I believe there is a sort of stigma attached to infant loss, and openly grieving is difficult for others to take in. When a baby passes away, especially a preemie who may have never had the chance to meet anyone beyond their parents and caregivers or a baby who was born stillborn, it may be thought of as odd to hold a funeral/memorial service.
Do they even make caskets that small? You may wonder? Why yes, they do. For those parents who want to share their little one with their families and friends by holding a memorial, please don’t hesitate because you think it will be “too morbid”, too sad, or because others never knew your child. Death is an uncomfortable subject, and those that occur taking the lives of babies just born are especially tragic, but we parents grieve like any other. If this can help to provide comfort and/or closure to the parents, then they should hold a ceremony that is meaningful to them.
No body is necessary, you can choose to have a service in which you share your little one with others in remembrance through pictures, stories, and songs. We were able to celebrate the short life of our little one and grieve the loss with those who we loved around us. To us, it was comforting to share stories about the first time we held her tiny little hand and the heartache that we were feeling. We felt she deserved to be known. She deserved to be acknowledged, and she was an inspiration to us, so we shared what we could so that she could also inspire others. Don’t forget that this is also a chance for others outside the immediate family to be able to share their feelings. The loss of an infant profoundly effects the parents and siblings of that baby, but just like a drop in water, ripples onto grandparents, godparents, cousins, friends of the family, etc.