Do you remember when you were a child and you'd spin round really really fast and then end up stumbling all over the place banging into things and having no real clue what was happening?
I think that feeling is pretty similar to how you feel when someone dies, you're not sure what to do first, who you need to contact, what the protocol is, it can all feel really overwhelming.
I thought I'd put together a really simple list of what to do when a loved one dies, there's also a downloadable version at the end of this blog, which is free.
Obtain a Medical Certificate.
If you're loved one dies at home, then the first thing you need to do is call a doctor, we were given a leaflet by the pallatitive care team which had a list of important numbers on.
If you don't have one of these, then call your doctors surgery in the first instance.
2. Contact a Funeral Director.
You will also need to contact a Funeral Director and they will arrange to collect the deceased and take them into their care.
All Funeral Directors have a 24 hour number that you can contact them on, in my experience you will find them very helpful, sympathetic and they'll understand what you're going through.
3. Register the Death.
You will need to register the death of your loved one between 2 and 5 days of their passing, this has to be done in the country where they died.
You will have to make an appointment to register the death and you will need to take certain documents with you, such as the deceased's passport and birth certificate.
4. Funeral Arrangements.
Between 5 and 8 days after your loved one dies, you will need to make arrangements for the funeral.
The Funeral Director will work with you, they'll listen to what you want and help you with everything, from booking the crematorium or church, to choosing the coffin and flowers.
They will also recommend someone to take the service, if you don't have anyone in mind, the celebrant or vicar will then work with you to plan the details of the service itself.
5. The Estate.
When someone dies, there's always a lot of practical things to sort out such as their will and estate and you would normally start to do this 10 days or so later.
If a will has been left behind, then an executor will have been named and they will deal with the estate, if not, then a relative will be appointed as an administrator.
There's a service you can use called Tell Us Once and this is brilliant. You need to register within the first two weeks of someone dying and then it tells all the authority and government services that need to be informed. It saves you a lot of time and I would highly recommend using it.
Please don't think that you should just know all this stuff. If you're lucky, you wont have a lot of experience in arranging a funeral and there are people who are there to help you. Ask questions, please ask as many as you need to and always remember there is no such thing as a stupid question!
I've put together this simple checklist, which is available for you to download for free. I really hope it helps.