It’s a painful experience when you lose someone that you care about, so it’s natural to feel out of it and have a tendency just to be consumed by your grief. As much as it would be preferable to let yourself go through the motions as you want to, if you are in the position to do so, you’ll have to make arrangements after they pass away. Death is not unexpected, and yet it can feel so foreign when it finally does arrive. If you’ve chanced upon this list, perhaps you are seeking guidance about the next practical steps that must be done to make sure your loved one is laid to rest properly.
Here are the essential tasks you must put your energy into:
Get the legalities out of the way.
It may seem like a cold first step, but a lot of complications can arise if you don’t get on this right away. First, you’ll want a legal pronouncement of their death and ensure that you will get a copy of their death certificate. This will depend on the nature of their demise and whether it was in the hospital or their own home. The hospital staff handles this, so you’d confer with them, but if it happened at home, you’d need to call for a medical professional to come in declare it. These steps are important so you can have the paperwork you need for the next things that will be done.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got wills and estate lawyers ready to go through your loved one’s assets and final wishes. Although you can wait to go more in-depth on this, later on, to figure out how things will be doled out, you’ll still want to get an initial read right away, so you know if they had any specifications on how they want to be buried or otherwise.
Arrange their internment.
The next step is planning and putting together the funeral. Of course, the specifics will depend on your religion, but either way, you’ll need to contact the proper resources for arrangements. Those are your funeral parlour and any official from your faith. You’ll want to set the date and place so that relatives and friends can be informed, and another thing that may be based on their will is deciding whether they will be cremated or if they have specific wishes for their funeral, tombstone, and other details.
Reading their paperwork may also reveal if they already had any burial plans that are paid for already, which means you’ll have to set those in motion. Otherwise, you will have to do the budgeting and planning yourself.
Accomplish any last wishes and unfinished tasks if you can.
After the funeral and burial or cremation has concluded, you’ll want to make sure that you attend to any urgent unfinished business your loved one may have had. Though this may vary per person, the general things you want to think about are any mail, recurrent payments, banks, social security, and a job. Make sure to inform these important sectors so that they don’t keep piling on through the years and even eventually take unnecessary legal action.
If your loved one has any minor children or pets, you’ll want to make sure they have a plan set for them as well. Then, see if any particular strings need to be wrapped up in a personal manner. Perhaps your loved one wanted to donate to a local shelter or apologise to an old friend. Things of that matter will depend on you.
Celebrate their life.
In the digital age, you can memorialise a person’s social media account after they’ve passed away. You can choose to do that if you want people to be able to continue sharing posts about your loved one and celebrating their life. For you to move forward, it’s a good idea to make sure that people can look back on the good of the person who has passed. It doesn’t have to be anything big, either, and even simply honouring their wishes can be enough.
Allow yourself to heal.
Yes, this is part of the practical steps. Doing all of the previous steps takes a toll on a person. It’s very tiring on top of the emotional turmoil that already comes with grieving. Since you’ll likely still handle some paperwork and final affairs, make sure you also allow yourself the time and space to heal and move forward. Doctors note that those who are grieving can naturally feel more tired, numb, guilty, and angry. Give yourself a break, though try to steer clear of making huge life changes at the moment just yet.
With this list, you should be able to get everything you need to get done accomplished. Don’t shy away from asking for help if it overwhelms you.