Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

What to do when someone dies

If you are bereaved, there are many things to attend to in handling the affairs of the deceased. From the moment a loved one passes on there are certain things you need to do. These are;

Getting a death certificate

In the first place, if the deceased died in a hospital or nursing home, a death certificate is written and their body is usually kept in the mortuary until you involve the services of a funeral director. However, if the death occurred at home you need to get a doctor's certificate before calling a funeral director. To get the certificate, call the deceased's doctor if the deceased had no specific doctor, call the police.

Funeral arrangements

Once you have a death certificate it is time to procure the services of a funeral director. Note that the doctor's certificate is what will be used to get a death certificate. When making plans for the funeral consider:

The wishes of the deceased

Sometimes the deceased had a will. The executor is the one who usually handles the funeral arrangements but if the deceased died intestate, the closest living relative who is and adult will do it. In case you are tasked with arranging the funeral take into consideration how the deceased wanted their remains to be disposed of whether through cremation, conventional burial, natural burial, aquamation or burial at sea. The deceased could also have a prepaid burial plot or wanted to be buried on private land.


You need to find out if the deceased had funeral insurance or any other financial arrangements that can bear the costs of the funeral. Get an itemized quotes from different independent funeral directors and watch out for any services that might not be necessary. Some items like embalming are not necessary when the body is likely to be buried within a day of the death.

Funeral director

With these considerations, it is time to find a funeral director. Once you have settled on a funeral director, the next part is communicating your needs to them with great clarity so that the funeral can go as smoothly as possible. The things you expect the funeral directors to do include;

  • Arrangements for viewing, the funeral ceremony as well as transport of the guests.
  • The funeral ceremony, decorations, and refreshments.
  • Putting up notices and sending invitations.
  • Arrangements for burial plot or crematorium as well as booking.

When dealing with the stress of bereavement and the arrangements for the funeral, take care of yourself too, you can talk to loved ones or use grief counseling services to help you cope.