Losing a child is a loss like no other. For any parent, it’s unimaginable. And yet, unfortunately for many, it’s a reality.
When coping with losing a child, funeral directors like Tytus Cornejo serve to shine some light into the lives of bereaved parents. Here’s his story.
A Light in the Dark
Tytus was born and raised in Wellington, Kansas, and he’s spent his life serving the community and surrounding area. He and his wife April owns the Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, and during his free time, Tytus volunteers at another community non-profit funeral home that focuses on helping families facing child loss.
“As with most funeral directors, I find that the toughest calls to take are from those of a family that has had a child or baby pass away. It is so out of place and against the norm that I often didn’t know if what I was doing was helping at all. Thankfully, our area had a non-profit funeral home that operated exclusively to assist families with the loss of their little one. I volunteered at this funeral home as much as I could in order to gain some insight to offer at my own funeral home.”
Having a funeral for a young child is a lot different than it is for an adult.
“There were many small gestures that some would consider out of line for an older adult but made good sense for a baby: tasteful photos of the baby’s hands and feet, plaster molds of their hands or feet, special features in the obituary such as birth time, weight, height etc. and offering the opportunity for the parents to hold their baby.”
From his experience volunteering and through a friend, Tytus found inspiration.
“It was from an unlikely source that I found yet another way to add an extra special touch for these families. A friend of mine from high school recently opened a media/marketing company (Salty Media House) and displayed his skills on Facebook. While he is talented in many areas, he excelled in hand drawn pencil portraits and that’s when it clicked for me.”
“I approached him about marketing that skill in particular to funeral homes and he even attended a state convention just test the waters. As we continued discussions, he decided to create Priceless Portraits and I agreed to commission him to make a portrait of each child that has passed away in our community in the last year to year and a half whether our funeral home assisted or not.”
Illustrations by: SAMSON LEDESMA
“As I began distributing these to the parents it was truly the most thanks I have ever received and knew that it was the right thing to do. Several of them have taken to social media to share their pics generating even more thanks and appreciation. Taking this partnership and digging for a way to do something different has really highlighted a new service to offer.”
Click here to see more of these beautiful illustrations.
And for any parent coping with the loss of a child, we want to remind you that you are not alone. We invite you to check out this list of resources and articles for bereaved parents.
The Frazer Consultants family would like to thank Mr. Cornejo for sharing his inspiring story with us! If you or someone you know have an inspiring story that you’d like to pass along, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to share your story on our blog.