Five Things to do After Someone Dies

Posted on June 1, 2022 by under Grief and Healing
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The time has come. Someone has died. What now?

First and foremost, wherever you are – getting the news on the other side of the phone, holding the person’s hand in the hospital, sitting vigil at home – take a deep breath. Then another. Now, take things one at a time…

1. Contact a medical professional: No matter where a death occurs, a medical professional must evaluate the person and pronounce their passing. If the death is unexpected, this may involve emergency services and/or the coroner. Or they may be receiving care from hospice so the hospice nurse responds. Or at the hospital with medical personnel all around.

2. Notify close friends and/or family for support: Now, you need backup. Call a neighbor, friend, or family member who can provide support. They can help with emotional support and a caring presence. They can also help take notes and keep track of the details of funeral arrangements and estate matters. It is hard to remember everything when faced with a loss and that is okay – enlist help!

3. Notify the funeral care provider: Talk to your funeral care provider about what comes next. The “six things to know” now become “six things to do.” A trustworthy provider will provide guidance along every step of the way.

4. Take care of your own needs: During times of loss, it is easy to lose sight of our own needs, which can lead to exhaustion and even illness. Take time to rest, eat regular meals, exercise, and keep yourself healthy.

5. Take the time you need to say goodbye: Grief is not something that can be rushed. Take time to think through what will bring you comfort as you say goodbye to the person you love. Engage in rituals, create traditions, share memories, exchange hugs, cry, laugh, and honor the life of your person.

Whether sudden and unexpected, or quiet after a long illness, death is hard. Knowing what to expect may help lessen the sting, even if only a little. To learn more, take time to view the panel discussion, “Death Happens” on our website, or give us a call anytime with questions. We are here to help.

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