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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wedding dresses turned into burial garments

Monday was Solomon's 2nd birthday.  He was born 9 months - to the day - that Lilly died.  I am so grateful for these 2 years of healing and joy he has brought.

Last year, I posted about the "angel burial pouches" I made, to go in our "angel box" donations to the hospital.  In the burial pouch post, I gave step-by-step instructions with photos on how I made them.  Recently I received a comment from a woman who had sadly given birth to a stillborn son at full term.  She joined a hospital charity and decided to make the burial pouches.  She used my instructions to do so and said the result was great.  She also mentioned that another woman in the charity group had had a little girl named Myla born with Trisomy 18.  She lived one day.

Earlier this week, my mom forwarded me an e-mail from someone that mentioned she was getting rid of her wedding dress and had gone online to see where she might donate it.  She found an organization that turned wedding dresses into burial dresses.  I had heard about that from my sister-in-law Nikki awhile back and I forgot to mention it here.  (At least I think so! I couldn't find a post about it.)

Anyway, I think it is a wonderful idea.  I did an online search and found a group called "The Mary Madeline Project" that does this.  From their website, here is there mission statement:

It is the purpose of the Mary Madeline Project to provide comfort and support to grieving families that have suffered the death of a baby. It was founded in memory of Madeline Marie Erickson who died at seven weeks of age and in honor of all the babies before and after her that have touched our lives. We are a non-profit organization that donates infant / baby burial gowns and blankets to  hospitals for bereaving  parents.  Women donate their cherished wedding gowns to the project and volunteers give of their time, talents and love by making the baby burial gowns and blankets.

It is very difficult to shop for a baby burial garment when a baby dies. For premature babies, it is often difficult to find something small enough. The baby burial gowns and blankets are given to Neonatal Intensive Care Units for babies who die in the neonatal period.  They are also given to labor and delivery units for stillbirths.

I was curious about Madeline's story.  She lived 7 weeks and had glycogen storage disease.  You can read her story here.  Here is a picture of her, from the website:

The Mary Madeline Project website has a bunch of the burial outfits they have made at this link.  I copied the below pictures of burial outfits, all from that page, to show you examples:

The blue portion was made with a prom/bridesmaid dress
I just noticed on the "To Contribute or Help" page that they are unable to accept any dresses at this time.  So I just went online again and found the original group I had heard about earlier this year.  It is a group from Texas called NICU Helping Hands.  A newspaper article about their work is here.  Here is a sample of a gorgeous dress from their website:

You can help NICU Helping Hands by donating a dress, money, or your sewing skills.  You can get all the details here on their FAQ page.

Well I know that burial gowns isn't the most cheerful topic.  But it IS important.  As I have written here several times, I am so very thankful that I already had a beautiful dress that I could bury Lilly in when she died.  Going shopping to find "the perfect dress" would have been just about impossible for me to handle.  I love groups like the above two and what they are doing.  One day when I have more time, I would like to do something on a big scale like that too.  In the meantime, I'll just do little projects here and there as I can.


  1. WOW that is a wonderful organization and the clothes are beautiful. It is so wonderful that Lily's life still touches so many!!!!

  2. Wow! That's something I wouldn't even have thought about. What a wonderful organization.