The outfit your loved one wears for their final viewing and burial is an important aspect of a funeral. It’s not only a way to honor their wishes but also something that will be a permanent reminder of the life they lived. There are several things to keep in mind while choosing a clothing option including the deceased’s religion and the method of their final disposition. Some people are buried in their own clothes while others choose to be dressed in clothing designed specifically for burial. Burial gowns are available in a wide variety of fabrics, colors and designs to suit any preference. They are generally designed to make it easy for a funeral director to dress the deceased. They usually resemble smart night gowns, pyjamas or dressing gowns and can be made to fit both men and women. Burial gowns can be embellished with embroidered details, false shirt fronts and more to create an attractive outfit. Whether the clothing you choose is new or repurposed, you’ll need to consider how durable it will be. Some materials such as cotton or linen are more likely to hold up well for a long time and will stand the test of time, while synthetics like nylon or plastic may not be able to withstand a lot of handling. Choosing a material that’s easy to clean will also make the garment last longer. A repurposed clothing choice will also be a green burial option as long as it meets guidelines for the specific cemetery or green funeral home you choose to use. Clothes for green burials are usually required to be biodegradable and made from natural fibers so that they won’t require a chemical decomposition process to break down. Some of the most heartbreaking funerals involve infants that die for a variety of reasons. For some of these families, an angel gown can provide comfort and help them to grieve with dignity. Beverly Duckett of Whittle Springs, Illinois sews these little dresses in her bright second-floor sewing room to help families with their losses. Her sewing skills have allowed her to make intricate little gowns for babies who die at birth or shortly after — some as tiny as six weeks old. Duckett and her husband, Tim, started Kennedy’s Angel Gowns last year to donate the garments to families that need them most. They make the gowns from donated wedding dresses – an average dress will produce about 20 of the small garments. “They’re so incredibly beautiful and they really bring people together,” she says. When dressing your loved one in an angel gown, keep in mind that the fabric needs to be flexible enough for movement. It’s also important to consider how the outfit will look when your loved one is laying down in their casket or coffin. A good idea is to choose an outfit that reflects their personality and interests as it will be the last visual impression they’ll have on those who survive them.
A wedding dress doesn’t have to end up in the back of a closet. Donating it gives it a new life while also helping to support a cause that’s important to you. And depending on the charity, it might even qualify as a tax deduction. Most charities that accept wedding dress donations will have a clear process for you to follow to ensure your dress is ready to be passed along. Most will require the gown to be clean and in good condition, free from major rips or tears. They may also impose other restrictions like asking that the dress be professionally cleaned or boxed up. Once you’ve contacted the charity, you’ll be asked to fill out a short form or email a photo of your gown for a quick vetting process. If you’re worried about ruining your gown by trying to clean it or are unsure about the condition of your dress, consider having a seamstress look over it before you hand it over. It’s worth it to make sure that your gown is in the best possible shape when you donate it so that it can go to a bride who will be able to enjoy it. There are many places you can donate your wedding dress in the United States. Some charities will resell the dresses, while others will pass them on directly to people in need. Here are a few of our favorites: Brides for a Cause This nonprofit bridal store sells donated dresses to raise money for women-focused charities nationwide. They accept gowns of any size or style, but they tend to prefer trumpet and A-line styles. They will also accept bridesmaid and flower girl dresses, prom and formal wear, and bridal accessories. The Emma and Evan Foundation This organization repurposes wedding dress donations into infant burial gowns, also known as angel gowns, that are given to families who lose their little ones too soon. They’ll also provide bonnets and other keepsake items for the family to help them cope. This is a beautiful program with a very sad mission. Success in Style This charity helps people with mental and physical challenges find jobs. They collect dresses and other wedding-related items for resale in Cherie Amour, a boutique that they opened in Savage, Maryland in 2013. The proceeds from the store will go toward their efforts to help people in need. The resale of donated dresses and other items will support the work of international non-profits that are aimed at empowering young women to choose an independent future. The charity will accept any brand of wedding dress, but they’ll especially appreciate gowns that are newer and less worn.
