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COPING & HEALING

DEALING WITH LOSING A CHILD:
MAKING ARRANGEMENTS

As painful as it may be, it is important that you take some time to think about your child's final arrangements. Hopefully, you would have had the chance to spend the last moments holding your child and having last rites performed by a hospital chaplain. Even if this did not happen, there are other ways to give your child a thoughtful and loving farewell.

When it comes time to making burial arrangements, the hospital's social worker or a clergy person can assist you. Some things that you may want to consider are: whether you want a small ceremony or elaborate memorial service, where and how you want your child to be buried, how you want to dress your child and what special things you want to bury with your child. Some parents place their child's favorite toys or books or a family photo in their casket. Other parents find comfort in burying their child next to another dear relative or friend.

If you have other children, you may want to involve them with the funeral service such as lighting a candle or saying a prayer. Making the above decisions together will allow you and your family a measure of comfort and a passageway to "closure".