Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sample Funeral Ceremony, Death Announcement, and Facebook Message for Death of A Baby

Today I am writing a post that NEEDS to be written, as opposed to one I want to write.  I believe it would have been helpful to find a sample baby funeral ceremony, death announcement, and even Facebook message after Nora had died.  I was lucky to find the book Planning a Precious Goodbye, which is what a majority of these samples are based on.  

So today's post is for those in the early days of loss.  Those who might need a resource to help plan their baby's funeral. To those of you in this situation, I hope you find this if you need it, but oh how I wish you didn't.  

Sample Facebook Message

The exciting moments of pregnancy have turned to sorrow and heartfelt loss with the death of our baby girl, Nora Norine-Kelly Henke on December 30, 2012.

We would like to invite our friends and family to join us for a memorial service in her honor. The service will be held at the Cremation Society of Minnesota’s Edina Chapel on Saturday, January 5th 2013 starting with a short ceremony at 5:30 p.m. followed by reception. 

In lieu of gifts or flowers we would appreciate a donation in her honor be made to “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” (https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/donate/). This organization provides free professional photography to parents in situations such as ours which will provide comfort and memories for years to come.

Sample Death Announcement

Nora Norine - Kelly Henke
The exciting moments of pregnancy have turned to sorrow and heartfelt loss with the death of our baby girl, Nora Norine-Kelly Henke on December 30th, 2012.  

She was preceded in death by: Great-Grandparents Henke, Great-Grandparents Kelly, Great-Grandparents Schmitz, Great-Grandpa Fritsch.  

She leaves behind her loving family who will always love her: Parents Nicholas and Lindsey, Grandparents Bod and Gerry Fritsch, Grandparents Paul and Barn Henke, Aunt Kristi and Uncle Zach, Aunt Carmen, Cousin Hannah, Great-Grandma Debbie Fritsch, and other loving family and friends.  

In lieu of gifts or flowers we would appreciate a donation in her honor be made to “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” (https://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/donate/). This organization provides free professional photography to parents in situations such as ours which will provide comfort and memories for years to come.

Sample Funeral Ceremony

Reading For a Baby
Today, we come together in sorrow over the death of Lindsey and Nicholas’s baby girl, Nora Norine-Kelly Henke. Their child, created in love and eagerly wished for, has died-never to be nestled securely in their arms in this lifetime.

To these parents, the pain and the disappointment is great and their loss will be carried heavily in their hearts for all their days. In the weeks and months ahead, they will miss their child terribly and will be in need of love, compassion, time and understanding from all of us.

Each life comes into this world with a mission. Sometimes the mission or purpose is clear; sometimes it is vague and shrouded in misunderstandings. In time, we will see what this baby’s mission was on earth. Could it have been just to add a little flicker of love that otherwise may never have been lit? Was it to soften our hearts so that we may in turn comfort others? Could it have been to bring us closer together?

This child’s life was short, yet the death has left a huge void in all of our hearts and lives. Let us remember today and for always the tiny baby who will never see childhood or adulthood, but will remain our tiny baby forever.

(Lindsey will read this)
Just Those Few Weeks – by Susan Erling Martinez, revised by Lindsey Henke

Just Those Few Weeks:
I had you to myself. And that seems to short a time, to be changed so profoundly.

In Those Few Weeks:
I came to know you…and to love you. You came to trust met with your life. Oh, what a life I had planned for you!

Just Those Few Weeks:
When I lost you, I lost a lifetime of hopes, plans, dreams, and aspirations. A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just Those Few Weeks:
It might not have been enough time to convince others how special and important you were. How I had lost a truly unique person that I will never know.

You Were For Just Those Few Weeks, My Little One, My Baby Girl:
You darted in and out of my life too quickly. But it seems that’s all the time you needed to make my life so much richer and give me a small glimpse of eternity.

A Prayer for Baby (Anonymous) - Dedicated to Nora from her Daddy, Nick Henke
Never to have known you, but to have loved you.
Never to have held you, the ways fathers do.

