Death of Newborn

Updated on February 27, 2010
A.M. asks from Midland, TX
44 answers

does anyone know anything about memoral services and if i should even have one for my baby. i just think its strange since no one had the chance to get to know him like i did to even have one. i think maybe it would anger me if we where to have one and that it would probably be best for my husband to just have our parents there for us instead of the memorial service. we are still in a bit of shock since everything happened so fast. my friends where the ones who asked me if was going to hold one and i didnt even think about it before.

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L.W.

answers from Houston on

Aleisha,

Do what will make you more comfortable. My mother in law has gone through this before, you are not alone.

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K.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

HI
I just read your post. I had a stillbirth several years ago. My third child. I had 2 kids then and have 4 kids now.
We had a memorial service at the hospital in the chapel with close friends and family and then creamated him. We planted a pear tree in our yard and buried the his ashes there. I also made a scrapbook with his pictures and obituary and the memorial service flyer. I also putint he cards I and notes I received. I still look at on the anniversary of his death every year.
We moved 5 years later so i wish now we had either buried the ashes with a small tomb stone in the same cemetry as my grandmother or put the ashes in small box at creamatrium at the cemetery.
The memorial service was good for me an dmy family to have some closure. Ihave had some firneds that have had a memeorial sewrvice athome and also at their church. You do what woudl be best fo ryo uand your family.
The reason I wished I had buried his ashes some where else is becuase after we moved I wish I woudl have had someplace to go to as the years have gone by to just be with him.
I learned it is a different kind of grief as it is a grief of a life hoped for. I hope your hospital gave you info on grief support group espeically for stillbirth parents. It really helped me alot. I found that my husband and kids griefed differently than me and it took me much longer not to be sad in my quiet moments. So please be easy on yourself, there is not time limit for grief to end. I still rememberhis birthday every year, and count him as my child when people ask me how many kids I have. But I have found that as hte years have passed I am the only one that remembers the date of his birth and death. Most people unless they have een through this may b=not know hwat to say to you. OSme will speak and osme want, some will say htings that might hurt your feelings. But remember their intention is not to do that. Just be patient with others.
Please feel free to email me if you want to at [email protected]____.com

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B.L.

answers from Dallas on

Im SO terribly heartbroken for you and your husband to endure such a tragic shock...

We have also endured this pain. We lost our 5 month old daughter in 2007, a day before my birthday. We decided to have a "celebration of life" (aka; funeral) for her because though her life was FAR too short, she still had a plan and a purpose from God and we wanted to honor her.

You must do what feels best for you. Would you guys feel comfortable having a little gathering with your closest family/friends? I would hate for you to do absolutely nothing - and then end up regreting it in the end.

Do you mind me asking what happened? I am so so sorry to hear you going through such heartache. As a mommy who has been through a similar pain I would suggest you and your hubby talk about your precious child and decide to do what you feel is best.

I have a video (of pictures) that honors our precious baby girl - if you would like to see it I would be glad to send it to you...just send me a private message...it shows what we did to honor her at the 'celebration of life' service...

Hugs to you..
Kelly

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J.C.

answers from Fort Wayne on

I'm sorry for your loss. My friend gave birth to a stillborn about 5 years ago. She named her and had a memorial service for her. She has a headstone in the graveyard where she was buried.

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D.K.

answers from Sioux City on

I am so very sorry! I think you should do what you feel comfortable doing. When our daughter died we had a graveside service. Our friends and family showed up. My husband is a cop so they had several police cars to escort us. In some ways I think it would have been nice to just have our little family, but I know that my husband was very proud to have the officers escort us. I think you do what is best for you. I think your friends want some way to honor your memories of your son. It is hard when a baby dies. People really don't know what to say or how to handle it. I will keep you in our prayers.

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A.B.

answers from New York on

I am so sorry for your loss. Like everyone else you should do what works for you and your husband. A friend lost her son and she had a burial for him right away and had a memorial service for him months later when she was ready, it was really a beautiful service because she took the time to get pictures together, video and beautiful music. You don't have to do anything right away if you are not ready. Just do what's right for you.

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M.N.

answers from Houston on

I think it is not uncommon to have memorial services after a loss like this. I don't know all details but do know if it will help provide some sort of closure you should do it. It doesn't have to even be a pubically announced service...perhaps your closest friends and family-only those you want to be there. I think this might give them a chance to show their support. However, I think you should take care of YOU and if this service will provide only negative feelings maybe not a good idea. Think about whether or not you'll regret NOT having one later down the road. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. Not sure what I would do in your situation either. Praying for you and your family!

M.

