WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES
After suffering a bereavement many people find that they don't know what they need to do or how to start planning a funeral.
We have put together a short guide to help you through the very first things you need to do after someone dies.
We hope that this guide helps you, but if you need further help, we are available 24 hours a day to provide free no obligation advice.
so should you have any questions please call us on 01246 86 26 56 and we will help you.
The Deceased’s GP
If someone dies at home you will need to contact their GP as soon as possible. If the person has not been seen by their GP during the last 14 days of their life the GP will usually visit the house.
If the death was expected the GP will issue a medical certificate (this should not be confused with a death certificate). This will allow you to contact your chosen Funeral Director.
Contacting Your Funeral Director
You should choose a Funeral Director who can offer the services you require. This can be difficult because in the hours after the death of a loved one you will want to spend time with them.
There are no rules on how fast you need to arrange a Funeral Director to collect the deceased. Some people find comfort in sitting with their loved one for a while.
You can take the opportunity to say those last few things you may never have had the chance to say.
It is important to know that once a Funeral Director has taken your loved one into care you are NOT bound by your decision.
Until arrangements have been made you can appoint a different Funeral Director if you so wish.
Registering The Death
The registration of death is the formal record of the death. It is done by the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages at the Register Office.
A death should be registered within five days. If a post- mortem is being carried out, you can’t register the death until the coroner’s investigations are finished.
When someone dies at home, the death should be registered at the register office in the district where they lived.
Make The Funeral Arrangements
Within a few days your Funeral Director should contact you to make an appointment so that you can begin making funeral arrangements. At this stage you will have the opportunity to personalise the service as much as you wish.
It's important that you let your funeral director know about your wishes as soon as possible so that they can make the necessary arrangements. However, here at Farewell Funerals we understand how difficult this can be. Therefore we allow you to make changes up to 4 working days before the service is due to take place
After The Funeral
In the weeks or months after the funeral you may wish to create a lasting memorial.
There are many options available to you, from headstones, ashes caskets, urns and keepsake jewellery.
For more information speak to your Funeral Director who will be able to discuss your options and find which would be most suitable for you.
Doing Something Different
Many people have treasured possessions that once belonged to the deceased. Keeping hold of something is the perfect way to keep your memories alive.
You can also do things with the funeral flowers, a lock of your loved-one's hair or their ashes, if there was a cremation.
Here are some ideas of how to do something a little bit different after the funeral.
You can use a lock of hair, a funeral petal or some of your loved one's ashes and incorporate them into a piece of jewellery. You can then wear it or pass it on to your children or grandchildren.
There are many UK companies online who offer this service. You can have a ring, a pendant, earrings, a locket or beads made especially for you.
If you'd prefer a keepsake you can put on display at home then a paperweight might suit you. You can use funeral flowers, a lock of hair or some ashes. You can also add a photograph to personalise it even more.
See Your Loved One Off With A Bang
If you want a unique way to scatter your loved one's ashes then have them put into some fireworks.
You can have the fireworks delivered to your home for you to arrange an event yourself. Or, you can have an organised display. Look online to find a list of companies who provide this service.
Bury The Ashes In Your Garden
If you have a garden and you're not thinking about moving away, there's nothing to stop you from burying the ashes in your garden. You can plant flowers or a bush on top of them and you'll always be reminded of of your loved-one when the plant is in bloom.
Put the Ashes in a Lightcatcher
Lightcatchers look beautiful by a window, especially when they catch the rays of the sun. You can have one made that includes an inscription or a dedication.
Scatter The Ashes In a River Or In The Countryside
It's perfectly legal to scatter ashes over a river. Ashes are biodegradable so they won't harm the environment.
However, don't add any plastics like a wreath when you scatter the ashes as this isn't good. If the river is on private property you will need permission from the landowner.
If you're on land owned by the National Trust or UK National Parks you need to contact whoever manages the location for that particular organisation.
You can also scatter ashes in the countryside, but you're asked to avoid the top of mountains because the ashes can damage delicate plants which grow on mountain summits.
Dealing With Grief
Grief is the process you go through when a family member or a friend dies.
Grieve is said to follow different deal stages. You might feel fine one day, anxious another and overwhelmed and tearful on another.
People deal with grieve in different ways. Nobody is the same. But the emotions you go through are common and are a normal part of the grieving process.
Soon after the death of a loved one you will probably find yourself crying a great deal. You might feel like you have a physical pain and of course you miss the person you have lost.
Over time, the periods of crying will become less. Although you still feel sad you will be able to think about your loved-one without breaking down into tears. Thinking and talking about the person you have lost can be a big help. Don't be afraid to open up to family and friends. They will be pleased to support you.
If your feelings are not improving and you have lost all interest in things you previously enjoyed, you could be suffering from depression.
A common sign of depression is if you find it difficult to sleep, or you don't want to get out of bed in the morning, or you can't be bothered to connect with family and friends. This is the time to get help.
Depression can make you feel alone and isolated at a time when you need people around you. Go and see your doctor or find out about counselling.
Cruse is an organisation which helps people who are grieving after a death. They provide advice and information including a national helpline. You can read more about Cruse on the website.
Feeling angry is very common. You might feel angry at your loved-one because you feel they have left you. Or, you could be angry at the hospital who weren't able to prevent your loved-one's death. Don't worry about your feelings. They are normal and they will fade in time.
Guilt is another common feeling. You might not feel as though you did enough for your loved-one. You might feel guilty because you didn't say what you wanted to say, or you weren't able to be there when they died. Some people feel relieve too and that makes them feel guilty. If the person was suffering a lot, or you had a difficult relationship with them then feeling relief is normal.
When you are able to get on with your life and you start to enjoy the things you do, you'll know you have reached the stage of acceptance. While you will have always have sad moments you should be able to think about the person you've lost without crying. Yes, the first anniversary, birthday's and the first Christmas will be hard. But as time goes on you will find you are living life again without such intense sadness.
Looking After Yourself
When you are grieving it's important to look after yourself. East properly and drink enough water. Talk to relatives and friends and if you feel overwhelmed get some professional support so that you're not dealing with your grieve alone.