When it comes to selecting burial clothes for your loved one, you want to choose something that reflects their style and personality. Traditionally, this is accomplished with a suit or dress. But there are other factors to consider as well, including their religion and the method of their final disposition. It’s also important to keep in mind that different faith traditions have varying clothing requirements. Before making any purchases, you should always consult with clergy or other religious leaders to determine the most appropriate attire for your loved one. The first thing to think about is whether your loved one left instructions regarding what they wanted to be dressed in for their funeral or if they have a favorite outfit that they want to be buried in. If your loved one did leave instructions, you should try to follow those directions as best you can. If your loved one’s final wishes are not specified, you can select a outfit that they would have worn regularly. If your loved one was an active person, you can choose a casual outfit that reflects their lifestyle like jeans and a polo shirt or button-down dress shirt with tailored dress pants. It’s best to stick to neutral or subdued colors for this type of wardrobe, and avoid flamboyant clothing that could make your loved one stand out too much. Infants and babies can be dressed in burial gowns that are similar to Baptismal or Christening dresses. They are usually white and are available in a wide range of sizes to fit tiny infants. Some charities and companies create handmade baby funeral clothes to help families of lost babies find peace during this difficult time. For adults, a classic suit is the most popular choice for men and women. You can pair a well-fitting dress shirt with tailored dress pants in a neutral or light pastel color. Opt for closed-toe shoes to complete the look. A dress or skirt and blouse with a vest can be suitable for women who wish to be buried in their regular wardrobe. You can opt for a blouse or dress in a subtle pastel shade such as pink, lavender, or light blue. The color symbolizes serenity and peace, so this is a good choice for your loved one’s final outfit. If your loved one was a person who was fond of a particular hobby, you can choose a special outfit that represents that passion. For example, if your loved one enjoyed painting, you can select a beautiful painting or a painting-themed scarf that can be used for their casket viewing or graveside service. Many people also wear a traditional outfit for their open casket viewing and visitation. If you prefer to stick with a traditional look, a simple suit or dress is the way to go. You can opt for a tailored suit or a dress in a neutral or subdued color such as gray, white, or blue. Opt for closed-toe shoes and understated jewelry to finish the look.
A wedding dress is a treasured memento from one of the most special days in a bride’s life. While many brides choose to keep their dresses and pass them on to future generations, others prefer to donate their gowns to give them a second life. This allows them to declutter their closets and can help other brides find the perfect dress for their big day without spending as much money. It also benefits a charity or other cause that’s important to the bride or donor. While some women choose to sell their dresses, this can be a lengthy and stressful process that involves listing the gowns on different websites and interacting with potential buyers for months. Instead, a bride may want to consider donating her wedding dress, which can be a simpler option that saves time and provides a tax deduction, according to Zola. Choosing the right dress donation organization is crucial. Some organizations resell the dresses, while others offer them to brides in need for free or at a discounted price. Before donating your dress, research the organization’s mission, values, and reputation to ensure that they align with your own. You can also check if the organization is a registered non-profit or has a track record of transparent operations. If you’re planning to donate your gown, it’s important to have it professionally cleaned beforehand. This will ensure that your dress is in good condition for its new owner and can help avoid stains and other problems. It’s also a good idea to make any necessary repairs before you hand it over. Many thrift stores are happy to accept wedding gown donations, as they’re a great way for them to support low-income individuals in the community. These organizations can often provide the dresses to brides for free or at a reduced price, which is helpful for those who can’t afford to purchase a dress from high-end bridal boutiques. Some of these organizations have specific criteria for the type of dress they’re willing to accept, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with these requirements before donating your dress. For example, some organizations will only accept wedding gowns with lace and embroidered details, while others may not be able to use a dress that’s too long. In addition to reselling the gowns, some of these organizations repurpose them into infant burial gowns, known as Angel Gowns, for families who have lost their little ones. This program can help comfort grieving parents and support the cause that’s close to their hearts. If you’re interested in donating your dress, look for local buy/sell/trade groups on social media or online forums to see if they’re accepting gown donations at the moment. You can also contact bridal or wedding expo organizers to inquire about their donation policies. The Salvation Army, for instance, has a number of locations that accept wedding dress donations and offers free pickup services to donors.
