In my opinion I don’t think anything can prepare you for the amount of administration, organising and general work that appears when someone close to you passes away. All this work appears when you are in the worst frame of mind and least prepared to carry it out. Having to do so much when my Dad passed at the end of January was a real eye opener, there were envelopes arriving every day with something to respond to, forms to complete, never mind the trip to the registrar to register the death and obtain the various forms required for the funeral to be carried out. I had only just finished the administration for Dad when my Mom passed four months later and I had to start again. Of course this time I knew what I had to do and when, but this time I had double the grief and trying to deal with everything was easy because I had done it once before so recently, and trying to deal with everything was difficult, because I had done it once before so recently.
Arranging orders of service, choosing readings and hymns, photographs for the orders of service. Liaising with various people to ensure everything could be done on a particular day and a particular time. Then designing memorial cards. Sending them out to family and friends, whilst in the meantime dealing with the various forms and letters, telephone calls, amendments of names etc etc. All whilst your brain has decided not to co-operate. You cannot be prepared for these events. I think it’s impossible.
Thankfully the people you are dealing with are used to talking to and helping bereaved family members. Everyone I have spoken to has been supportive, kind, helpful and explained in terms I understand what I need to do and by when. One of the nicest things that was said to me was when I was speaking to a chap in Ireland on the telephone and as he finished the conversation he told me to “mind myself”. Irish people will know that phrase, it means to take care of myself. It brought tears to my eyes, tears of comfort that a huge corporation had a human side and understood my pain.
A long time favourite film of mine is “Meet Joe Black”. I loved a scene towards the end of the film where Joe reveals his identity as an IRS Agent. The saying is correct, there are two things which are a certainty in life Death and Taxes.
With love and sparkles xx