One thing that funeral homes in Shaker Heights, OH will help you with is letting people know that your loved one has died. They will do this in the form of an obituary. However, your loved one’s obituary may not appear until several days after their death, so you still have the task of letting some people know immediately that they’ve died.
When a loved one dies, there is a hierarchy of immediacy in letting people know that they’ve died. Immediate family members who aren’t present when they die and close friends are the first groups who need to know. Next, you’ll want to let other family members, casual friends, and their employer (if your loved one was still working) know. Finally, you can announce it generally to everyone.
You don’t do all these notifications on the day your loved one dies. Immediate family members and close friends should be the only notifications you do on that day. If you have people who can help you with these notifications, it will be easier for everyone all the way around.
How do you notify immediate family members and close friends? Traditional funeral etiquette says that you should notify them with a phone call, but that may not be possible or feasible.
While sending text messages and emails are still considered to be impersonal ways of letting people know that your loved one has died, they may be your best option for a very important reason. It is unlikely that you’re going to feel like talking or even be able to talk very much immediately after your loved one dies.
If you make a phone call, one of the questions that you will be asked is “How are you doing?” The truth is you don’t know and you may just sit on the phone and cry. This is not only uncomfortable, but it also can be exhausting if you have to do it with several people in a row.
There are a few phone calls you will have to make because you have to. You’ll know who those people are. But, to control your end of the conversation without having to expend a lot of energy, you can send text messages or emails to everyone else.
Be sure to send text messages individually or to group email by blind copying all the recipients of the email. Not only does this protect everyone’s privacy, but it also gives a more personal touch to your notification about your loved one’s death.
Once you’ve sent the text messages or emails, you may have some people call right away or text or email back right away. You don’t have to answer right away. Put the phone away and take care of what needs to be done with your loved one and the funeral home and yourself and your family.
You can assign immediate family members to do the rest of the family, casual friend, and employer notifications. If your loved one has died on the weekend, their employer’s HR department should be called when the business opens on Monday morning (unless they work for a business that’s open 7 days a week). Be sure to ask about any pay that may be owed, benefits available, and any life insurance your loved one may have had.
Once the funeral home has the obituary published, then you can share that through email or social media with everyone else (do not share the news of someone else’s loved one’s death on social media until a member of the family has done so).