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What to Do When Someone Dies – Checklist

One of the most common questions that ministers are asked, I am told, is “What do I have to do when someone dies?”  I know it happened to me a number of years ago when my mother died.  I got the dreaded phone call and I headed for home.  I knew I would have to write an obituary and write a eulogy.  But what else did I need to do?  When I reached the nursing home I asked them what to do.  When I made an appointment with the minister I asked “What do I do now?” I kept asking the question to anyone I saw.  I got through the terrible time, but not without a lot of help.  If I had been prepared with a What to Do When Someone Dies Checklist it would have taken some of the stress out of this tragic time.

Because of this experience, I have decided to create a “What to Do When Someone Dies Checklist”.  This checklist will get you started on what you need to do when you are grieving the loss of a loved one.

You will need to:  

#1 – Contact people. Start with those that are closest to the deceased.  

#2 – Write an obituary notice and post it in the local newspaper.  This will be another way that you can contact people as many people will read the paper or will get a phone call from a friend telling them about the obituary.

#3 – Collect up all the important information about the deceased and have it at your fingertips.  

#4 – Decide which Funeral Service you will use and contact them. You will need to choose a reputable funeral home that will give you the service you need at the price you can afford.

#5 – Make the final arrangements for the deceased’s body (burial or cremation) and all the details that go along with either one of those.

#6 – Plan the funeral or memorial service; including: who will lead the service; who will give the eulogy.

#7 – Make sure all the papers are in order for the executor.

#8 – And throughout all of these items in the “What to do When Someone You Love Dies Checklist” you will need to receive and give comfort to others in your immediate family who are also grieving.

There is a balance of taking time to grieve for the person we loved knowing that we won’t be able to spend time anymore with them here on this earth and making sure that we give that person the true honor that they deserve.  We can’t help our feelings of grief.  They take over our very being.  Having a clear plan can help to get through this time when someone dies. 

Once you are through this time and you know of others that are going through the grief of loss, why don’t you create a What to Do When Someone Dies Checklist (or share this one) for your friend to help them through this rough time?   It would be a wonderful gift.

free obituary template





funeral program template