Urns, Caskets, Cremation and Burial Considerations
For many of us, this is the first time we have had to consider, organize, and pay for end-of-life preparations. While I had supported family in a funeral/memorial service, casket/urn, and cremation planning before, now the decisions landed on my shoulders. We had to decide. I didn't know what I wanted for my own funeral let alone my baby's.
This section aims to help provide some different options for you to consider for infant urns, caskets, burial, and funeral or memorial arrangements. Please look at the financial supports page if financial assistance would be useful.
Finding the right sized urn for your baby can be daunting. Ask the funeral home/crematorium how many cubic ounces to expect. You will likely just need an extra small or small urn.
In partnership with Vitrified Studios, they are offering all parents who come through WMBD a 25% off discount on their baby's urn. Purchase your discounted urn through Vitrified Studio's modernpotteryurn.com.
Local Funeral Home
A local funeral home can sell you an infant casket. Sometimes these can come with a heftier price tag.
Burial, Funeral, Memorial, and Celebration of Life Questions
As you consider whether to have a burial, funeral, memorial, or celebration of life event, here are some questions for you to consider.
We decided to have Nathaniel cremated and we keep his urn in our home. We have not decided where we would like to be buried and therefore we have decided to wait until we have chosen our final resting spot so he can be with us always. We did do a memorial service for Nathaniel at a local cemetery's chapel, where we had a short service.
Do you want your baby to be buried? If not, where would you like to keep your baby's remains until you decide?
When do you have to have your baby buried if you have specific religious considerations?
Do you/your partner know where you want to be buried? Will it be essential to be located near or with your baby?
Do you want your baby buried in the infant section?
Will the location of burial be one you can visit easily?
If you move away from the area, will you be ok with this spot as your baby's final resting spot?
What is the financial steadiness of the burial location? Could this spot ever be closed or repurposed?
Funeral, Memorial Service, Celebration of Life
Do you want to hold a funeral, memorial service or celebration of life for your baby? You don't have too...
When would you want to? It doesn't have to be immediate...
Where would you like to hold this service?
Whom would you like to invite? Make sure to specify if you don't want babies or children present.
How long would you like the service to be?
What would you like done during this time? Speeches, reflections, sermon/prayer/blessing, music, poetry, conversation...
Do you want to have food/drink?
What decoration or memory items would you like to bring? Photos? Ashes? Signs? Blanket?
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 1 in 160 end in stillbirth, these numbers don't include the TMFR, neonatal, and infant deaths that occur each year. With the sheer volume of babies gone too soon, their lives, no matter how long deserve to be celebrated and shared. There’s no right or wrong way to commemorate the life of these infants. If you feel drawn to writing an obituary for your son or daughter to share in a local newspaper, on an online memorial site, or your social media account, then this is what you should do. You might include details about how their birth was “highly anticipated.”
Writing the obituary of an infant who died hours, days, or months after birth may also be an extremely emotional experience. You might include descriptions of the pregnancy experience, what you did once you met your baby earthside, and what you will grieve for the future. You can also include organizations to donate to.
Here is what we wrote for Nathaniel:
This past weekend has been the very hardest of our lives. Our son, Nathaniel Wyatt Stillman, was born early Friday, February 18th under an acute emergency situation. Due to that circumstance, our little boy passed away peacefully in Sarah's arms on Sunday. Though with us for a very short period of time, he is imprinted on our hearts forever. He was so perfect, and so beautiful.
Our hearts are shattered and we are slowly figuring out how to pick up the pieces without him and all our dreams deferred. No words can accurately express how much we love him and how much we miss him. We are so grateful to be his mothers. He will be forever loved and always remembered.
Thank you to everyone who reached out recently to me, Sarah and our parents. We truly appreciate all the love we've been sent. We are still processing and taking things day by day. In lieu of further flowers or gifts we would love it if folks would instead make a donation for research to the Preeclampsia Foundation in his name - Nathaniel W. Stillman.
If you are interested in sharing the obituary or a post on the passing of your baby/babies as an example for other families please contact us.
We created a brief program for Nathaniel's memorial service. It had both the poem we read for him as well as a short written eulogy of our pregnancy and his life. We also included a few photos. Below are a few program options:
Resources for Creating Your Baby's Service
Options for a Funeral, Memorial Service, or Celebration of Life
Infant loss poetry and quotes
Poems on pregnancy and infant loss
Memorial poems for pregnancy and infant loss
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Poems on loss for parents and infant loss
Stillbirth and pregnancy loss poems
Don't see a song, playlist, or hymn featured that you recommend or would like? Let us know!
A growing list of songs (over 130 options) from fellow loss parents of songs that remind them of their babies.
JoinCake is a grief website, and they have compiled a list of 30+ songs for a baby or toddlers funeral service.