The time preparing for a funeral can be difficult. Dealing with unexpected funeral costs and organising small details can be tough while also trying to allow yourself time to grieve. There is plenty published on these issues to help you get through such a difficult time, but fewer people are talking about the days and weeks after the funeral. Here are ten things to do once the funeral is over.
The funeral itself can be a monumental stage in the grieving process and often allows loved ones to find some degree of closure. However, the funeral is not the end of the grieving process, just the closing of one phase of grieving.
You should not expect yourself to have stopped grieving the day after. In fact, the stress and chaos of organising a funeral may have delayed your grieving and you may just be starting to grieve once the funeral is over.
Tell yourself that this is okay and is a natural process. It may take days, weeks or even months for the grieving process to end, and when it does, it does not mean you have forgotten your loved one.
Send Thank You Cards
Another small task after the funeral is to send thank you cards or flowers to the people that were supporting you the most after the death. It is common to send a thank you note to the people who helped you organise the funeral or played a significant role on the day.
A Loving Tribute are soon to launch a bespoke line of thank you cards that are fully customisable and specifically made for after funerals. Contact A Loving Tribute to learn more and show how much you appreciated another’s help!
Scatter Your Loved One’s Ashes
Recent polls have indicated that the UK population slightly prefer to be cremated over being buried and those that prefer cremation want their ashes to be scattered rather than kept. On that note, there is a chance that you will need to follow a funeral with this task.
Choosing a place to scatter them and what to say when scattering ashes doesn’t have to be rushed. Think about their favourite places and what they enjoyed to make these decisions.
Surround Yourself with Family and Friends
To help you move on with the next stage of life without a loved one, make sure you surround yourself with the people you love. After a death it is natural to value your time with these people even more. Start comforting one another through this period by spending time together. They may just need your shoulder and support as well!
The Death Certificate
A formality after the funeral is arranging the official death certificate. This is not only a useful document for different admin tasks (see below), but you could even frame it and hang it on a wall in your home.
Closing Accounts and Notifying Companies
The deceased may have all types of arrangements, memberships and bank accounts with different organisations. You will need to use the death certificate to inform these parties about the death so they can close accounts, stop recurring payments and even transfer assets.
You may not know about every bank account or membership the deceased had, so try to think outside the box to keep people informed. Did they have a fishing magazine subscription or even a gym membership? This is the only post-funeral task that is quite urgent.
Consider a Memorial
Framing a death certificate is one way of creating a small memorial within the home and a nice way to be reminded of your loved one every day. You could always go further and create a memorial for the deceased in other ways.
The typical memorial of current times is to have a bench made in their name - and in their favourite spot to encourage others to stop and enjoy a view or landscape. Yet, you could always make a unique memorial.
Do the Things You Love
It is understandable that you will want to hide from daily life while you grieve and come to terms with your loss, but you should try and make an effort to continue with your hobbies and social appointments. Taking your mind off the death is not to be confused with not caring or not grieving - but should be encouraged.
Make a Donation
The person’s official will may have indicated that a donation is to be made to a certain charity. If you are the executor of the will then you will have the responsibility of ensuring this takes place. Even if it is not in the will, many people choose to make a donation in their loved one’s name.
Whether it be to research a cure for cancer or improve awareness on a topic, a donation in someone’s memory is a beautiful and caring thing to do.
Get Support and Professional Help
If you are making all the right steps but the grieving process is too much and holding you back, there is absolutely no shame in seeking professionals help. We all grieve in different ways and on different timelines. If you want to get the right support or counselling to help you through this phase of life, then you should do exactly that.
Learn that you are not alone and always grieve in the healthiest way possible for you!
No Need to Rush!
Yes - the list of things to do after the funeral may be as long as it was before the funeral, but the good news is that many of the above things do not have a strict deadline. Remember to concentrate on yourself while working your way through your post-funeral to-do list.