This post is specially dedicated to my beloved son who died in 2012. Nothing ever prepares you, but the experience gives you the empathy that you need for dealing with others when they suffer such a loss too.
Losing a loved one is never easy. The emotional turmoil that engulfs you can take a toll on your life. Some people take days to grieve. Others may take months or even years. Unfortunately, there is no defined method on how to grieve. You only have to take it as it comes.
The passing of a loved one can arouse confusion. Most people are never aware of what to do next. Here is a guide on the key steps you should take after the death of a loved one.
Often, before their demise, your loved one will outline their wishes with regards to the succession of any property. Most prefer to have these wishes documented through a will. You will have to file for a grant of probate to obtain ownership over the assets.
If your loved one passes on without a will, you may need to file for a grant of administration.
Inform Friends and Family after losing a loved one
This could be the hardest step but the most vital. During this challenging time, you need all the emotional support you can get. So first, inform your family and friends about the demise of your loved one. Most people will immediately make plans to come to offer their support.
If your loved one’s demise took place in a hospital, you would get an official declaration of death. This declaration will then help you obtain a death certificate. It is always best to get a medical profession to declare someone’s demise. If your loved one passed away at home, you should call 911 and have medical professionals issue the declaration.
Without the declaration, you will not proceed with funeral arrangements or succession affairs.
It is best to inform them immediately to provide ample time for travel. Some family members may not take the news too well. It is best to have someone with much experience and empathy to break the news to them.
Plan the Funeral
Before planning the funeral, find out whether your loved one left a will with advance directives from your family attorney. Your loved one may have preferred cremation over burial. It is always best to honor their wishes.
After identifying the disposition type, you can then plan out the funeral by choosing the funeral home, burial site, and the necessary accessories.
Find out whether your loved one had preplanned their funeral. This relieves you of the expenses. In addition, if they had a life insurance policy, you can also use this to cater to the funeral expenses.
Seek Emotional Support after losing a loved one
Grief comes in seven stages. Some stages may be easy, while others may be challenging. It is best to go through this chapter of life with emotional support. Find a few family members or close friends to be with you during this difficult period.
If you are a private person, you can opt for anonymous support groups. Being in the company of those with similar life experiences will give you comfort.
You can also take up new hobbies or activities to distract you from the loss.
A major part for you (if you are so inclined) is to get bereavement counseling. Trust me, I know that it is not for everyone. It is one thing that I did find useful when I lost my son. Just having a set time each week for several months where all of my attention could be focused on the loss, was special and important to me. In fact, it helped to protect my sanity.