Saying Goodbye – The Funeral


Planning how you want to say “Goodbye” to your child, is your choice. There are lots of ideas and beautiful things you can incorporate into the service, in honour of your child

Whether you lost your baby in early pregnancy, early in infancy or when they were young adults; we hope you find this page helpful in planning their final “Goodbye”…

Early Pregnancy Loss can mean not many people even knew about your precious little cargo. That doesn’t mean you cannot say goodbye in your own special way. Here are some ideas that other families have suggested, that you may find healing for you :

  • Write a letter to your baby
  • Plant seeds of a flower that blooms in the same month of your loss / due date
  • Light a candle
  • Plant a tree or bush, so you can watch it grow
  • Make a donation in their memory
  • Write a poem to, or about your baby


Many families find that choosing a different mode of transporting their child to their final place of rest, can make the journey something special. These extra things will not be included in your basic funeral plan, and will incur a significant cost. Discuss your ideas with your Funeral Director.

Dress Code

From our experience of children’s funerals, they tend to take on a relaxed dress code. Some families choose to wear brightly coloured clothes, as a celebration for the life of the child. Perhaps your child’s favourite colour. We asked that no body wore black, but try to wear something yellow, for Tabitha’s service. Some will want everyone to wear something Red or Blue for example, to symbolise their favourite TV character or football team. But some will feel more comfortable with wearing the traditional dark clothes.

What you need to remember is that there is no right or wrong. Whatever you choose is right for you. This choice is purely a personal preference of what you want.

Floral Tributes

Flowers are a beautiful way to add colour to your child’s funeral, and can act as an ongoing memorial to them. Choosing a flower that is in season, perhaps your child’s favorite flower or one that a sibling has suggested; can be a way to involve them in the day. We would recommend using the Flower Studio who have stores in Douglas and St. John’s. They are very talented and we are proud to be supported by them. Depending on the arrangement you choose, flowers can be another great expense, but your florist will discuss all of this with you. You may also wish to use artificial flowers; these can be kept after the funeral. We would recommend using Silky Bouquets. They take requests for numbers, names and shapes such as pillows, hearts and teddy bears; and create stunning pieces.

Preparing a Eulogy

A child’s funeral is going to be a very emotional occasion for all involved, that goes without saying; so anything you choose to read will be met with great emotion.

If your baby died in late pregnancy or early infancy, you may find it difficult to write as you don’t have as many memories of time spent with your child. Having a reading or poem that means something to you, can help to bridge the gap. Here are some suggested Readings. Songs also have beautiful lyrics, and if you have a special song that you sang to your baby, you could read that too.

For older children, try and focus on the child, what they enjoyed to do, share happy memories and things that would have made them laugh; and try to paint a picture of them for those who may not have known them that well. If the child said anything that seems profound now that they have died, those words would be an appropriate inclusion in the eulogy as well.

As parents, you may have strong feelings about reading the eulogy yourself. Either way do not worry if you feel you can’t, nobody will be expecting you to do so. Whoever is conducting the funeral will be more than happy to read your words on your behalf; or a close friend or family member. It is not easy to write a eulogy for a child. But use the opportunity to remember a few of the beautiful moments that the child had during their short time on earth. Reminding everyone of the happiness your child brought to your lives, the deep love you shared and how beautiful they were – inside and out.

Order of Service

Your Minister, Funeral Director or whoever is taking the funeral service will discuss what you would like to include in the service in detail, including any music, hymns or special readings you are thinking of. If you are having a cremation it may be advisable (but not compulsary) to book a double slot at the crematorium so that you have enough time to include everything you wanted to without feeling rushed. However, you may be more comfortable with a shorter service.

We made Tabitha’s Order of Service ourselves, and included the lyrics to the songs we had chosen, some photos of her and messages from us (her parents) and her older brother. We also wrote Thank You’s in the back to our family members who had been our constant support since her diagnosis and her death; these were given individually for each person.

You can choose to make them yourself or have them printed professionally. Depending on how you are feeling personally, the funeral service can be either a celebration of your child’s life, or something that you just have to get through; and that is okay. You may decide that you would like to light candles during the service, watch a video of your child, or listen to readings/ memories/ songs read from their school/ college friends or siblings; or to release doves/ balloons after the service or by the graveside.

Only you can decide and choose what is right for you and your family on the day.

Songs and Music

The songs and music you choose can be ones that are special to you, your whole family, your child’s favourite singer, song or band or ones that you have chosen just for the service. We have come across many songs that we hadn’t realised held so much emotion within the lyrics, until we lost Tabitha.

Fly – Celine Dion

Lullaby – Billy Joel

You are  my Sunshine –

Baby Mine –

Carry you Home – James Bunt

Small Bump – Ed SHereen

Beautiful Boy – John Lennon




Artwork kindly donated by Janice Farnan Photography

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Isle of Man Registered Charity No.1134.