When your loved one has died

My condolences if your loved one has recently died. If you’re wondering what happens next then well done! It’s important that you know what’s expected to make the right choices. Death, whether sudden or not, is often a time when you’ll be emotionally vulnerable.  There’ll be many costly decisions to take so it’s best to be prepared.

Burial or cremation?

Depending on the deceased preference’s – if any – you’ll be choosing either burial or cremation. Repatriation might be covered by insurance if you wish to take the body back home. Wherever you are, you can have a celebration of life ceremony with a celebrant.  Maybe you’ll choose not to have a public memorial but just a private family affair.  This can be held at any time and anywhere, perhaps in the deceased’s favourite place.  Whatever you decide, consider having a celebrant to guide you.

Local funeral practises

Here in Mallorca the local way of doing things means that everything is done and dusted within 48 hours! This might be too soon to be able to gather family members from abroad.  It’s important that you advise your funeral director that loved ones are coming from abroad.  The limit on disposal of the body here is usually seven days. Local funeral directors might assume you’re religious and offer the local priest for a church ceremony. If you’re not quite sure what a celebrant does the you may want a non religious ceremony!  Most of the crematoria on the island have a chapel and ceremonies can be held there.  When making arrangements, why not enquire if one is available and of course the costs involved.

Your choice

When a loved one dies in a hospital or clinic, you will be provided with a list of funeral directors from which to choose! An obvious choice would be one known to you or from the town or village where you live. No matter what time of day or night, they will be able to take your call immediately. Funerals are costly, running into a few thousand euros, and you may be overwhelmed by all the decisions you’ll be needing to make. Perhaps taking a good friend can help but if you’re reading this article now, perhaps enquiring already is the best option!

When a loved one has died at home the doctor has to come and pronounce death before you call your funeral director. Don’t forget to tell them if family are flying in.

Whilst you might feel strange or even weird considering the implications of this short article, being ready is thinking about the what if! We are all going to die and just as we save for our children’s education, perhaps saving for our funerals would be a good investment!

To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure. (J.K. Rowling)