Deciding to cremate a loved one’s body feels so final but, when I suggest we make a clay hand print before the body is cremated, there is almost always a sigh of relief. The print-making process is truly therapeutic, helping families feel they have a little bit of control over a situation that is otherwise uncontrollable.
Furthermore, when a baby died after several weeks in the NICU, I told the charge nurse that I would help the parents make a handprint. Several of the other nurses asked if they could join us and help with the print-making process. They felt that, after caring for this baby for so long, being part of this experience would be healing for them, too. This is a beautiful way to honor a tiny soul who passes all too soon.