If you need help and guidance with organising a funeral service for your child, John Gray & Co Funeral Directors are here to support you every step of the way.
How to deal with the loss of a child
While family members and friends are key elements of the support system, there are also lots of support groups for bereaved parents. Here are some organisations you can reach out to:
Planning a children’s funeral
There is no “right” place to start when planning the funeral of your child. We recommend building a strong support network around you. Our team of experts at John Gray & Co Funeral Directors are able to offer you advice and guidance throughout this process.
For children who had not reached the age of 18, we offer the following services free of charge:
- Professional services
- Transfer and care of the child
- Ceremonial vehicle and staff
- Embalming (optional)
We also offer a number of personalised services at an additional cost, these include:
- A range of transport i.e. limousines, horse-drawn hearse and specialist vehicles
- Personalised floral tributes
- Dove releases
- Memorial masonry and temporary grave markers
For more information and costs, please speak to a member of our team.
Are children’s funerals free in the UK?
Although they are not free, the Children’s Funeral Fund for England (CFF) is designed to help with funeral costs for parents in England and Wales. This scheme was introduced by the Government in 2019 and offers financial support for parents who have lost a child under the age of 18, or stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy. It’s designed to help with:
- Burial or cremation fees
- Doctor’s fees
- Coffin, shroud or casket (up to £300)
If you get certain benefits and need further financial assistance, you may also be entitled to a Funeral Expenses Payment. This is available in Scotland, England and Wales.
Who pays for a stillborn funeral
If your baby was stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy, you will be eligible for financial support through the government scheme: Children’s Funeral Fund for England (CFF). Additionally, after a neonatal death you may be entitled to:
- Statutory Maternity pay and leave
- Statutory Paternity pay and leave
- Child Benefit
- Child Tax Credit
- Sure Start maternity grant
- Free prescriptions and dental treatment
It’s also worth speaking to your employer about any employee benefits they can offer you to help during these difficult times.
What should you say to grieving parents
Sensitivity and compassion are key for the family and friends of bereaved parents. If you know someone who has lost a child, just knowing you’re there can reassure them. You may find this guide from the Lullaby Trust helpful: How you can support a bereaved parent or family.
What flower represents the loss of a child
When choosing flowers for a children’s funeral, we recommend picking something that’s personal to you and your family. Perhaps your child’s favourite flower; a flower of their favourite colour; or your child’s birth flower.
Here are some popular funeral flowers and their meaning:
- Lilies – purity and rebirth (white), femininity and admiration (pink), confidence and energy (orange), joy and friendship (yellow)
- Roses – love and passion (red), admiration and joy (pink), innocence and purity (white)
- Orchid – innocence and purity (white), friendship (yellow), grace and joy (pink), royalty and admiration (purple)
- Chrysanthemums – sympathy and honour
- Carnations – fascination, distinction, love
Should children go to a funeral
The answer to this question will depend a lot on the individual child, as well as factors such as age, maturity, relationship with the child, and whether they want to go. In the case of young children, it’s likely they won’t fully understand what’s going on, whereas an older child will have a better grasp. This brief guide goes into more detail about a child’s concept of death based on their age.
Here are some questions to consider when making your decision:
- Do they want to go?
- Do they understand what is happening?
- How old are they?
- What is their relationship to the child who has passed away?
- Do I want them to be there?
- If they don’t go, how can I get them involved?
Some parents give their child the choice of whether to attend or not. If you decide to do this, use age-appropriate language to explain what will happen so they know what to expect. Then, together, you can make a decision based on how they feel.