Many people ask me “what is the most important thing to do immediately after someone dies?” Here is the answer, and it may surprise you. The following is an excerpt from the book Begin Here:
Urgent and Important
The first consideration after a death is the welfare of any dependents the decedent may have had. This task rates above any and all others.
If decedent has dependents (human and/or pets):
Immediately arrange for a home care provider or make other arrangements for living dependents:
-Contact your local human services department for assistance with human dependents; children, elderly parents, etc. (see http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/Local_Government/Cities.shtml for your local social services branch).
-Contact the Humane Society for any and all pets (see http://www.humanesociety.org/ for your local branch).
-Search the residence for any medications that may be necessary and time-sensitive for surviving dependents and pets.
-Bring along a few meaningful possessions to comfort the dependent if you are removing them from familiar surroundings.
These tasks may seem obvious to you, but to a survivor, these thoughts do not come easily. As I have stated many times, a surviving person has difficulty thinking clearly and logically. Our thoughts and emotions are in a vacuum.
We all need help and guidance…Begin Here is that guidance. Help someone you know by giving them this book when they become a survivor and are struggling with these issues. Peace…