For parents who lose their infants, special garments called angel gowns can help ease the pain. The gowns are handmade from donated wedding dresses. Several groups across the country are sewing these tiny outfits for families who suffer from a late miscarriage, a stillbirth or an infant loss shortly after birth. CHARLOTTE, NC – Tom and Deanna Williamson lost their baby son at just 20 weeks gestation in 2015. When they found out, they were told by Levine Children’s Hospital that they would receive an angel gown to dress him in. They were so grateful that they knew they had to pay it forward. That’s why they founded an organization to do just that. Their nonprofit group is called Hillary’s Cherished Gowns. They work with families whose babies have passed away due to a medically inducible miscarriage or because the pregnancy was terminated for reasons such as a severe fetal abnormality or when it’s determined that the mother’s health is too much of a risk. They’ve given out hundreds of angel gowns to families they’ve never met. And they’ve gotten plenty of support from strangers since KCCI featured them last week. “The response to the story was so amazing,” said Cohoon. “I’ve had countless emails from people all over Iowa and the country thanking me for what I’m doing and asking how they can help.” These volunteer seamstresses use their own wedding dresses and those of others to make these beautiful burial gowns. They say it’s therapeutic for them to repurpose their own special day, while helping to provide comfort for other families in need. A labor and delivery nurse who worked for 46 years, Lee has seen many heartbroken parents whose newborns didn’t survive the NICU. But she also saw how a simple gift of an angel gown can help families heal. “When you look at the baby in that dress, it’s almost like a remembrance of their life,” she says. “The fact that we can do something to give a little bit of closure and something to hold on to is so important.” The nonprofit is currently in the process of becoming an official 501(c)3 organization, which will allow them to apply for grants to continue their work. In the meantime, they’re relying on donations to keep their operation going. If you’re interested in donating a dress, or learning how to sew an angel gown, you can visit their Facebook page. KSBJ reporter Sarah Becker contributed to this report. KSBJ is an independent, locally owned radio station that serves central and eastern Kansas. We are committed to bringing you the news and stories that matter most to you, and we want to hear from you! Email us at [email protected], find us on social media or call our news team at 800-377-4666. We are also on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. For more information on our shows and how to get involved, click here. This content is made possible by the Kansas City Public Library Foundation, a private foundation funded by members of the Kansas City community.
A child funeral can be a very difficult experience for all of the attendees. While it is not ideal, many parents choose to include their infants, toddlers and children in funeral services and memorialization ceremonies. If you plan to do this, be sure to ask friends and family members who are also attending to help support your child in a way that feels comfortable to them. This will help to ease their anxiety and give them a sense of belonging. You may also want to consider asking them to share a special memory or poem. If your child has a specific wish or request for the service, listen carefully to them and make every effort to accommodate. This can include things like having their favorite color of flowers used, a special blanket or pillow used as casket lining or ceremonial shroud, having a favorite food served at the reception or even having them walk down the aisle themselves. Children often find comfort in having their favorite animal, cartoon character or sports team represented in the funeral ceremony and/or at the burial site. It is not uncommon for some children to fear that they too will die or that they somehow caused the death of their sibling. If they express this concern, reassure them that it is not their fault and that other people do die. Reassure them that they will be loved forever and that you will always be there for them. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to discuss with them what will happen at the visitation period and funeral. Explain that they can choose whether or not to attend and that it is OK if they decide not to go. For older children who are feeling able to attend the funeral, you can consider inviting them to participate in some aspect of the service such as reading a poem, singing a song or delivering a eulogy. This can be a very powerful and healing experience for them. If you are worried about how your children will manage at a funeral or memorial service, it might be a good idea to bring along a trusted friend who can play with them and keep them occupied during the event. This will allow you to focus on the service and not feel as if your children are being forgotten or ignored. At the graveside, you can include fun activities for children such as a piata, releasing balloons or allowing them to write messages on a chalkboard. You can also consider having your child’s favorite meal served or hiring a ice cream truck to make the visit more enjoyable for them. For some families, having someone to take the children for a break or out of the setting if they are feeling overwhelmed can be helpful too. This can be a close relative, friend or a babysitter. You should always be aware of your own limits and know when it is time to call for backup.
