By Advice type
You know your child best and whether it feels right for them to go the funeral will depend on a range of factors - such as their age, their relationship to the person who has died, and whether they want to go. There is no right or wrong answer. But offering your child the option to go is one opportunity for them to say ‘goodbye’ to a special person.
Although this is likely to be a very emotional time, there are still some formal things that need to happen. Although it can feel overwhelming, remember that you do not need to do everything yourself. This is often the time when friends and family can help you by doing some of the practical tasks.
Most people leave behind some possessions when they die, which might include money, property and their belongings, and together these things are called their ‘estate’. These are usually passed on to family, friends and people or organisations such as charities that your friend or relative has specified.
Sharing the news that your friend or relative has died is one of the most difficult and immediate responsibilities. If the person who has died has nominated you as executor, you will be responsible for sorting out their property, and carrying out the instructions in their will. This includes notifying friends and family, as well as formally notifying a number of people and organisations.
Even though you know the person is dying, and you can try to prepare yourself, it is hard to know how you might feel when they actually die. Some people feel shocked or numb, whilst other people might feel overwhelmed with sadness, or even anger. It is also normal, particularly if it has been a long illness to feel a huge relief. You may find it helps if you have already thought of someone you can call who can be with you and support you at this time.
Choosing where to die can be hard to think about. But being in the right place for you can be really important when you know your life is coming to an end. Although your needs may change over time, most people find it helpful to think about what they would like before they become too ill.
Organising a funeral for someone you love can be stressful and overwhelming at a very emotional time. However, many people find funerals are a chance to gather with those who cared about the person who has died and celebrate their life.
Registering your loved one's death is one of the first things you need to do after they have died. You can start planning their funeral beforehand, but you will not be able to actually hold it until you have registered their death. Legally, you need to do this within five days (it's eight days if you're in Scotland), and you’ll then get the documents you need for the funeral.
Sometimes caring can feel overwhelming, and people often tell us that they feel guilty making time for their own needs, but looking after yourself is the best way to ensure that you can be there to provide the care and support you want to for your friend or relative.
We all find it hard to cope when someone we love dies. Helping a child to cope with the loss of someone they love can be particularly difficult when you are dealing with your own grief. But there are things that you can do to support children through this difficult time.