There is nothing more painful than losing someone you love. Not only do you have the pain of losing them, but now you have to think about what to do after a loved one dies.

Death is the only thing that every single human being in the world has in common, and it’s something that is painful, difficult, heavy and sad.

There is nothing that anyone can tell you about death that will make the impact of it hitting your family easier. However, navigating it is so important if you want to be able to get through your life in one piece. 

Sadly, death is going to occur whether you like it or not, and it’s rare that you know when it’s coming or how it’ll happen. One day, you’re looking at your next holiday or buying a new house and the next, you’ve been hit with an unexpected illness or an unfortunate accident and all those plans go out of the window.

We all must prepare ourselves for loss in life, but more than that, we need to prepare ourselves for what comes next. So, with this in mind, here are five things that you should be doing after a loved one dies.

Sort out the death certificate

If there is anything that needs to be done after a loved one dies, it is this. The legal arrangements are all a part of the process of death and you need the death certificate to do all of that.

You must ask for this from the funeral home staff before making any next arrangements for your loved one.

Consider the practicalities

It is actually very hard to do this when you are trying to get through grief.

The practicalities of arranging finances, getting their clothing and belongings sorted out and attending to their own lives is hard.

There are things in the home that need to be attended to, too, especially if there are pets involved. 

Make financial arrangements

  • How is the funeral being paid?
  • Are you handling that or did your loved one already have a plan in place that has been fully paid by them?
  • Who is executing the will?
  • Do you have to get a new set of mortgage quotes for any property they left behind?

All of these are valid questions and they all need answers.

You can also speak to your loved ones legal team, family members and a spouse to figure out where the financial arrangements are kept.

Arrange a funeral

Hopefully, there might already be a funeral plan in place. If there isn’t, you might have to consider whether you should be doing this for them.

If they didn’t leave any written instructions, you and the rest of the family will be in charge of deciding what to do for their funeral.

Have a think as a group and try to think about what kind of funeral your loved one would have wanted. Unfortunately, you will also have to figure out how much you can all realistically afford to put towards the funeral. They can easily become very expensive as you try to give your loved one the best goodbye you can.

Don’t forget your grief

Your life may feel like it’s on hold when you have someone close to you who has died. You have your own grief to figure out when you’re trying to get through their death.

It will help to know that they are going to be treated with respect and you need to get some help to talk about your own grief of losing someone close to you.

You may also need to consider helping children through the grief of losing a loved one. This can be an extremely difficult time for all – particularly young children who do not fully understand what has happened.

It takes time to get through a death – give yourself some grace.

Photo by Maria Orlova from Pexels