Babies are super adorable, so you want to make sure they’re dressed in cute outfits. But it’s important to choose baby clothing that is soft on their skin, comfortable for them to wear and easy for you to launder. It’s also a good idea to consider the season and your geographic climate when shopping for baby clothes. Cotton is a popular baby fabric, and for good reason. It’s a natural fiber that isn’t manufactured with chemicals. It’s also gentle on your infant’s delicate skin, which can be sensitive to rough materials and harsh dyes found in conventional fabrics like polyester. If you want to go even further in ensuring your little one’s comfort, opt for organic cotton. These types of cotton are grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides and have undergone rigorous testing to verify that they’re safe for your baby. Another thing to keep in mind when shopping for baby clothes is that your new addition will likely need several outfits a day. Diaper blow-outs, infant spit up and temperature changes are all normal occurrences that can ruin an outfit in a matter of seconds. You’ll also want to make sure you have some basics on hand in case you receive a few adorable outfits from family and friends or if you decide to register for a few items that you’d like to add to your baby’s wardrobe. A muslin blanket is the perfect newborn accessory to have on hand. It’s a soft, lightweight cloth that you can drape over your baby or attach to their stroller or carrier to keep them from overheating. You can even use it to keep them warm while traveling in the car or during colder weather. Plus, it’s great for restraining their umbilical cord stump in those first 10-20 days (god forbid you leave the house with a bare ringlet stump—that’s what old-timers and Chinese women will scold you for). Newborn kimonos are another outfit essential, especially if you have family and friends who plan to buy them for your baby. These are a little bit more formal than a muslin blanket and can give you a nice photo opportunity to capture your baby’s first moments. And don’t forget a hat! Newborns are the only babies who need a hat, and it’s best to get ones that are snug but not too tight so they can grow with your child. The best hats for babies are made with natural fibers such as cotton or wool. A hat with an adjustable toggle is an extra bonus because you can easily adjust it to fit your baby as they grow. In terms of baby shoes, it’s best to avoid any shoes with zippers until your child starts walking. Those can get caught on furniture, doorknobs and other things, which could lead to injuries. Instead, opt for leather shoes or sneakers that can be closed securely. And don’t forget a pair of scratch mittens to cover those sharp infant digits.
When someone close to you passes away, your thoughts turn to them and what they’d want most at their final viewing. It’s natural to want to present your loved one in the best possible light, and what they wear is a significant factor in this. The outfit your loved ones are dressed in will leave a lasting impression on those who attend the funeral or memorial service. This is why it is important to choose the right clothing to represent them. Traditionally, men are dressed in suits and women in funeral gowns or dresses, with both having long sleeves and high necklines. These garments are typically made from a soft, easily adjustable fabric. This is so that the garments will drape over any bodily imperfections and can cover arms that may be thin, heavy or scarred from medical procedures. It is also important to consider your loved one’s religion and how their body will be treated after death when choosing their burial clothing. Certain religions have specific dress and hairstyle requirements, and these should be respected. It is a good idea to check with the clergy or religious leaders to find out what the guidelines are for your particular faith tradition when it comes to burial attire. During the planning stages of a funeral or memorial service, families often choose an outfit for their loved ones that captures who they were as a person and what they meant to them. For example, a woman who loved to garden might be dressed in her favorite floral dress at their funeral. Or, an individual who was a proud military veteran might be honored in their uniform. Those who want to keep their loved ones’ memory alive are able to add accessories to their outfit to help create a more complete picture. These pieces might include a military or police badge, a photo of their loved one with their children, a favorite piece of jewelry or a military cap or medallion. Often, these items are placed on the coffin or casket during the funeral ceremony to help honor the deceased. In addition, it is a good idea to plan for the weather at the time of the funerary event. If the funeral will take place in a cold climate, it is best to have an outfit that can be layered so your loved one stays comfortable. In warmer months, a simple short-sleeve dress or shirt with a light cardigan or shawl will be appropriate. Many non-profit agencies offer angel gowns for stillborn or preemie infants that don’t make it home from the NICU. For example, the nonprofit agency Real Imprints accepts donated wedding dresses and sews them into burial garments for infants who are lost before their first birthday. Across the country and the world, there are many other angel gown projects that serve similar purposes.
