Do This When a Loved One Passes

Sage Aging Podcast Episode 67

Things that need to be done when a loved one passes

When a loved one passes, they leave behind a life that must be closed out. The responsibility of handling the personal and legal details might rest on your shoulders. It’s a stressful, bureaucratic job that can take some time to get through. All while you are grieving the loss of your loved one.

Barbara Herrington MA, CMC joined me to discuss. Click the player above to listen. A full transcript can also be found there.

First Things First

When a loved one passes it can turn your world upside down. The thing that has so consumed your life, maybe for years, is suddenly over. From personal experience, I can tell you that it may leave you feeling lost and empty. The list of things that must be addressed now is long. But let me encourage you to start by giving yourself a moment to breathe and take in the loss. It’s significant, and you deserve some time to process it before you begin the next part of the process. This article about grief may be helpful to you.

What’s Next?

There is much to be done after a loved one passes. It can be an overwhelming task. The good news is that everything doesn’t have to be done all at once. Depending on your situation and how much pre-planning was done, this process can take some time. Maybe weeks, a year, or more. Be patient, get some help, and take it one step at a time. We’ve created this checklist to help you organize the tasks. Barbara also recommends this helpful book: Please Don’t Die, But if You Do, What Do I Do Next?: A Practical and Cost Saving Guide for the Estate Executor

Grief Support

During bereavement and throughout the grief process, you will need some emotional support. There is no shame, EVER, in asking for help. Support can be found in a variety of places. Family members, friends, support groups (in-person and virtual), community organizations, or mental health professionals can all help.

The grieving process is different for everyone. Some may grieve for a long time and have difficulty getting over the hump, while others may work through the process faster. If you are having trouble working through the grief, ask for help. This article by has a good list of online support groups to get you started.

Liz Craven
Author: Liz Craven

Liz Craven, co-publisher of Sage Aging ElderCare Guide with her husband Wes, combines personal experience and heartfelt dedication in her work. Their journey in eldercare began with a personal story—caring for Wes' grandmother, Mabel, who lived with Alzheimer's. This chapter in their lives not only highlighted the complexities of eldercare but also kindled a deep-seated passion to support others facing similar challenges. Since then, Liz and Wes have navigated caregiving three more times. These experiences have added layers of depth to their insights, allowing them to offer a blend of empathetic understanding and practical advice through the Sage Aging ElderCare Guide. Liz’s commitment to making eldercare more approachable and less daunting shines through in every piece of advice she offers, aiming to ease the caregiving journey for others.