Chapter 2: When death happens
The first few hours
I did not know what to do with myself or just in general. My son had been sick for years and dying for months, so there was no element of surprise. But I felt numb in those first few hours.
The first few hours after someone you care about has died is often
emotionally challenging. What do you do? Whom should you call? The answers are
varied and can depend upon your situation and where the person died.
Many caregivers prefer to have family or friends with them at
those times while others want to be alone. Some choose to sit with the person’s
body to say their final goodbye.
Because you will have members of the healthcare or palliative care teams on site, they will guide you through the next steps and how to proceed.
You may have been given a certificate that states this was an expected death. Your next step is to contact the funeral home.
Your next step is to contact the person’s healthcare provider or palliative care provider. They must pronounce the person’s death and sign a death certificate. If they are not available, please call 9-1-1 to explain the situation. Police officers or the medical examiner will need to visit your home before a funeral home is able to come.