Donating a wedding dress is an amazing way to give a gown that has been sitting in your closet a new life. Whether you want to keep it as an heirloom or give back to a cause that is meaningful to you, there are many charities and thrift shops that are looking for dresses to help brides in need. Many charities that accept bridalwear have their own guidelines and vetting procedures, so make sure to look at the websites of these organizations before making a donation. They may ask that the dress be professionally cleaned and in good condition before accepting it as a donation. Some may also have restrictions on brands and styles of dresses that they accept. One of the most popular places to donate your wedding dress is Angel Gowns, a non-profit that began in 2013 and offers support resources, mentoring programs, and custom-made burial gowns for families who have lost an infant due to pregnancy loss or early preterm birth. The nonprofit is run by a group of women, including mothers and former nurses, who volunteer their time to create the garments, which are given free to anyone who needs them. The Cherished Gowns organization is another charity that works to provide funeral clothing for babies who have died, whether from miscarriages or stillbirths. They use donated dresses to create burial gowns and buntings that are given to grieving parents at the end of their baby’s life. The charity has about 180 seamstresses around the country who work on these gowns, and they are always seeking more donations. Octavia is a UK retailer that offers bridalwear, and their proceeds go towards community projects that benefit local people. Among the causes they support are youth projects, and their stores host high fashion events for local brides to attend. The store will take all kinds of wedding dresses and accessories as donations, and their guidelines specify that they must be in good condition with no rips or stains. A few other charities that will accept wedding dresses as donations are Adorned in Grace and NICU Helping Hands. Both of these organizations have been in operation for a while, and their online forms allow you to enter your information and submit photos of your dress. They will then send you a package with detailed instructions and shipping details. Another option is the Dresses for Girls charity, which has been in operation since 2015. This UK-based charity sells wedding dresses at affordable prices to help cash-strapped brides and provides a new dress to someone in need. They have 15 stores, and their guidelines stipulate that the dress must be in excellent condition with no rips or stains. The dress will also be professionally cleaned before being sold to a customer. The money raised will go to a number of charities and organisations supporting global poverty and other projects. The charity has a dedicated bridal department in Mealcheapen Street in Milton Keynes, and they will also take wedding dresses at their other stores across the country.
When a newborn baby is born with a serious medical condition, they often enter the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In many cases, these babies will not make it out of the NICU alive. For these families, the joy of having a new child is followed by the grief of losing one. But a small volunteer project is making it easier for these families to cope with their loss by turning wedding dresses into beautiful burial gowns for infants. The project is called the Angel Gowns Project, which is a part of an organization called NICU Helping Hands. The organization focuses on supporting families with children in the hospital, but they also help spread awareness of the problem and encourage people to donate money to their cause. They need funds to purchase materials for the gowns, like white flannel and satin ribbon. In addition to money, the group needs more sewing machines and volunteer seamstresses. A Mayo Clinic nurse is one of the seamstresses working to give these precious dresses a second life. Lynn Gaber works at the cardiovascular surgery ICU at Mayo and volunteers to sew the tiny outfits, which are crafted from donated wedding dresses and serve as bereavement gowns for babies who never leave the hospital. “It’s a big project to take on, and it’s something I want to continue doing for as long as possible,” she says. She and her co-workers hold a monthly sew-in at St. Luke’s Birth Care Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They have made more than 15 gowns and are part of the national Angel Gown Program, which began in Texas. Levine Children’s Hospital is another site for the national Angel Gown program, which is overseen by two neonatologists. Melissa Tyo and Dr. Jessica Clarke-Pounder both work with families and nurses to support the babies who might not survive their NICU stay. They say the gowns are a comfort for both parents and their extended family. Like other volunteers across the country, they collect dresses from all over, repurpose them, and deliver them to hospitals that serve families with a newborn who won’t be able to go home. It’s a way to shed light on this taboo topic and help families through their darkest days. Each year, more than 626,000 babies are stillborn or die from miscarriage in the United States alone. These tiny little angels deserve to be honored as much as the happy ones. If you would like to donate a dress, you can contact the Sunshine State Angel Gowns Group directly or donate to them online. You can also spread the word about the project and its need for more sewing machines, more seamstresses, and supplies like ribbons.
