FUNERALS AND PREPARATION FOR DYING
At Entheos, we are passionate about the need for openness and transparency in all aspects of death and death planning, for everyone involved. We believe that every individual deserves a final tribute which not only reflects their own unique personality and approach to life, but that also honours and celebrates the unique gifts they brought to the world, and the legacy they leave behind.
END OF LIFE CEREMONIES with Entheos
Our team at Entheos are highly experienced and have had the privilege of holding all kinds of funerals for all kinds of people, from all walks of life, who have died in so many different ways. We are very experienced with funerals involving trauma and sudden death, and with the great grief that comes with holding funeral ceremonies for infants, children and young people who have left this life at a young age.
End of Life / Funeral Planning
Knowing you leave unfinished interpersonal business can make the anticipation of death harder. The fear of dying is often wrapped up in the fear of pain and abandonment, and our End of Life sessions create a space for the psychological and spiritual exploration needed for individuals and families facing death. Very often this includes exploring the meaning of life, addressing broken relationships, seeking and offering forgiveness, finishing important tasks, sharing important memories and values with loved ones, saying final goodbyes, and exploring what death means to you and your loved ones. Actively engaging with the process of dying can be both liberating and comforting, and can help to relieve the anxiety of dying with important things left unsaid and undone.
Everyone’s loss is different, and therefore everyone’s grief is different. Grieving can take many forms, and there is no set timeline or process. If you are grieving, it is important to understand that what you are feeling is part of the process of trying to come to terms with a major change in your life. It is completely normal to experience a wide range of feelings which can include shock, disbelief, confusion, sadness, loneliness and anger. Grief counselling can help you to understand how you are feeling (or not feeling), and can help you to find compassion, care and comfort for yourself during this time of great change. Our grief circles are held online or in our Community Space at The Coombe.
Losing a child or infant is a devastating experience for families, one of the most painful experiences imaginable. At Lara’s Legacy, we are here to offer our help and support during this difficult time.
Honoring Lara’s Memory
Lara’s Legacy was established in memory of Karen’s goddaughter, Lara, who was born sleeping in February 2022*. Lara’s name, which stands for “Loved And Remembered Always,” inspired us to name this initiative after her. We believe that every baby, child, and young person who passes away should be loved and remembered always. Our ceremonies are designed to capture this sentiment in a brief and beautiful manner. We understand that each family has their own words and preferences, and we will respect and accommodate them.
*Her mother’s chosen words- we will use whatever words you prefer for your family.
Expertise in Child and Infant Funeral Ceremonies
Guided Funeral Planning
Supporting You Through the Process
The Purpose of the Funeral
The usual options for the funeral include:
- The hospital can arrange the funeral for you, often free of charge or for a small fee. While this choice streamlines the planning, it may limit your options.
- You can engage your local funeral director. There might be a fee, but it’s usually reduced or waived, and we can help guide you through this process.
- You can organize the funeral yourself, liaising directly with the crematorium or cemetery.
Personalizing the Ceremony
Choosing music and readings for the ceremony is a deeply personal process. Music allows you to express feelings that words alone can’t capture. We encourage you to take your time considering songs that remind you of your baby. If the ceremony takes place at a graveside, a small Bluetooth speaker can be used to play music from your phone.
The choice of readings is equally individual. You may have a favourite bedtime story or wish to consider our suggested poems and readings. Alternatively, you may decide to forgo readings altogether. Your celebrant will assist in shaping the content and pacing of the ceremony, allowing you to focus on your emotions rather than practicalities.
Supporting Grieving Parents
If you have a friend or family member whose child or baby has died, it’s natural to be unsure of what to say. We understand the challenge of finding the right words, so aim to be a practical and unobtrusive presence.
Listen, validate their feelings, don’t feel obliged to offer positivity, platitudes or “brightsides”.
Aim to simply offer gentle and practical support to ease the burden of everyday life for the grieving parent(s).
While you can’t fix the situation, you can learn the language preferred by the parents and use it. Avoid platitudes and religious comforts unless you’re certain they resonate.
Remember important dates and reach out to the parents on birthdays and anniversaries, as their grief will continue long after the world seems to move on.
You can also connect with support organizations like Feilecain for memory boxes or “Cuddle Cots” and Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep for professional photography.
If the child is brought home before the funeral, offering practical help like tidying up or creating a peaceful space can make a significant difference.
If you choose to be a support, do so without any expectation of gratitude. It sounds simple but emotions run high at these times and the family will be deep in grief, so liberate them from the need to observe usual social conventions.