Funeral Costs > Help with funeral costs
We are constantly trying to keep this section of our site updated because so many organizations seem to come and go around the issue of offering funeral financial aid support to families after the death of a child. Possibly it is because the demand is so high that grass roots organization often find they can't keep up with the sheer volume of families in need.
The death of a child is never something anyone plans for really. The financial costs can be overwhelming. The emotional exhaustion leaves us loopy. And in the middle of all that, most families find they need a bit of help.
Probably the best place to start is in your local area. When you or your family contact the funeral homes, don't be afraid to tell them that this is not an expense you ever dreamed you'd have to face. Ask if they have financial aid, low cost, or no cost options to help families after the death of a child. We are often surprised here to discover that, while funeral homes won't advertise this, many are willing to help with almost no questions asked. We've come across several who will do everything for free for stillbirth families especially.
Another local option would be to try contacting your local Hospice. They are well appraised of local supports for families when a loved one is dying and maybe be able to help you. In Seattle you can call 1-888-782-4445 to reach the Pediatric Hospice program called Safe Crossings: when a child dies. If they can't help directly, I'm sure they would have some ideas about other local options.
While it may seem very weird to advocate surfing the net after the death of your child, you may be surprised what you'll find. For every other purchase we make in our lives, we shop, don't we? We ask for opinions from friends. We comparison shop. You get the cliche.
Well, honestly, this is no different. In fact, this may be more important than any shopping you'll ever do. I say that because this is the beginning of the legacy you will create for your child. Most people don't think up front to ask a funeral home if their cemetery will let them put AND keep items on the gravesite. Some families find that the "lawn service" comes once a month and *throws away* all the items! Most cannot afford at that point to move their child's grave to another site.
This is just one example. Please, seriously, don't be afraid to ask questions. To look around at all your options. I know we are out of our minds with grief and at some point we just want to not have to think about all this. But you can use the internet -- especially in those wee hours of the night when grief won't let you sleep anyway -- to ask this stuff. To comparison shop.
First, go online to your parent grief support group. Try the forums at MISS or other groups you've found. Ask other parents what they did. Ask if they are happy with what they chose. Ask what they wish they would have known. Most parents are more than willing to share this information and point you in one direction or another.
Second, look up resources like Infant Urns.com and do Google searches for "headstones" and the like. You'll be surprised to find that there are some amazing services out there for low cost. Infant Urns.com especially offers wonderful, low-cost, high-quality items, AND they have the support of GriefWatch, Pat Schwiebert's organization that sprouted from the Tear Soup book. They are willing to help you learn what you can expect -- and what your rights are with your furneral home.
Share Your Knowledge
After you've found a way to work things out, or if you come upon and especially helpful organization on your journey, share what you know! Go back to those online support groups and tell other parents about your experiences. Send an email to us here at KotaPress! We're glad to take a look at new, reliable resources so that other families can find help in the future!
Whatever happens, don't give up trying.
Grief, by itself, is overwhelming.
But if you are also facing
some financial concerns
on top of it, I know how
awful it can be. So reach
out. Ask for help. It is
okay to need and get help!
You are not alone.