For families coping with the unimaginable loss of an infant, special garments known as angel gowns can offer a small bit of comfort in their time of grief. One such gown, made from the dress of a patient’s deceased baby, was recently presented to a family at Akron Children’s. Allison Harris, an audiologist at the hospital, and her mother, Susan Arnold, both donated their dresses to Hillary’s Cherished Gowns, a volunteer organization of seamstresses dedicated to sewing infant bereavement gowns and accessories for Akron area families. “We feel very connected to this project because we lost our daughter, Leah, when she was 9 months old,” said Susan. “So, we were already familiar with the need for these gowns.” Across the country, volunteers like Judi Bauer have been able to sew and deliver more than 200 angel gowns for infants who died before, during or shortly after birth. Bauer, who is a full-time health care employee, has been sewing since 2016 after losing her own son Ambrose at 3 weeks of gestation. She said she was inspired to create her own initiative after hearing about a similar effort in Maine. She has been able to make and deliver the dresses to four different organizations, including Riley’s Little Angels in Columbus, Touching Little Lives in Groveport, NICU Helping Hands in Fort Worth and Rest in His Arms in Chicago. Each of the groups has its own nuances and guidelines, but they all serve the same purpose: to give parents one less thing to worry about when they are forced to say goodbye to their child. Each of the gowns is unique and can be worn as a memorial or by a nurse as a sign of respect. They can also be used to create a heartfelt newborn photo shoot. These photos will become a permanent part of the memory of the little one who will never be forgotten. The NICU at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC) extends its heartfelt gratitude to this group of seamstresses for their invaluable contribution of custom-made gowns to our tiniest patients and their families. They provide these precious garments to a wide range of families from the communities served by PVHMC, which includes Pomona, Chino Hills, Corona, Eastvale, and Diamond Bar. To learn more about this nonprofit, you can visit their Facebook page or website. If you or a loved one is in need of an angel gown, you can contact PVHMC’s labor and delivery nurses by calling their triage line at 619-267-5311. To donate a wedding dress, contact Judi Bauer through her Facebook page, Angel Gowns of Central Ohio. A typical dress can produce up to 20 angel gowns. This show stopping JA571 gown is a 3-way jersey satin blended fabric that has plenty of stretch and fully lined. The halter neckline features thick straps that can be styled in various ways for a beautiful look. This is the perfect dress for any occasion.
A child funeral is a ceremony that honours a child who has died. It can take many forms and is often led by a celebrant, a religious leader or someone who knows your family well. Including children in a ceremony gives them the space to talk about their feelings and connect with the person who has died. Depending on the child’s age, they can be involved in creating a memorial or ordering flowers. They may want to write messages or choose music for the service. Older children can be entrusted with the task of reading a short poem or statement at the ceremony. It is important to explain to a child what to expect before and during a ceremony. This can be done in a way that suits their natural curiosity. For example, if they will see the casket at a visitation or the funeral service themselves, it is helpful to explain what the body will look like and that it won’t be moving. It is also a good idea to explain what will happen after the funeral. For instance, if the body will be buried, you might say that people will put flowers on the grave or urn and say their goodbyes. If the body will be cremated, it is also helpful to prepare a child for this by explaining that people may go to the graveyard and say their goodbyes and that they will still remember the person. You might also want to explain that sometimes people will cry when they talk about the person who has died. This can help a child to understand that not everyone will be happy and it is okay to feel sad. It is also important to explain that it is inappropriate to joke about the death or laugh at the person who has died. A lot of parents find it helpful to involve a children’s charity or community to help with the cost of a funeral. The Children’s Funeral Fund for England can help, and there are also similar funds in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some children do not wish to attend a funeral and that is completely fine. If they do not have a strong relationship with the deceased, it can be uncomfortable for them to pretend to be upset at a ceremony that is not about them. They can still take part in a memorial service later with their family and friends, though. Some children may also regret not attending a funeral at some point in their lives, especially if they feel that they were not invited. It is important to respect this decision and ask if there are any ways that you can help them with their grief in the future. If you are concerned that your child is struggling, please seek professional help. A bereavement support worker can help a child process the loss of their sibling and support them in their grief journey. They can also help a family with practical issues such as finding accommodation and childcare for other children during the mourning process.
