December 5, 2014

Good to know:

·     After a person dies at home, you call the primary care doctor to inform her/him.
·     Then you call Hospice, to alert the Hospice doctor and the Hospice team.
·     Then you find a crematorium or funeral home to take the body away. We used Greenwich Village Funeral Home. They came after four hours and were respectful and efficient. They prepared the death certificates for us and had them ready after four days. But we still have no ashes after 7 days. This is not cool, IMHO. (I don’t want the ashes, but my daughter does.)
·     Then you clean out the house of the deceased and try to put it on the market. (I’m leaving the furniture so that the apartment shows better. All of my mother’s possessions went to a holiday fair to benefit a church that we love.) We had help from close friends and family and we worked like dogs, through dust, to get this job done.
·     Then, daily, you answer many emails and calls from people that knew the deceased (even if you don’t) and you are polite and comforting and you describe the end in as much or little detail as you see fits the person calling.
·     In your down time, when you are not working, you try to process the reality of the fact that your parent is dead.
·     You call your therapist and see if you can be seen. My therapist was able to make time for me (suddenly, thankfully) and I will see her next week
·     You may call your spiritual care counselor to touch base with that person. With VNS/Hospice, you get one session. I also have appointment with my mother’s spiritual care counselor for next week.
·     You get legal counsel. I have an appointment with OUR attorney for next week to transfer funds, accounts, deeds, etc. I have no idea how to do this myself. I hope that he will help me.

·     You ask your spouse/partner to call the bank, SS, insurance companies, etc. and deal with being on hold for four days, only to be told that the funeral home has already notified them of your parent’s passing.

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