It's important to know what to do when a loved one dies. Although stunned by first shock and grief, you may be called upon to handle the necessary details surrounding the loss of your loved one.
In the absence of instructions from the loved one, or a pre-planned funeral, you'll need to make a series of decisions relatively quickly. If there are several family members and friends assembled, make a list of the necessary tasks and delegate responsibility. Organizing a funeral usually entails planning the funeral ceremony and the disposition of the deceased's body, accommodating guests and, usually, arranging for a subsequent gathering that may even have an element of celebration as people give thanks for the life of the deceased.
First, start getting organized. You could begin by having the death pronounced by a doctor or coroner. Ask either to tell you whether there are any time frame within which a body must be buried or cremated. Unless you're prepared to organize a home funeral, you'll need to contact a funeral home and arrange to have the body picked up and transported there. If you want the deceased dressed in certain clothing, you can either do so yourself prior to the body being picked up, or request that the funeral home do it for you. Contact friends and relatives. Notify the deceased's employer and insurance company. Go to the funeral home and meet with the funeral director to make plans in accordance with the deceased's wishes.
Some choices will influence others. If the deceased is to be directly cremated before a funeral, then you may opt for a simple casket to transport the body to the crematorium, but choose an attractive urn if the cremated remains are to be present at the subsequent service. If there is to be an open casket for viewings, then embalming becomes a consideration, as does the type of casket. A cemetery interment means choosing between ground burial and entombment in a mausoleum, whereas a scattering of ashes raises the question of location and accompanying ceremony. If you want a funeral or memorial service held at a church or other place of worship, you'll need to make such arrangements with the appropriate officials, and you'll need to discuss the nature of the service.
As you envision the ceremony, consider issues such as theme, flowers, music, speakers, scripture or other readings, books for guests to sign, and having programs printed that list the order of the service. If there's to be a casket present at the funeral service, then you'll need pallbearers. You might want to ask close friends of the deceased to help you with arriving guests. Depending on the service you've chosen, you may need to organize vehicles to transport the deceased and family members to a cemetery. Once you have the funeral service organized, you can decide on a subsequent gathering of guests. You may want to have the event catered, which relieves bereaved family and friends of the obligation to pitch in.
Try not to take on the entire responsibility for organizing a loved one's funeral yourself. Others will want to help, to share the experience as a way to feel connected to the one who has died and to make a contribution to the memorial, and you need to allow yourself time to grieve.
For more information on loss, bereavement and funeral planning visit*a href=http://gottrouble.com/legal/estate_planning/funerals.html>GotTrouble.com