Losing someone who was very close to us is not an easy thing. Feelings of sadness and grief can sometimes be overwhelming. After all, we can never be ready for the passing of a friend or a member of our family.
However, besides the spiritual side of death, there is also a practical one. You will have to take care of so many things that you never had to think about before. There can be a surprising amount of paperwork that needs to be done. You might not know what a probate court is or how to get a legal pronouncement of death.
Don’t try to worry too much. If you can focus and methodically approach everything that needs to be done, you will be fine. You’re not alone in this.
You can do all these necessary things. Just make sure to focus on the tasks that now lay ahead of you. This article is here to help you with outlining the priorities.
The worst thing that you can do is to keep the information about the loss of your loved one to yourself. Don’t carry this burden alone. Let others mourn with you. It will help you, and it will help them.
What is more, your friends and members of the family wouldn’t like to hear about the passing of the person you were close with at some random moment later, would they? Remember — there will never be the perfect time for this. The faster you tell them, the better. You can also ask them to spread further the word, which will take some responsibility off your shoulders.
Also, don’t forget about coworkers and bosses. They need this information too, and they might offer you some help in case you need it. The workplace is often called our second home for a reason.
To make sure you can hold a funeral, first, you need to tackle all the necessary paperwork. Remember to get a pronouncement of death. Don’t forget to get the death certificate (best in multiple copies) as you will need it in the future.
If your loved one died in a nursing home or a hospital, its staff should take care of this. In other cases, call 911 so that the body can be moved to an emergency room and pronounced dead.
After you get the pronouncement of death, you should find a place for the body. Usually, it will be a mortuary or a crematorium. Only after the transportation of the body should you worry about the last will or obituary. If your loved one left a last will go with it to the appropriate county or city office. Then, depending on the content of the last will and the local laws, the probate process might take place.
Remember to take care of all the plants and animals your loved one has left behind. Lock up the deceased’s home and car. Check their mail. You might also want to take an interest in their bank account. You can try to transfer assets, too — an estate attorney can help you with that.
If the deceased’s home is vacant, you can ask your family or friends to check on it from time to time. You can also turn to the police for that. And, of course, you can do this yourself. Remember also to take care of all the food in the house.
Check if there was a prepaid burial plan. Maybe you have talked about this with your loved one before? Has the burial been specified, or did they wish to be cremated? If there were no previous debates on this topic and there are no notes regarding the funeral in the person’s documents, it’s up for you to decide.
Whichever option you decide upon, you should also take care of a few other things. You might want to ask the relatives to eulogize or be pallbearers at the funeral. You should also select the type of casket or urn and arrange a post-funeral gathering, and take care of a tombstone or headstone.
It’s easy to get lost in all the turmoil after the death of the person we loved. However, it’s essential to try to keep things in perspective. With death, responsibility always follows, and we can’t run away from it.
On the other hand, try to find some time for yourself. Surely, you have a lot of thoughts on your mind. Take the time you need to cope with this situation. You’re going to need all the mental strength you can get.
Whether we like it or not, we are all mortal. And when you eventually have to face one of your friends’ or relatives’ death, make sure you are ready. Focus on the priorities and seek help if needed, and things should fall in line. Hang in there; you can do this!