As any new parent knows, babies grow fast and can go through a lot of clothes in a day. A basic supply of baby clothing can help your little one stay comfortable and look cute. When shopping for newborns, look for soft fabric that’s easy to take off and on — a jumpsuit or bodysuit with snaps at the crotch is popular. A onesie that snaps at the chest or shoulders is another option. Regardless of the type of clothing, cotton tends to keep babies cool and comfortable because it breathes well. A fabric that wicks moisture is also important. Newborns can’t regulate their temperature as well as older children or adults, so it’s important to dress them warmly. In wintertime, consider getting a coat or zip-up down snowsuit to protect your baby from the elements. A baby’s first birthday is a special occasion. Consider buying a onesie that says “one year old” or something similar to commemorate the event. Many stores have gift registries where you can specify the items you want. When registering, it is helpful to think about how many of each size of clothing you will need. When it comes to sizing, the size on the label is often the maximum limit. If you’re unsure of what size to buy, ask friends and family who have young babies or consult the advice provided by your doctor. Also, keep in mind that cotton clothing shrinks slightly, so it may be wise to size up a bit. While there are plenty of gender-specific clothes on the market, some parents prefer to purchase neutral or unisex clothing. Gender-neutral outfits aren’t as widely available, but they do exist. The brand Kate Quinn has a line of gender-neutral pieces that include ruffle bum leggings in garnet wisteria and tops in a variety of hues, including twilight mauve, pearwood and graphite. Some parents like to dress their baby in a special outfit on their big day or during special occasions, but this isn’t a necessity. Ultimately, your baby will only be as happy and comfortable in an outfit that is chosen by them. Before purchasing any clothing for your baby, be sure to check the tag for a low fire hazard rating. In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid clothes that have beading, threads or drawstrings. These can be choking or strangulation risks for infants.
The clothing we choose to dress our loved ones in for their funerals, wakes and burials can make a difference when it comes to honoring them. With a little consideration for the deceased’s personal style, religious beliefs and other factors, you can find attire that makes their final journey graceful. Burial gowns are garments that help the deceased look their best while in a casket and are often made of soft or satin-like materials. They’re available for men and women, and can be designed with a religious motif or even as a reversible dress that can show the deceased’s bare legs when they are lowered into the grave. Some designers, like Mark Mitchell of Seattle, use couture and heirloom sewing techniques to create one-of-a-kind custom burial outfits. Some designers have also combined art and science, such as Pia Interlandi of Australia, whose Garments for the Grave collection uses water-soluble fibers to create clothes that are both beautiful and functional. Mitchell and Interlandi are both members of the Slow Fashion movement, which advocates for the sustainable use of fabric and slowing down production and consumption to reduce environmental impact. In the 17th century, many women made their own burial gowns. They would lay out the dress they wanted to be buried in before going into labor, so that they would know what to wear if something went wrong and they died during childbirth. Today, many women who choose to buy burial outfits do so as a way to honor their spouse, children or parents. For those who choose green or natural burials, the clothing they are buried in must be biodegradable and made from untreated and natural fibers such as cotton, wool or linen. These clothing guidelines are typically imposed by cemeteries and natural burial grounds due to environmental concerns. Choosing the right clothing for your loved one may seem daunting at first. Many of the deceased’s normal clothing won’t fit them at the time of death due to rigor mortis and some may be inappropriate due to their religion or burial method. It is a good idea to check with your funeral home to see what their specific guidelines are for the deceased’s final clothing needs. Beverly Duckett of Whittle Springs, Tennessee, sews her own tiny burial garments in her bright second-floor sewing room to provide comfort for families of infants who will never come home from the hospital. Her angel gown projects (along with diapers and knitted caps for the tiniest preemies) are a much-needed relief for moms and dads who are already mourning their lost babies. Aside from the considerations of size and fabric, a lot depends on the deceased’s religion. In Islam, for example, the body must be washed and covered in a white sheet immediately after death. For Jewish people, the body is wrapped in simple shrouds known as tachrichim and topped with a tallit or prayer shawl. For Catholics, the standard clothing for viewing and funeral is a suit or formal dress.
