What do you need to do after the funeral of a loved one

The list of things that need to be done when someone dies is quite long and urgent. Ticking them off as you work your way through it makes the days go quicker. That, combined with the initial shock, takes your mind off the loss and any feelings associated with it. Friends and family are also likely to be around, lending their support and helping with what they can to take off some of the burden.

Please consider the following suggestions in regards to some of the things that need to be done after the funeral:

Clearing out

This is a very personal task and it’s important to understand that, like grief – there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Some people find that clearing out the reminders of their loss helps, whilst others decide to keep every piece of memory and treasure it. If you don’t have to do it, don’t do it.

Take your time to think about it because once you get rid of something, you are not likely to get it back. You may decide to keep certain items or use some of their clothes to make them into quilts, pillow cases, teddy bears etc.

Although some of the urgent paperwork needs to be done before the funeral, the admin and legal responsibilities don’t stop there. You may be named as an Executor of the Will or involved with managing the Estate of the deceased person etc. Both of them are serious tasks which come with certain legal responsibilities. In these instances you can benefit from some legal advice or consider appointing a solicitor to help with your duties.

Choosing a memorial

At some point after the funeral, most people decide to have a memorial for their loved one. It symbolises your love for that special person and it provides a place to visit and remember them. Ask your Funeral Director for more information and advice regarding permissions and specific requirements.

General advice after the funeral

Refrain from making any important decisions, particularly if they involve money and property or if they are likely to have long-term effect which needs careful consideration. If your circumstances dictate and depend on such decisions, you must consult with trusted family members or friends and seek independent expert advice before committing to anything.

Family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and the wider public are likely to have opinions about your loss. They may even share them with you or volunteer advice about coping and moving forward. Of course they mean well but don’t let that steer you in the wrong direction. Listen to your instincts and do what feels right. Don’t let anyone else define your grief!

What was the most challenging thing you had to do after the funeral?

More resources

How to cope with grief

Grief help and support

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