With you I bury my hopes and dreams
For an unknown child I’ve never seen.

But I also bury the love in my heart
And the sadness of knowing that we must part.

And I pray to God to do for you
All the things I would like to do.

And keep my baby safe from harm
To laugh and frolic in springtime’s arms.

Lindsey and Nick would like to light a candle during this song as a remembrance to their daughter Nora.
Song – Celine Dion “A Mother’s Prayer”. – Nick and Lindsey light a candle in her honor.

Nick and Lindsey want you to "realize that the parents are sad because they miss this baby, this special person: he or she never can be replaced by anyone else. They had pictured their child in their minds, learning to walk, starting school, making friends, graduating, getting married, and having their own children. This was not “just” a baby but a real person and a whole future that has been lost.” – Empty Arms, by Sherokee Ilse

“Lindsey and Nick told me that one thing they have learned from this is how much they, Nora, and their hopes and dreams are loved and respected by their family and friends and how grateful they are to be blessed by all of you and your love for them”.

Closing saying:

Little footprints by Dorothy Ferguson
How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts.


All of these samples were created and taken from Sherokee Ilse & Susan Erling Martinez's Planning A Precious Goodbye.  


  1. I've been planning a post like this myself. I've put up part of what we had for Finley's funeral on my blog already. I know that when we started to contemplate planning Finley's funeral, I had no idea where to begin. Not only had I never planned a funeral before, but I didn't remotely know how to plan one for somebody who barely got to experience life.

    We didn't make a public announcement, though I did put an annoucement on facebook in the end after well intentioned people kept questioning me about whether or not the baby had arrived yet. We only invited very close friends and family to the service though.

    Our celebrant did a lovely job of honouring Finley. I could try to get a copy of the transcript perhaps. She had lost a 5 year old son some years back, so in a lot of ways could relate to a lot of what we were going through at the time.

    I definitely couldn't find much online for resources for planning a baby's funeral. I ended up reaching out on bereaved parent forums (Babycentre and Sands) and received some wonderful ideas that way.

    Thanks for sharing with us <3

  2. Hi Lindsey, I wanted to thank you for writing this post. It made me cry, so many beautiful words, so much wisdom and love... It's a part that many leave out never talk about. I posted about this subject to: how we announced Sahar was gone. We made her a birth card just like we would have done if she were born healthy and stayed alive. We designed something that matched our feelings and transmitted the message that she was gone, but very loved. You can read about it here: http://lovinganangelinstead.com/when-your-baby-dies/telling-the-world-your-baby-is-gone/
    I will put up a link to your post on that page so that newly bereaved parents that come across my site in their journey through grief can use the beautiful information you've shared here.

    Thank you! Laila

  3. Thanks for sharing this post and video with us.

  4. Thanks Linsey - this is so important to share.

    Announcing Meg's death on Facebook was really hard, but very necessary. Facebook's full of people who may or may not care what's going on in your life and had/hadn't asked how I was getting on. I felt it wasn't fair to have the unexpected and awkward conversation with friends I hadn't seen in years, so eventually I posted this:

    Dear All

    Many of you have been kindly asking how my pregnancy is going and whether the baby has arrived now that her due date has passed.

    Sadly we lost our baby daughter, Meg, a week ago. Her heartbeat disappeared in the early stages of Labour and she was delivered stillborn late on Thursday evening.

    Meg weighed 6lb 7oz and was perfect. We will probably never know why she didn't make it.

    I have since contracted pneumonia and am still in hospital, so apologies for not replying to you individually and for such a public posting. I'm obviously going to need some time to heal.

    Thanks for your kindness and support over the past months. It's really sad that I can't share with you the happiness Meg would have brought.

    Love J

  5. Planning a funeral for our loved ones, it can be an extremely emotional experience in our life. Thanks for sharing tips on pre-planning a funeral. We really appreciate your post, because we got very important points here!!! Also, we think it's an unique concept. Keep posting like this post.


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