Memorial Planning

Planning the memorial for your little one will not be easy.  You have to give yourself permission to either give it over to someone else or control every detail yourself, or anything in between that you need to do to get through these days.  Try, as much as you can, to spend time in prayer.  I found it impossible to pray on my own, except in anguish and despair.  Others prayed with me, and others simply prayed for me.  God is holding you, holding you tight, and He will not let go, no matter how hard these decisions are for you.

Burial or Cremation

If your personal beliefs require one or the other, then this will seem a moot point to you.  But, we struggled with it.  We wanted Jedidiah’s body donated to science, but that was not to be, despite the valiant effort of our palliative care team.  So, we had to decide.  I have NEVER found solace in a cemetery, so the thought of his body being buried did not sit well with me.  Also, I wanted my children to remember him as he had been, not as he would be in a casket.  I know many others, however, who feel very strongly that saying goodbye to a loved one’s earthly body during the ceremony and having a quiet, serene place to go and remember him is extremely helpful in their grieving process.  My advice, mom and dad need to agree on what to do, on what is best for you and your other children.  Other people’s opinions can be considered, but, ultimately, you are the ones who will grieve the most.

Choosing a Funeral Home

Here in Middle Tennessee, we used Spring Hill Funeral Home.  They have an Infant and Youth Program, and we were so amazed by their love and compassion during this time.

Whatever funeral home you choose to use, know that you do not have to have the funeral at the funeral home itself (unless they require it).  We had a funeral home director who came to our home and to the church that opened their doors for Jedidiah’s Life Celebration.  Think about where you, your spouse, and your other children will be the most comfortable during this process and have the memorial there.

Funeral or a Life Celebration… Is there a difference?

Without a doubt, there is a difference between a funeral and a celebration.  Your child is a gift from God, and gifts are to be celebrated.  His or her life MATTERS, matters greatly.  Will you and everyone else be sad?  Will some of you question God’s plan?  Will you want to cry the whole time? Yes.  But, you can choose to focus on the precious life that grew inside you, changing you and everyone who had the opportunity not only to know Little One but everyone who knows you and your family.  As hard as it will be, celebrate the gift of life.

Memorial Checklist

Please feel free to use either the Memorial Checklist pdf or the Memorial Checklist docx (if you want an edit-able version).  I had been given some great information about remembering that my body was changing still and that clothes would be a difficult task.  I also knew that others would handle anything that I could not or would not.  However, I am a hands-on person, and I needed to keep myself busy, so I made myself a checklist that included the belts and shoes my other children still needed; the picture picking, framing,and lighting that needed to be done for Jedidiah’s service; the decorations I wanted–baby blue helium balloons, each of my other children’s first stuffed animals, only baby blue colored tissue boxes, only baby blue colored plates; the project I wanted our guests to work on at the reception (a stained glass frame); and so much more.  I needed that list to feel sane.  I needed that list to feel that Jedidiah would be honored as I wanted him honored.  If you are not a list person, ask someone who is to take care of things for you.  They will.  They want to know that they are helping, and they want to honor you and your little one.

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