Reading Suggestions for a Baby or Child's Funeral

Memorial Mass Held In Perth For victims Of MH17 Disaster
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If you're looking for a special reading or poem to express your feelings at your baby's memorial service or funeral, you'll find here some excerpts from suggested works to get you started. No matter your faith, these secular readings all have the potential to help express feelings that otherwise may be difficult to share.

Remember, anything that has special meaning to you and your family can make a service memorable. Don't worry if your chosen reading doesn't seem "sad" enough or if it seems out of place at a funeral. A memorial service is meant to remember and help heal those still living.

If I Were Here What Would I Say?

"Yes it is true that I never got to see all that this world holds. The flowers, the trees, grass—or a bright sunny day. Not even the smiling faces of my loving family. But in my heart I have seen all of these things, even in my short time." — Lorraine Lehman-Jones


"My little man, down what centuries of light did you travel to reach us here, your stay so short-lived;
In the twinkling of an eye you were moving on, bearing our name and a splinter of the human cross we suffer; flashed upon us like a beacon, we wait in darkness for that light to come round, knowing at heart you shine forever for us." — Hugh O'Donnell

Quote from Viktor Emil Frankl

"We cannot, after all, judge a biography by its length, by the number of pages in it; we must judge by the richness of the contents.... Sometimes the "unfinisheds" are among the most beautiful symphonies." — Viktor Emil Frankl


"Never so much absence, though, and not just absence,
never such a sense of violated presence, so much desolation, so many desperate last hopes refuted, never such pure despair." — C.K. Williams

The Glory of Life is Love

"The Glory of Life is not that it endures forever, but that, for a time, it includes so much that is beautiful.
It is a tree to those that grasp it, and happy are all who retain it.
Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peaceful.
We do not demand that the flower shall never die, nor that the song shall never end.
Nor would we be angry with life because one day its beauty will be dust, its music silent, and all its laughter and tears forgotten." — Unknown


"Memories—tender, loving, bittersweet they can never be taken from you,
Nothing can detract from the joy and the beauty you and your loved one shared.
Your love for the person and his or her love for you cannot be altered by time or circumstance.
The memories are yours to keep.
Yesterday has ended, though you store it in the treasure house of the past." — Earl Grollman

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

"Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow I am the
Diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain" — Mary Elizabeth Frye

Silent Child

"My silent child, our precious baby,
Close to my heart I'll keep you with me.
An important job God has for you,
There is love to give, and work to do.
He needs an angel strong but small,
To shine light on many and give love to all." — Kelly Lancor

I Feel As Though My Heart Must Stop With Pain

"I feel as though my heart must stop with pain.
I miss you so, the darkness will not pale.
My darling child, come to me again.
I know you cannot come, and still I strain
To put my arms around you through the veil."— Nicholas Gordon

Child Born Dead

What ceremony can we fit you into now? If you had come
Out of a warm and noisy room
To this, there'd be an opposite
For us to know you by. We could
Imagine you in lively mood. — Elizabeth Jennings

And then look at the other side,
The mood drawn out of you, the breath
Defeated by the power of death."


"She died, — this was the way she died;
And when her breath was done,
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun." — Emily Dickinson

Too Soon

"This was a life that had hardly begun
No time to find your place in the Sun
No time to do all you could have done
But we loved you enough for a lifetime" — Mary Yarnall

Little Snowdrop

"The world may never notice If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,

Or even pause to wonder If the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we longed for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
For every beating of our hearts
Says that we love you." — Unknown

Excerpt from The Little Prince

"In one of the stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night." — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Elegy for a Still-Born Child

"On lonely journeys I think of it all,
Birth of death, exhumation for burial;
A wreath of small clothes, a memorial pram
And parents reaching for a phantom limb.
I drive by remote control on this bare road
Under a drizzling sky, a circling rock.
Past mountain fields full to the brim with cloud.
White waves riding home on a wintry lough." — Seamus Heaney

Excerpt from I'll Love You Forever

"A mother held her new baby and very slowly rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And while she held him, she sang:

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be." — Robert Munsch

By Elizabeth Czukas, RN, MSN
Elizabeth Czukas is a writer who who has worked as an RN in high-risk obstetrics, antepartum care, and with women undergoing pregnancy loss.