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A.P.

answers from Killeen on

4 years ago when my husband and I lost our daughter shortly after birth we decided to do a funeral back home. It was a finalization for us and in the end I feel it was the best choice for us. All I can say is I'm sorry, but life will get better. It's the most horrifying experiance in the world, but eventually you'll be able to smile again out of happiness that your baby was here for a little while rather than the sadness that is all consuming. That's what your baby would have wanted. Take your time though and don't let anyone 'rush' you through your grief. It is a pain that will never entirely go away.

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A.H.

answers from New York on

my sister died when she was an infant.. my mom and dad held a small service at church for anyone that wanted to attend.. a funeral.. they also had something small at a funeral parlor but it was just for them, their sisters, brothers.. and the grandparents.. it only lasted about 1 hour.. then they had the church service.. which you should have.. it gives closure to other people.. and it also lets you know that people are their for you.. and they love you.... get grief counseling for you and your husband.. turn to each other... and good luck.. you now have a tiny angel in heaven that will look down upon you... may god bless you both..

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D.S.

answers from New York on

First, I would like to say to how terribly sorry I am for your loss. I think you should do what is best for you. I am sure you cannot think straight right now. If you think it will help you through the grieving process then by all means do it. I know when I lost a child I just wanted to be alone (which also was not good) I find that sometimes people even though their intentions are good when they do not know what to say so they will say things that can make it worse so like you said it may only anger you. I remember I went through so many different emotions and anger was my biggest one. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel and do what will make you get through. Whatever you decide I just wanted you to know my thoughts are with you and your husband in this trying time.

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C.H.

answers from Houston on

My condolences on your loss.

This is a hard situation, having to balance your own needs or what feels right to you with what others are wanting or expecting. Especially with what you are going through. Having one could be a way of sharing him with everyone else.

I'd suggest listening to what you and your husband really need to get through this. Maybe it's no service, maybe it's a service at a later date. If you opt to not have a service, you might want tell your friends you'll get together with them informally later to give them a chance to reach out to you. They have a need for closure, though theirs isn't as great as yours.

Often friends feel the pain and want to do something; if they can help put things away, return things, whatever, enlist them--it will help them to help you, and it's that much less you have to worry about now.

I miscarried our first (after years of infertility). Many women don't talk about miscarriages; others do but dismiss it. For us it was devastating. I ended up writing a song about the baby, and later shared it with family. We later had two beautiful children, but I still remember that one and the song.

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T.G.

answers from New York on

My heart and prayers go out to you and your husband. Memorial Services are for those of us left behind. No one can tell you what to do, however, if you decide not to do something now it can always be done at a later time. Your friends just want to see you recover from this and a Memorial Service sometimes brings closure.

Anger is part of the grieving process and there are many groups available to your family as you grieve the worse kind of loss. Your hospital or funeral home should have details for you when you are ready.

Catholics believe that the soul is present at conception, so a funeral is performed even if just for the family. Those of other faiths have different beliefs. However, you must do what will make you the most comfortable in this terrible time.

My prayers are with you.

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C.O.

answers from Houston on

I am so sorry about your lost, my prayers are with you and your husband. Just do what you feel from the bottom of your heart, dont rush in any decision. God bless you

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S.K.

answers from Lancaster on

Sunbearflower, my deepest sympathies are with you. I am so very sorry. . . My brother and SIL had a stillborn baby at 25 weeks. They opted for a burial with immediate family only. It was a very difficult thing to do, I don't know how they managed, but I think it gave them closure. They are close to God, so I think this was a way for them to come to terms with the death and hand their son to the Lord.
I hope you can find ways to grieve and heal. You will always hold a deep place in your heart for your little boy, whether he is here with you or not. May peace be with you.

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K.W.

answers from Houston on

Hi - what can anyone say to help you. I remember when my daughter died. There is nothing that will ever take that pain away. No memorial service - no time - nothing. My daughter was 12 weeks old when she slipped away from this world. We had a full blown funeral, rosary and memorial service. It gave comfort to some. More than anything, it made me mad. So furious...didn't people know this grief belonged to me?!?!? It was hard and there is no getting around that. It has been a long time - 9 years - and I still grieve everyday. Now, I am thankful I got to be angry...thankful for my friends kind words that so angered me before, thankful for that pure moment of grief - and also for the witness of my family and friends. Because they were there, she is remembered, my pain is not forgotten. I say - do as you please...what is best for you, but listen to your heart. Just do what you have to do - be angry if you need to. Your friends and family will come to understand. There is a great support group here in houston called Houston Area Neonatal Death or HAND. I am sure there is something similar in Midland. I hope you find peace in your journey. I will hold you and your son close in my thoughts.

