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Help with Grieving

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Katherine Smallwood Katherine Smallwood
Canadian Life Skills Worker

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Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada

Dealing with a Death in the Family

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Dealing with death could be one of the most difficult things we have to do as human beings. It is even more difficult when it is a family member or loved one who passes away.

What to Do When There is a Death in Your Family

When you are in charge in dealing with the death of a family member or loved one, there are some immediate things you should do first:

  • inform other family members and close friends about the death
  • notify the deceased's employer and business associates if necessary
  • consider any religious rites and contact the office of the appropriate religious institution
  • find the will if one exists (the document that provides instructions on what to do with the person's possessions after death, and may also include plans or wishes for a funeral) and notify the lawyer and the executor
  • if necessary, arrange for child care
  • make necessary arrangements for visiting relatives and friends who may wish to attend the funeral
  • arrange for someone to answer the door and telephone and take messages
  • contact a funeral home to begin funeral arrangements [See Related Resources]
Note

Whenever a death occurs, it is important to notify a funeral home as soon as possible, so that the funeral director can make all the necessary arrangements.

Unfortunately, many people often assume that their doctor or the hospital will contact the funeral home, but this is not true.

When you contact the funeral home, you need to give them the following information:

  • who you are
  • your telephone number
  • who has passed away
  • when the deceased passed away
  • where the deceased is located
  • cause of death
  • the deceased's doctor's name

You then need to make an appointment with the funeral home to finish making the arrangements. The funeral director will arrange the transfer of the body to the funeral home, explain the funeral preparation process and help you arrange the funeral.

The funeral home can also assist you in notifying the appropriate government offices and authorities to register the death, so that the official death certificate can be issued. In order to register the death with the Government, you will need to provide the funeral home with the following information about the deceased:

  • full name of the deceased
  • date and place of birth
  • address
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) and PEI Health Card Number
  • occupation
  • marital status and next of kin (closest relative)
  • father’s name and place of birth
  • mother's name and place of birth
  • date and place of death

After the funeral, you may also need to take care of the following things:

  • contact the life insurance company, if applicable
  • apply for any death benefits including Canada Pension Death Benefit and Survivor's Benefit
  • notify the bank, credit union, investment company, and any other applicable financial institutions
  • if the person who died lived alone, notify the landlord (if applicable), utility companies, and the post office
  • notify any organizations to which the deceased belonged

Help with Grieving

Loosing a person close to you can affect you in many ways. There are groups in PEI that can help you and your family in dealing with grief by providing resources and emotional support.
[See Related Resources]