Dealing with death is never easy. Emotions run wild; the level of stress is rocket-high and your sense of rationality may become unstable. So quite naturally, you are bound to make mistakes and/or overlook things. Applying for a death certificate, hiring a funeral director, buying a burial ground, reading the condolence messages, making a guest-list for the memorial service, needless to say, it’s a lot. Therefore, we are here to help you function in a systematic manner so that you know the key things you need to do after a death in your family or amongst your friends.
· Report the Death
Your first plan of action would be to report the death of the concerned person to the proper authorities in order to receive the death certificate. The process of making the death certificate is completed by a group effort from the doctors, coroner and a funeral director. As soon as you receive the certificate, make sure you make multiple copies of it since you would need to provide it to banks, offices, insurance agents, etc.
· Hire a Funeral Director
The funeral is the most important event following a death. Therefore, you would need the assistance of a funeral director who would take over the funeral and memorial services. You need to inform the director what needs to be done with the dead person’s body – whether you want it to be cremated, or buried or donated. The funeral director will help you buy burying products and other funeral-related services. Also, if the body is to be cremated, you have to decide whether you want to bury the remains or scatter them or keep it in an urn at your place. In case of donation, you need to decide whether you want the entire body to be donated or just the vital organs. The funeral director will assist you in every step of these ways.
· Deciding on the Type of Post-Death Service
It is completely up to the family of the deceased as to how the funeral service will be carried off unless the concerned person has mentioned in their will or otherwise as how they would want their funeral to be held. Do you want to keep gatherings, wakes, receptions, visitations before the funeral or after it or skip them completely? When do you want the sympathy messages to be read? Will it be a close-knitted affair involving few extremely close people or will it be a big-scale event involving a lot of people? What will be the décor and music arrangements for the event? These are some of the decisions that you would need to make in a systematic manner. Do not panic. No funeral is perfect. We can only do what we can do.
· Informing Loved Ones about the Loss
Probably the toughest task that you would need to perform after the death of a person is to inform his or her loved ones about it. It can be emotionally straining, but there’s no avoiding it. You would have to be very empathetic when informing people regarding the news. Since it is a time-consuming process, you can inform one reliable person from each social area (for example, one colleague, one school friend, one college friend) of the concerned person and ask them to inform others. You can also write a death notice and send it to all the relevant people involved with the person’s life. You would also be receiving a lot of condolence messages in the process, especially from people who would be unable to attend the funeral.
· Giving Some Time to Yourself to Mourn
The events following the death of a person are so fast-paced that people often forget to mourn the concerned person. Now, it may seem like nothing but its importance is long-lasting. In the rush of the tasks in hand, you don’t give time to yourself to experience the grief. It can lead to a lot of pent-up emotions that when not released, may cause of lot mental harm to you. Therefore, take some time out and spend it with yourself and your extremely close people and think about all the old memories and get closure with the concerned person’s death.
If you keep a systematic tab on the aforementioned points, things will run smoothly for you. We want to remind you that you don’t have to achieve perfection. Just do the best you can. The way you want to deal with a loss is completely yours. So don’t be too hard on yourself. And in moments of despair, read the condolence messages that you will be getting from your loved ones.