Children who have experienced a close friend or family member’s death often feel confused, anxious and upset. They may not understand what caused the death or may believe that it is their fault. If they are not able to talk about their feelings, they may act out or become aggressive or withdrawn. They will also have a difficult time attending the funeral and may not want to go. For these reasons, it is important for parents to be prepared to take their child to a funeral. This article will help you prepare for the funeral by explaining what happens and how to help your child through the process. The decision to attend a funeral or memorial service is a personal one that is right for every person. If a child does not want to be present, let them know that it is OK not to go and give them other options. They might prefer to stay with a relative or a trusted babysitter, watch the funeral online or in person at home, or they may choose to not attend at all. It is also important to explain what they will see at the service. If they will be able to view the body, make sure that they are aware of what it will look like before the funeral and what will happen later if the body is cremated. Reassure them that their sibling will not feel cold or pain if they are placed in the casket. If they will be able to view urns, be sure to explain what they will mean to the family in the future and that their ashes will not be scattered unless requested. If a child wants to participate in the funeral or memorial service, you can encourage them to read a poem or story they wrote or to share a special memory they had with their sibling. If they are too young to do this, you can still ask them to draw a picture or write a note that can be placed with the casket or urn. A funeral or memorial service can be a very emotional experience for adults and for children. If a child becomes restless or starts to cry uncontrollably, they should be allowed to leave the room and spend some time with a relative or friend. It is also a good idea to bring a favourite toy, cuddle blanket or snack for them to use during the service. Children of this age usually have a good understanding of what will happen at the funeral and are likely to have many questions. Casual, matter-of-fact conversations with them can be reassuring and give them the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns. This is an important part of the healing process and it will be very hard for them if they are left feeling abandoned or forgotten. Children can also be involved in planning the ceremony by suggesting readings, song choices or a special tribute.
From spit-ups that require a fresh outfit to never-ending growth spurts, babies can go through more clothing in one day than you may expect. That means you need a good wardrobe to keep up. Luckily, there are plenty of options for high-quality baby clothes that are cute, sustainable and safe for your little one. When choosing your child’s outfits, look for cotton clothes that are breathable and soft on their skin. The best option is organic cotton, which has been grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. This type of fabric also requires less water, which makes it a more environmentally friendly option. Plus, it’s biodegradable, so it won’t release any harmful chemicals into the environment when it’s thrown away. Babies have extremely sensitive skin, which can be irritated by harsh chemicals in certain fabrics. In addition, some babies have allergies to specific materials like wool and dyes. That’s why choosing organic clothes is so important for your new bundle of joy. It ensures that your child’s skin is protected from these harmful substances while they’re wearing their favorite outfit. The best baby clothing will also be made with high-quality materials that are gentle on your child’s skin and durable enough to stand up to a lot of washing. When shopping for organic baby clothing, choose brands that certify their products as chemical-free and sustainably made. This is typically done through a rigorous process of checking and auditing the company’s facilities, materials and production methods. A few of our favorite organic baby clothes brands include Mini Rodini (which makes this adorable Rabbit Onesie) and Tabeeze (which has an entire collection of rompers with features including shoulder snaps for easy on/off dressing, a front-to-back diaper flap for instant access during skin-to-skin bonding and breastfeeding, and an ankle-to-ankle zipper for quick diaper changes). Other eco-friendly choices include Solly Baby, Feltman Brothers, and Quincy Mae. In terms of how much baby clothing you should buy, consider how many outfits you’ll need for your child in each size before purchasing. For example, a newborn might only wear one outfit during their first few weeks. It’s also a good idea to purchase a few extra sizes of each item—babies grow quickly! Rolling up the sleeves or pant legs on a garment that is too big will give your child room to grow into it. In addition to onesies, rompers and leggings, be sure to stock up on some pajama sets for your baby. Whether your little one is sleeping at home or heading out to spend the day with you, it’s always nice to have cozy PJs to get them dressed and ready for the day. Wilkie’s is a great place to find classic, organic pajamas with an heirloom feel, like this Sammy + Nat Floral Frill Pajama Set ($49). You can also shop online for organic baby clothes from Ralph Lauren, Feltman Brothers and more.