Saying goodbye is the hardest thing any loved one must do after death. As I heard recently, 'We didn't want to say goodbye, we wanted to say goodnight. And they are totally different.'
Yet, this is the one thing you can do for your child, so doing it well and finding ways to make it be beautiful may make sense. Money may be an issue for you, so explore your options well. There are many ways you can hold a beautiful service with little money. Some funeral directors offer the gift of free or inexpensive options. If someone does this, understand it is a special gift. The hospital, doctor, and others still charge, so we should not expect our funeral directors to do their work for free. Plus they have products to offer you and they must pay for them.
You may wish to help dress and rock your baby before the service. Many, many parents do this. In fact, quite a few recommend inviting siblings or nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles…to be a part of it. You may wish to have some quiet or private time, but could also build in some family time. This can be done at your home (you may need the funeral director to do the transportation in some states), at the hospital, at a church or other meaningful community space. Remember, this is the one thing you can do for your child. Do it well and do what you need to do to make it special.
If you are able to have an open casket (something that is done much of the time), you will give those who have not met your daughter/son a chance to do so. Having that shared memory and the reality that you did have a baby, not just a pregnancy loss, can help you all talk, mourn, and heal over time.
For ideas on the types of services you could have, how to write an obituary, suggestions for songs, hymns, poems, readings and more, you may wish to get our booklet Planning a Precious Goodbye. It can be downloaded from www.memorEmedia.com if you need it right away. Two other great resources are: a spiral bound book Bittersweet: Hello, Goodbye from the National Share office and in our eShop you will find the resource-rich eZine #6 Planning Goodbyes .