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It’s hard to know what to write for an obituary when a whole life is encompassed in just over eight hours. The funeral director didn’t handle many baby/children’s funerals (thank goodness) and he didn’t have a template to work with that was suitable for an infant death.
I did some research on the internet, thinking it would be quite easy to find a guideline for an infant/child obituary. I was saddened that there was little to no help. We didn’t plan to have a service, since we felt that we had our own private time right at the hospital. We decided to have him cremated because we don’t have roots in this town and didn’t want to end up leaving him should we ever move. But I still wanted to honor Dekar and the life he gave us, even though it was short. I wrote up an obituary that said everything I felt was appropriate. The funeral director fixed it a bit, and then it was sent off to the newspaper, both online and print. I didn’t realize there was a price associated with submitting an obituary to the newspaper. We decided to just post it in the local paper, who also posted it online. This made it convenient to share with the many family members and friends who are out of town.
Below is Dekar’s obituary. For our situation it covered the basics. Some parents add a special note to their baby or a poem. Some share a picture. Some may want to include the reason for death. (I am not sure why I didn’t include that—if I could do it over, I would add that he had Trisomy 18 and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.)
Dekar was the son of Cortney and Marge Schmidt of Atwood (Ellsworth). He is survived by eight siblings, Hali, Aaron, Solomon, Eli, Rachel, Jadon, Melchizedek, and Isaiah, all at home.
Dekar gave us a lifetime of love during his short time on earth.
The Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation provided a volunteer photographer to record his short life with us. In lieu of flowers we would be pleased to have you support their mission to help other grieving parents through their remembrance photography at: The Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, 7800 S Elati St. #111, Littleton, CO 80120, or: http://nowilaymedowntosleep.org/pageDisplay.php?page=42. Winchester Funeral Home in Charlevoix is handling the arrangements.
If you are in a situation that you are using the above as a guideline, I am very sorry and my heart goes out to you. I pray that this will serve to take away a little bit of added burden associated with your loss.
Since there is a need, I am working on a separate page of sample obituaries which other parents have graciously offered to share. I am updating it as often as a new obituary or memorial is offered.