How to Deal With an Unexpected Death

Five people helping a young man grieve with an unexpected death.

Experiencing the loss of a close friend or loved one can be a difficult time, but an unexpected death can be especially rough. Some situations allow us time to prepare for the passing of someone close, but coping with a sudden loss requires more than grieving.

Sometimes after an unexpected death, people need to take a few moments to absorb what just happened, and that is normal. You might feel panic, grief, or numbness, but process the situation, there is a lot to do.

The first thing to do when a loved one dies unexpectedly is to call 911 or your local police, even if the death was peaceful. After that call, think of who needs to know about the death right away. You may need to contact a spouse, or a parent, or children, or anybody close who can be available to help you and your situation.

Notifying loved ones doesn’t need to fall solely on you. You can enlist the help of a good friend to do this task for you. Some calls might be best coming from you, but people will understand if you have someone else calls on your behalf. Outside of family and close friends, it may be necessary to contact the deceased’s employer or school administration. You may also want to contact a priest, rabbi, or other religious leader.

The hospital or medical examiner may have a list of reputable funeral homes that you can call. If you know the wishes of the deceased, such as the preference between a burial or cremation, this can help narrow your search for a funeral home. The right funeral home will then assist with each step afterwards, easing the burden for you.

A major concern when coping with an unexpected death is finding support. Child care might need to be arranged, or a pet may need to be looked after. You can bring your family and friends together and delegate tasks to everybody, and be specific about assigning jobs, such as handling the obituary or keeping track of expenses.

You may be fortunate that the deceased has made any prior arrangements before his or her passing. Reducing the burden on your family members is one of the most significant advantages to pre-planning a cremation. This can allow your family members to focus more on the memories and the grieving process, and not on the stress or frustration in planning and payments.

Whether you wish to take the time and set up affordable cremation services now or at the time of death, Simply Cremation & Funeral Care is available to assist you. Our mission is to offer excellence in our service while providing the compassion, sincerity & understanding needed by families we serve.