Many brides keep their wedding gown as a special memento, but the dress doesn’t have to end its life with that momentous occasion. Instead, it can go on to make a difference in another way—through a donation. Donating your wedding dress is a good idea for many reasons. It’s a great way to help people in need, it can give you a tax deduction, and it’s an environmentally-friendly alternative to reselling your gown. However, it’s important to choose the right charity or consignment shop before handing over your dress. If you’re planning to donate your gown, here are some tips to help you get started: 1. Clean Your Gown. Before you donate, take the time to have your dress professionally cleaned. This will ensure it is in the best possible condition for its new owner. In some cases, the organization may charge an additional fee for cleaning, so make sure you check with them in advance. 2. Familiarize Yourself with the Organization’s Donation Guidelines. Many organizations that accept wedding gown donations have their own unique requirements and specifications for the dresses they will accept. It is essential to understand what those requirements are before you decide to donate your dress. Some may not allow ripped or torn gowns, for instance. Also, some will require you to have the gown professionally cleaned before you mail it or drop it off. 3. Research Different Donation Opportunities. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the specific requirements of the organization to which you want to donate, it is time to start researching different options. There are a wide variety of charities and shops that will accept bridal gowns, and some have specific programs aimed at a particular audience, such as supporting brides in need or raising awareness for certain issues. 4. Make Sure the Organization is Reputable. Some of the most common places to donate your gown are local charities, thrift shops, and charitable organizations. These are all good choices because they generally have established reputations for being trustworthy and reliable. Before donating, it is important to do your homework and research the organization to make sure that it is a reputable one with an established mission and clear goals. 5. Consider Choosing an Unusual Option. There are a number of unusual options for those looking to donate their wedding dresses, such as repurposing it into a pillow or tree skirt. Additionally, there are some places that will dye your dress a different color and send it back to you as a keepsake. While this isn’t the most traditional or conventional way to pass along your dress, it can be a fun and meaningful way to give it a second life. A great option for those who live in the greater New York area is donating to an Angel Gown Organization. These are groups of seamstresses who will convert donated wedding dresses into burial gowns for families that have lost their baby during pregnancy or in the first year of life. You can learn more about these groups by visiting their websites.
Many women treasure their wedding dresses, passing them down to future generations. But a group of selfless brides from all over the country are donating theirs for a different purpose: making gowns that will comfort families who lose their babies before they leave the hospital. The nonprofit organization Angel Gowns turns old wedding gowns into burial garments for newborns who die in the NICU. Hundreds of volunteers across the country sew these garments for families who will never get to see their child’s first and last moments in this world. Each dress is repurposed into about 10 little outfits, and every stitch, every detail makes the gown unique. Several volunteers came to Your Orcutt Youth Organization hall on East Foster Road in Orcutt equipped with sewing machines, patterns and lace. Some travelled hours to take part in the group’s first Sewfest-Sewpalooza-Sewnanza, which was held Friday through Sunday. Judi Soholt, a retired labor and delivery nurse from the NICU at Riley Hospital in Golden Valley, began her journey with Angel Gowns a few years ago after seeing an article about the project on Facebook. The story struck a chord with her, especially because she lost a baby son at 18 weeks gestation while working as a labor and delivery nurse in Iowa. “I remember the grief and loss that parents experience,” she says. “I want to help prevent families from having to go through the lost and found tub at the hospital, or having to buy clothes for their baby.” Soholt now leads a team of 44 seamstresses who work on angel gowns in her home in Marysville. She says she gets a lot of support from her community, and she has even started an online fundraiser to raise money for a new machine to speed up the process. The fundraising goal is $20,000. Aside from the dresses, each outfit also comes with two tiny hats and a small pillow. Volunteers like Edith Breshears, who has been sewing angel gowns for the past nine months, spend a lot of time stitching words or phrases onto each dress — such as “heaven’s angel” and “our sweet angel.” Shirley Bryson, another seamstress, adds antique buttons from her collection. She recently sewed gold and silver bells on each piece, inspired by the ending of It’s A Wonderful Life, when Jimmy Stewart’s character rings the bell to help Clarence the angel receive his wings. The outfits are then donated to hospitals, bereavement groups and funeral homes. Each kit contains a special gown, blanket, two hats and memorial trinkets. The organization has already sent thousands of them to places in Western New York, and they are also used by a handful of hospitals in North Carolina. The NICU at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in Pomona is one of those locations, and the staff here is grateful for this beautiful gift. “We can’t thank these ladies enough,” NICU Maternal-Child Education Coordinator Deb Oldakowski says. “They have brought a smile to the faces of our tiniest patients and their families.” To learn more about the Angel Gowns program or how you can help, click here.
