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When someone dies - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

When someone dies

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I agree,I think it might help many of us if the unthinkable happens.
I agree with everything BowlingBun has written.
The Organ donor team gave me the telephone number of the Compassionate Friends, an International organisation started in UK for parents who have lost a child(and siblings and grandparents).The phone line is manned by bereaved parents,and when I phoned,within 24 hours of Rhys's death,could not believe this lady I was talking to,was able to find a reason to get up in the mornings. It helped so much.
Something else that I wished I knew more about, is the inquest.While the clerk was very compassionate,I was not really kept up to date with things that were going on,and no idea at all that the NHS would have an interest in it,and would make me feel as though I was on trial.
Even after the inquest, we could not collect a death certificate until my son's death had been authorised elsewhere,which could take up to a month.(his death had occurred over a year earlier, so it had to go very high up.)The Coroner's clerk had told us that it would be available within days.
At a traumatic time,a bereaved family is often expected to understand and know everything.
One of the things that is a struggle with a sudden death is the disbelief. I still can't believe it at times.
Accept all the help you are offered, it is usually being offered because people care. My elderly next door neighbour asked her cousin to stay with her the day of the funeral,so that she could have our dogs in there for the day.She also sent a meal in to us one evening,already cooked,complete with lovely fresh fruit and cream for dessert. It was the first time we were able to actually taste food.
Keep any condolence cards to read through at a later date. I read ours after a year,and was so surprised, there were many people that I didn't realise we had heard from,and it helped after a year to read their thoughts.
(I know these things aren't very practical,just what helped me).
Also,and the biggest, biggest thing to remember if you have children.They have also lost a close family member.Siblings are called the "forgotten" mourners and I read of so many who believe their parents do not love them any more.My two children still here with me have become even closer since their brother's death,but I still worry very much about both of them for their future.
My advice would be to remember happy things connected to that person, whoever it is. Don't remember the last moments. Same goes for beloved pets actually.
Here's a few daft q's from someone who has never had to deal with this,although I was holding my dad's hand when he died in hospital. Where do you get a death cert from ? also, do you have to give clothes to the funeral director for the person who has died ?

On the donor front ,what if the person who has died hasn't left any requests about this - can they still be used as a donor?

Barrowgirl,we were in so much shock when our son died, that when I phoned the Undertaker he did everything necessary.Sudden death often warrants a postmortem and an inquest, so a death certificate may not be available, but there is another form available(unless the body has to be kept,maybe after a murder),which will be sent to you,so that the funeral can proceed.
If death is natural causes and no inquest needed, death certificate can be collected from the registrar,after collecting the form confirming death from the Dr. If the person is being cremated,then two Drs will have to confirm death,which should be done at the time.
Organ donation,well it looks as though in Wales the choice is going to be taken away anyway, as they are trying to get an opt-out system in place, so grieving relatives will have no say in what happens. At the moment, you may be asked if you would like your relatives organs to be used for transplant.It is very emotional, but an organ donor team co-ordinator will be assigned to you/your family,so you will have a named person to talk to,and who will help you understand your decisions. Also important to know that even if they take the organs, they may not be able to use them, if there is infection or something else preventing it.(I found out after offering my sons's organs, that he was on the organ donor list,which did help a little, at the time).
You can offer clothes for the person to wear. You can also put items into the coffin(funeral director will need to know what they are,for reasons of safety).
Also, if you are apprehensive about something, never be afraid to ask the funeral director for guidance. They will have been through it all before,and are usually very respectful and kind.
I hope this has helped, barrowgirl.x
Dear Barrowgirl,
I'm sorry to hear that your dad has died, it's a very sad time for everyone. We had 3 parents die in quick succession, and then my husband died of a heart attack. When you go to the Registrar to get the certificate, be sure to ask for 3 or 4, because many organisations will not accept a photocopy, only an official copy. Then write a short letter, with your name and address at the top. Dear xxx I regret to advise you that my father xxx of xx his address and date of birth...died on xx atxxx. A copy of the death certificate is enclosed. Please copy it for your records and return it to me asap. This can then go to the solicitor, the banks, building society, insurance company etc. etc. It's so much easier than going to see them personally. Don't worry too much about the funeral, allow yourself to be guided by the funeral director, my sons and I were like sheep, to be guided! When you go to the funeral, take some drinks to leave in the car, for you to have immediately after the service. Crying makes you thirsty, and you will feel so much better afterwards. If you a going to have a funeral tea or wake, get someone else to prepare the food for you. In this way, it's as stress free as possible. With regard to paying for the funeral, the cost of this can come out of a bank account belonging to your father. All you need to do is give the bank a copy of the undertakers invoice, and the bank will pay it from the funds available. You don't have to wait for probate to be granted etc. etc. Let dealing with the house and personal belongings until after the funeral. If there is anything else you would like to know, just ask.
Hello again , and thanks for the replies.
Bowlingbun, my dad died many years ago now, sorry if I have confused you ! I was really asking as my mum is 92 with severe dementia (vascular ) and her mind has started to close down.We know it won't be long before her body does too.My dad died in a hosp but my mum may die in the home.It's bound to get confusing so your points have been very useful.
Lazydaisy , how awful to lose a son.Well, I know losing any relative is dreadful but you are so unprepared for that happening.
this is a useful thread which will probably help a lot of people.I hope it stays respected.
I've just re read your first post. It might be worth getting in touch with the organ donor organisation re being a donor, as soon as possible, so you can consider quietly what they have to say. I read somewhere that they can use parts of the skin to help burn victims, and I believe that they can do cornea transplants enabling others to see again. I'm not suggesting that they take all the skin, but would take a small amount from an area which would not be seen. With regard to clothes for the undertaker, it really depends whether anyone will be seeing the body after death. Initially I said I didn't want to do this, but I'm so glad I changed my mind. I gave them my husband's favourite holiday clothes, which he wore a few months earlier when we went on a long holiday to Australia. I didn't want anyone else wearing them, so it seemed right that he had them on his final journey. I am glad that I went to see him at the funeral parlour, to say a proper goodbye. Of course I cried buckets, but he looked very peaceful. Anyone doing this should be prepared for the body being very cold. I would strongly recommend that you say your goodbyes properly like this. Others may disagree? If your mum dies at home, but her doctor has attended her recently, I don't think that a post mortem is compulsory. Perhaps someone has more knowledge than me on what happens in the UK (I worked in the office of a hospital in Australia, hence I know what happened there, at that time). I hope this helps answer some of your questions.
As with Bowlingbun,we went to see our son in the Chapel of Rest after he had been prepared for his funeral.It was the last time the five of us were together and a family and I do believe it helped us to prepare for the rest of our lives without him. We were able to stay for as long as we wanted without it being in the accident and emergency room we were in when he died.
It can be an option to have your relative at home the night before the funeral, but for my family it would have been too hard to bear, letting him go all over again.
When my father died,(17 months after my son),I was unprepared for the extreme emotion. I cried far more at Dad's funeral than at Rhys's.That still shocks me.I can only think that with a sudden death(of any close relative),you are still in shock at the time of the funeral.
I hope,Barrowgirl, that when it is time for your Mum to pass, that it happens peacefully.x
Great thread idea. We already have some useful information on this website.

When a person dies
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... erson-dies
Includes Practical matters, The funeral, Dealing with the deceased person's affairs and Your own finances, benefits and housing

Rebuilding your life after caring
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... ter-caring

If anyone has any comments on the above content, ideas for additions or improvements, please let me know. You can contact me by PM or email.
Best wishes