not know where we will end up giving and wanted to know he would always be with us. |We know she is in heaven with Jesus, but the comfort of having her with us is more a personal choice. I do not have experience with a burial service. However, I know the funeral directors will be able to answer any questions you may have.

We were offered to come and see our baby at the funeral director’s before the funeral, which we did. So please know that is an option; they will also ask you if you want the coffin open or closed.

Things we did to make the day extra special;

  • Carrying the coffin: We chose for my husband to take the coffin into the crematorium. This is an option; you do not have to do this as the funeral directors are more than happy to do that for you. We have also presented the opportunity to have the coffin on our lap or place it on the table provided with some chairs next to it.
  • Service order: We created our service order with the minister, which included our chosen scripture, prayers, poem and song, and the minister doing his part of the service. We appointed friends to read the poems and scripture.
  • Flowers: Our dear friend arranged beautiful reefs for us, but you can have as many flowers etc. as you wish. On the day, you have two options, leave the flowers in their designated place, which remain there with your baby name on for 48 hours before they are disposed of, or you can take them home; we brought them home.
  • Framed picture: We chose to have our baby name and a picture with our baby’s arms, but you can put whatever you want on there.
  • Bear: We had a cute bear to add our personal comfort
  • Candles: We had candles to light at the service
  • Inside the coffin: We had a picture of us, a comfort toy and a letter placed in her coffin. This you will have to give to them before the funeral day.
  • Balloons: We released balloons at the end of the service. (Depending on the guidelines, this may have to be done at the gates outside of the cemetery.)

There are so many beautiful things you can do to make your funeral extra memorable and personal; I hope these give you a few ideas.

Prayer, songs and scripture helped me through this time. (and continue to help me) 

Prayer:

Lord, thank you that your word says that you are close to the brokenhearted because I can find comfort in knowing that amid my deepest pain, you are with me whilst my heart is breaking. Thank you that I don’t need to feel guilty for my pain or the tears that I am shedding.

In my pain, I ask that you help my heart stay soft towards you Lord, please help my heart not become hardened through my loss. I want to draw closer to you, not away from you.

Please help me get through such a difficult time whilst we plan our babies funeral, give me strength and spiritual discernment to plan in faith.

Please heal what’s broken, comfort my weariness and restore everything within me that’s been lost. I feel empty, and I ask you to fill me back up again. I do not know how to get through this, so I ask you for strength where I am weak, comfort for my sorrow and hope for my future.

I pray that you continue to keep my husband united and me, and as a family, we remain open on honest with how we feel.

Most importantly, Father, I pray that you can turn mine and my families pain into purpose, this test into our testimony, and this mess into our message. Please use us to glorify you amid our suffering; use us to point others to the cross. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

Songs:

Promises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1PonQaEtK0

Have my hearthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3Skc4MQlqU 

Praise you in the stormhttps://www.youtube.com/watch? v=t5jhtjLt0pg&list=PLXhWe5uvEV3lyngDmZ08-Icoudzpuz00p&index=2

Surroundedhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpd12nQ82vw

Scripture:

Psalm 34:18

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Isaiah 41:10

fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed (afraid), for I am your God; I will strengthen you, help you, and uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 18:28

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lightens my darkness.