A child funeral is a special service for the memory of a baby, child, or young person who died before adulthood. It is a time to celebrate and remember the life of your loved one and to say goodbye in a way that feels right for your family. This is different from a traditional funeral service, which includes a visitation, wake, memorial service, or Mass. In a child funeral, you may choose to have an open casket or urn, music and poetry, or a short tribute. Some families also include a short committal or graveside service to complete the ritual. Children are usually able to handle a funeral at an appropriate age, though it is important to talk with them and decide together what they will do. A good rule of thumb is to consider how your child handles similar situations, like church or family gatherings. It is also important to help them understand the differences between a memorial service and a funeral, as well as the difference between an open or closed casket. If your child wants to view their sibling’s body, it is a personal decision and you should respect that choice. Explaining that their sibling’s body looks very different than when they were alive, and may be cool to the touch is helpful. You can also explain that touching their sibling’s hand or hair is okay. Some parents feel comfortable having their children view the casket as early as four years old, while others wait until they are older. Seeing the wide range of emotions from mourners can be challenging for children. They can be confused and upset by some of the actions, such as hugs or kisses from people who are crying. To help ease their concerns, you can prepare a list of activities to keep them busy, such as a coloring sheet or drawing, so they can stay quietly occupied during the service. You can also make sure they know they are allowed to leave if they become overwhelmed. You can also ask a close friend or family member to be your child’s support person during the service. They can help them if they get tired, overwhelmed, or upset during the service. They can also help remind your child that they are a loved one and they will always be remembered. Other ways to commemorate your child at the funeral or service are to have a “memorial tree” where guests can write messages and place them in a box, light a unity candle, use luminaries, or read letters and poems. You can also have a special “kids’ corner” at the funeral where your children, their siblings, or friends can play with toys and color. You can also ask members of the local high school band or choir to lend their musical talents for the service. You can even have your child escorted to the cemetery by fire trucks, police cars, a race car, or another vehicle of their choosing.
As you build your baby’s wardrobe, consider the following guidelines: Invest in soft fabrics that are easy to clean. Babies can go through several outfits in a day thanks to spit-ups and blowouts, so it’s best to select clothing that will be comfortable and easy to take off for diaper changes. Baby clothing with snaps or buttons at the crotch (such as bodysuits and long-sleeved onesies) are the easiest to pull on and off. Consider layering. Many babies can be cold, even in warm climates, so adding a light jacket or cardigan to their onesie and tee will keep them cozy without overheating. Signs that a child is too hot include flushed cheeks, fussiness or a sweaty back. Choose clothes that will be comfortable for both the parent and infant. Embroidered dresses and pleated pants may look cute, but they can be uncomfortable for an infant. Look for soft, stretchy fabrics like cotton and polyester, which are safe for the washing machine. Avoid clothes that have rough textures or buttons on the neck, wrists or hands, as these can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Look for shirts and tees that are made from organic cotton or another environmentally friendly material. When shopping for your baby, remember that size discrepancies are common between clothing brands. You might need to purchase a size that is larger than your baby’s actual size, as they will grow quickly. Rolling up sleeves and pants is okay if you end up with an item that’s too big, as they will fit better after a few washes. For daytime, you’ll want a few long-sleeved onesies to pair with leggings or pants and footie pajamas for lounging at home. For cold weather, you’ll also need a few snowsuits that can protect your baby from the elements. Parents will love the simple yet sophisticated styles of Kissy Kissy, a line created by mom Roxana Castillo. The brand’s collection includes a wide variety of shirts, dresses and long-sleeved rompers in a range of sizes and colors that will match your newborn or toddler’s style.