Updated: Jul 2, 2021
When the unimaginable has just happened, it it hard to focus on the banality of organising what seem like details - such as a funeral. However, arranging a loving funeral is one of the last things you can do for your baby. Many parents tell us that it was an important event on their grief journey, and that in hindsight they and their families are grateful for having had an opportunity to say goodbye.
There are many funeral homes to choose from in Australia, but not all of them have dedicated funeral packages for babies and infants.
Funeral home Natural Grace specialises in putting our smallest loved ones to rest, and offers dedicated baby and infant loss funerary services. Learn more about their approach in my conversation with Bonita Ralph, Holistic Funeral Director at Natural Grace.
"Holding the light whilst someone sits in the dark is all we can do.”
How does Natural Grace approach angel baby funerals?
Natural Grace is an independent, holistic and environmentally conscious funeral company. We provide specialist infant care, recognising that families are unique and the death of an infant is unimaginable. We walk alongside families to provide care that meets their needs and our role is to provide them with the options available to them. Time is often the most important aspect of creating an farewell for their child. Vigil time (like a viewing) can be a special time for the parents to have a private farewell outside of a clinical setting. After a vigil parents then often feel that they can take the next steps, whether or not they have a funeral service.
Do you consider yourself a specialist in this area of funerary services?
Yes. Natural Grace is committed to providing specialist infant care. We have created resources and care options that many families find help their process in making these difficult decisions. Maintaining bonds, connection and parental care is at the core of our practice. Vigil time is always an option. Our vigil time creates a homely space where baby is resting in a bassinet and the parents can be with, hold and even dress their child. They can be involved as little or as much as they need. Our infant specialist Holistic Funeral Directors are trained to care for babies and have experience in supporting families in trauma. We also have specialist equipment to support families who would like to care for their baby at home before a burial or cremation.
What do you think could be improved in terms of our cultural and social attitudes to miscarriage and pregnancy loss?
One of the things we hear a lot from families and in our personal lives is the ‘silence’ around miscarriage and infant loss. It is such a difficult space to be in and many people find that they simply don’t know what to say or do. We encourage friends and family to speak the baby’s name and remember them long into the future. We support parents to welcome the baby into their family and claim their rightful space before they can say goodbye.
I think we are getting better as a community in recognising that the death of a child at any gestation is a deeply felt grief and loss. We know words are not often needed. The ability to “hold the light whilst someone sits in the dark is all we can do”. This is how I see my role as a Holistic Funeral Director, who specialises in the care of Infants.
What geographical area do you service?
We have sanctuaries in Inner Melbourne and Woodend (Macedon Ranges). However, we can provide funeral care across Victoria.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for brining your creative practice to this space!
Natural Grace Website
Info Brochure Angel Baby Funerals