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M.G.

answers from San Antonio on

I totally agree with all who said to have a small service for family and close friends. I'm sure all would like to pay their respects not necessarily because they knew your baby, but because they all want to show they really care about you and your family's well being.

So super sorry for your loss.

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

First of all, my sincere sympathy to you and your family. I had the same experience years ago with my best friend and neighbor. They did have a service and it helped them so much with closure. It helped with getting friends and family together all at the same time. It also helped with cut backs on phone calls, emails, and drop-ins. Whatever you decide will be best for you and your family. Be strong and know that many are praying for you during this difficult time.

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J.T.

answers from College Station on

A friend of mine recently suffered the loss of her sweet 9 day old baby girl. They had a memorial mass and a funeral.

Go for it. It will make you feel better and honor your baby. It doesn't matter how ling they are with us, they still deserve a service.

I am sorry for your loss!

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

My parents live next to a beautiful cemetery - there are many graves for children who survived a few days, a week, and some who were stillborn.

I, personally, would have some kind of memorial if I were in your position. From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I was bonded with our kids.

But, do what is best for you. If you're not ready to do it, or if you think it would help you with the healing process, make the decision you're most comfortable with regardless of what other people say.

Sorry for your loss - I hope your heart heals quickly.

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K.E.

answers from New York on

My heart go out to you. I am very sorry for your loss. You can do whatever you want to do. A celebration of life is great, but at the level you want (ie private family gathering to funeral home). They are meant to honor the life of those no longer with us. They are also to show support for those that are left behind. Do whatever you feel right. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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M.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost twins about 10 years ago and it was heart wrenching and I do feel the pain you are going through. We had a small service in our home with our elders and close family and I know it helped. It helped not only me and my husband but our little girls who were so anxious to have a little brother and sister. The closure and the assurance that God was, and IS, in control is what we focused on and still do. I personally think it is a good idea for you. Talk to your husband about it. Even let him read what the ladies here have written and you decide what you want and need at this point.

God bless you!

M.

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E.C.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My friend lost her newborn last year and did hold a funeral, but I don't think I could do it. I think if you think it would be strange and that you would feel angry, then don't have one or just have a private family burial or service. I am so sorry you are going through this, cling to your husband and loved ones and do what's best for you, regardless of what others expect.

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P.W.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm so sorry about the loss of your little baby.

You get to do ANYTHING you want to. It's your and your husband's loss. If you don't want to have a memorial service, then don't.

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L.L.

answers from College Station on

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I think that you and your husband should follow your heart as to what you decide. If you feel that a memorial service is the right thing then do it. Often parents have a very private ceremony with immediate family inolved only. If your friends don't understand this that will be for them to resolve on their own. Good luck with a very difficult decision . God has a new angel with him now.

L.

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J.R.

answers from Houston on

I am so very sorry for your loss, I too went through the same thing although my baby died while still inside me. She was almost full term so we did have a funeral. I have a large circle of friends and they all came to the services, they wanted to be there for me and your friends feel the same way. We all were excited about this little angel so we all needed closure. Ultimately this decision is yours and your husbands obviously but I am glad that we did what we did, our Priest too was so incredible and that helped ease the pain for a moment at least. May God bless you and your family and especially your precious angel...I am so sorry.

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R.N.

answers from Houston on

I just want to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I lost twins in my 5th month and it was terrible. I cannot even imagine how awful it must be to have a full-term stillborn baby. You need to do whatever it is that will bring comfort to you and your husband right now. If the idea of a memorial service and all it entails is overwhelming to you then perhaps a private graveside service with just you and your immediate family would be the best for all concerned. I do recommend that you do something to bring closure, and that you have some sort of memento to remember your baby (a lock of hair, cap, receiving blanket, footprints, just something tangible to hold). It will be important and bring you comfort down the road. The grieving process could take up to a year or even more so I will say a prayer for you and your husband, that you will find comfort in each other and your happy memories of your pregnancy.

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K.D.

answers from Austin on

We lost our son, at 20 w 4d utero. It happened so fast, and has been the hardest thing I have ever had to experience. I truly am sorry for your loss. Our loss happened at the end of December, and we still have not had a service, but are planning a memorial in his honor, next month. This will consist of very close family and friends. I almost thought that maybe we didn't need to do this, just because our family and friends didn't even get to know him, but then I am reminded about how much they love us and how they were awaiting his arrival, too. They are grieving with us, as well. I am hoping this will bring some closure for us and help us to move on and remember him in a beautiful way. If you feel like you are not ready for a service, no one says you have to do it now. Do this when you are ready, if you ever are. Best to you and your family.

