The First 5 Things You Should Do When a Loved One Dies
If someone you love has just died, your head is probably spinning. Your life will never be the same, but there are some very practical things you need to handle. Here are the top five things the team at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes you need to do after losing someone close to you.
1.) Report the death.
If your loved one dies in a Chicago-area doctor’s office, nursing home, hospital, or in hospice care, a doctor will be able to do this for you. If they die at home, you will need to call 911. While state laws vary, in Illinois, a paramedic cannot pronounce a death, so they will need to transport your friend or family member to a hospital.
2.) Make Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes your next call.
We will help you complete the certificate of death and arrange for the transportation of your loved one here to the funeral home. If your friend or family member died while traveling, we will bring them home in a professional manner for the lowest possible cost.
There are a number of other decisions you will need to make at this moment. Our caring, experienced staff will walk you through all of your options and determine the kind of service and choice of final resting place that most closely matches your loved one’s wishes.
3.) Notify others.
Take care to tell the people in your inner circle first. It is best practice to refrain from sharing any news on social media until you are sure all family and close friends have been notified. Be sure to call your loved one’s employer and make arrangements immediately for the care of any children or pets left behind.
You may want to enlist the help of other family members and friends to help with notifications, especially if you are the primary person responsible for making the funeral arrangements.
4.) Plan the funeral.
There are a number of considerations for you to make when planning a funeral. Unless your loved one chose to preplan, you’ll need to decide between traditional burial and cremation, as well as their final placement, and all the other details related to their service.
At Smith-Corcoran, we will work closely with you to design a service that will capture your friend or family member’s personality and bring you healing. Think about the ways you want to infuse the service or visitation with your loved one’s personality. Depending on your needs and budget, a reception might also be a good option for you. Fortunately, our staff is not only experienced with managing all of these details, they also know firsthand what a difficult process this is for you. Their care and concern will help making these decisions as easy as they can be.
5.) Begin down a road towards healing.
Grief is a long journey, and for some, it never ends. In the midst of managing the practical details that must be attended to after a loved one’s death, don’t neglect to take the time you need to practice self-care. As much as possible, try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, and try to fit in a bit of exercise each day – even if it’s simply taking a walk around the block. Spend time with people who lovingly support you, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Above all, know that when you plan with Smith-Corcoran, you are never alone. We are always here to connect you with resources that will help you in your grief. And our commitment to help you and your family continues long after the funeral service is over.