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S.M.

answers from Austin on

I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy. Twelve years ago, we lost our baby girl when she was 3 weeks old. Our baby was sick from the time she was born so at the point that we knew she was going to pass on our pastor and family members took care of all funeral home arrangements and service plans for us. The service was something I never gave any thought to, it was just done. It was good to be surrounded by people who cared. As others have posted, a lot of people will not know what to say to you. Most of my coworkers came to the service and even though most of them never mentioned our daughter again, it was good to know that they came and it was a way for them to show they cared. Our concern was whether or not to bury our daughter or have her cremated which is what both my husband and I want done when we pass on. We decided to do for her what we would do for ourselves. It helped to talk to our pastor and have his support. We still have her urn and it is my request to be reunited with her when I pass on and then our ashes can be spread together. My husband asked if there would be room for him also. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. We don't all grieve the same. My husband and I grieved completely differently. He hardly talked about our daughter whereas all I did was talk about her and I went to a support group. We just had to respect that we were handling the loss of our daughter differently. I saw the same thing with my aunt and uncle when they lost their adult son only it was my aunt who closed up and my uncle who would talk about their son. I remember I walked around in what seemed like a fog for months. Again, I am so sorry.

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T.V.

answers from Austin on

Hello Sunbearflower,

I am so sorry to hear you have lost your baby. It's the most difficult thing in the world to have to bury your child. I know this because my son was stillborn. We held a full funeral for him. All my friends, family, and co-workers attended. It is totally up to you if you want a private service, or if you want to include your friends. It helped to know that there were people there to support me and my family in our time of need. You need to do what you feel is best for you. My prayers are with you and your family.

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A.L.

answers from Houston on

My condolences on the death of your baby. I hope you will celebrate this short life and let your friends support you. That might be all they are able to do, and letting them support you will be a blessing to them, also. A memorial will also be completing this 'circle of life' you had with your little boy, no matter how short. God bless and keep you.

C.B.

answers from Kansas City on

my prayers are with you. i think you should do whatever you feel comfortable with. when this happened in our family we had a small informal ceremony with just family. maybe include a couple close friends if you feel they would want to be there (and you want them there). you are basically the center of this tragedy - no one else carried this child. but there are others who already had love for your baby and were excited and hopeful to meet it. but in the end, do what helps you. god bless.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

Having a memorial service is something that I would personally do.If you feel that you just want close relatives & friends that is fine also.I'll say a prayer for you today sorry this happened to you.Feeling angry is a part of healing you have to feel before you can start to heal

T.M.

answers from Fort Myers on

This is a heartbreaking cross to bear. Your family and friends want to be your first line of support system and I would allow people to be there for you when you are ready.

You and your husband along with both sets of parents and family members will be in our thoughts and prayers to help all of you get you through a very difficult time in your lives.

I think I would pray about the course of action to take and move forward when you are ready.

Healing wishes sent your way from a distance but close in heart,
Mary

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J.M.

answers from Odessa on

I am sorry for your loss. I, too, am the mother of a child gone before his time.

If the loss occurred after 5 months in utero, you are under a state obligation of a burial or cremation. Your funeral director can advise you better on this.

As far as a memorial service or funeral service, it is up to you. I had a service for our son for closure for my husband and I. Our family and a few very close friends attended. I do not regret the decision. I realized that although no one knew him as I did, they were grieving with me and for me. It was nice to have the support.

This is a personal decision for you and you need to handle this in a way that will bring closure and peace for you. If you want to have a very quiet, personal burial with you and your husband present, then that's how it should be.

Please do not grieve alone. If your family and or friends want to be there to support you but you feel you do not want the support at this time, just let them know it is a private affair. They will, eventually, understand. Just remember, they are grieving, too. Sometimes people just don't know what to say and it's awkward. Just know that you are loved and you are not alone.

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G.G.

answers from Austin on

A.- I can only imagine the pain and shock you are in right now and even though we are strangers, my heart hurts for you. It sounds like you know what you want. ...a quite event with family. I'm sure your friends are asking because they don't know how to comfort you and just want to show that they are there for support. If you feel comfortable with some of your close friends there, go ahead and invite them. It doesn't matter that no one had a chance to get to know him. You got to know him and your friends and family love you. They will want to be there for you. Lastly, I would highly recommend trying to find a group who has been through the same thing you have (or talk to a therapist). It will help you find peace. When I went through something tragic with a previous pregnancy, I found an online group of women who had the same rare problem. Had it not been for them, I don't know if I would have ever gotten past it.

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G.K.

answers from Austin on

If a small service with family only is what would be comfortable for you, then that's what you should do. You can select a charity for your friends to make contributions to in your name in lieu of flowers and that will make them feel better. You have prayers of support for you and your family & a big invisible shoulder to lean on when needed from all the moms here.

C.D.

answers from Columbia on

Your heart must be in pieces right now and I am so very sorry for your loss. These situations are so difficult because your heart and head can be very conflicted about what to do. I agree with others who have said to do what feels right for you. It might help to contact a local funeral home and talk to someone there. While most of us deal with a loss only occasionally, they deal with it daily and have experience with the feeling you have now and will have in the days, weeks, months to come. Maybe they could advise you to some degree on what will help you heal without any regrets for things you might have done differently when your heart has had some time to mend.
Our prayers are with you as you walk the path of healing with your family.
Christi

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E.B.

answers from Beaumont on

First of all, I'm really sorry for your loss. I can't imagine...
We lost a baby through a "miscarriage", the baby wasn't term but we still had a memorial. It was just my husband and I because others dismissed it as "just a miscarriage" but she was my baby.....While you can obviously do anything, I think it allowed us to 'say goodbye', name her, grieve, acknowledge the loss, and give our child the honor she deserved. Have anyone there you want, whatever feels best but in my case, it really helped.
Once again, I am so sorry for your loss.

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T.M.

answers from Houston on

My cousin recently went through this and decided the best way for them to handle it was to hold a provate service and funeral just for the two of them and the grandparents. The rest of us aknowledged this sad time in their lives by having a mass said at all of our respective churches in her son's honor (we are all Catholic). The best way to handle it is to do what feels comfortable to you. I will keep your baby, you, and your family in my prayers this evening.

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S.A.

answers from Houston on

I am so sorry to read about the death of your newborn! My prayers are with you and your family. You have gotten a lot of responses and advice but what I haven't seen anyone write so far is that while your son was not in this world long - as you put it "no one had the chance to get to know him like you did". This is true but with the announcement that a friend or family member is pregnant - everyone begins to have hopes and dreams for a child - we begin to imagine what the child will look like and what their life will be like. In so many ways, when such a young child dies - we mourn that child but also the hopes and dreams WE had for that child. A funeral or memorial service is a way for your family and friends to come and support you during this difficult time.

At the end of the day - you need to decide what is best for you and your husband.

Many blessings as you heal.
Stacy

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

first off i want to say im so sorry.you and your husband is in my prayers.just take your time and think about what you want if you would like to have a site to visit your son at then i would do it...but you have to do what will make you feel at peace.i will be praying for you&your family so sorry you are going threw this:( stay strong god is with you at a time like this...if you need to talk im always here to listen if you need some one to scream at cry to anything i will listen take care J.

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S.H.

answers from San Antonio on

I am so sorry for your loss. You don't have to do anything you don't feel comfortable with. I think that the reason people ask is because they love you, and through you they love your baby. They want to support you and walk with you. I know that as a parent, I have a love for other people's kids that never made sense to me before and I would want a tangible way to support a friend if they suffered such a loss. You might be surprised at how much their love helps. And you might not be ready for that. Maybe you could plan a little prayer service when you're ready, or just a gathering of friends.

When a friend of mine was lost, we had a "celebration" and we made an altar with trinkets that reminded us of our relationship with him. As part of the service, we each placed a trinket in a cup with melted wax, then poured more wax on top. When we missed him especially, anyone could take the candle and light it, to have some time with his memory. Community can really help support you and get you through this, but again, it is your grief and you should feel free to ask for privacy if you need it.

I wish you peace.

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi there...very sorry ~ I am quite sure you are in shock! My niece had a memorial for her baby who was born 4 months premature. It was only family, but she is used to being surrounded by everyone and I think that is what she needed. I do believe that was her closure and she was able to move on.

If you feel it is a personal thing, I would put your friends aside and simply make this a family matter. Everyone should have no problem with what your decision is.

Your friends can deal with their own closure and expression of emotions via Halmark. No disrespect to them, but it is your choice and feelings.

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M.T.

answers from New York on

I am so very sorry for the loss of your baby! If you would prefer a private service with just your immediate family, that is just fine. You and your husbnad should do what you are most comfortable with. People will ask about a service because they want to offer you their support, but if you feel that would be too painful for you, I am sure that people will understand. No one can know what you are going through unless they have been through it themselves, and at this time, you dont' need to make decisions to please others. Do what feels right for you. If you would not get comfort from having a public service, then don't do that.
Holding you in my thoughts and heart.

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