Dealing with Stuff
When someone dies
- After your parent or sibling dies their body will be taken to a funeral home
- This may not happen immediately. It might happen the next day
- You might feel like you are suspended in a dream or that things are not real
- There is no right or wrong way to feel
Whether your parent or brother or sister dies at home or in hospital, there is no need to rush to do anything straight away.
They can stay at home or in their hospital bed for quite a while.
If you have talked about this beforehand, you may have a plan in place, which can really help at this time.
You may also have religious or spiritual customs that you are required to perform.
You can spend time with them as a family, touch them, talk to them and do whatever you feel comfortable doing.
If they die at home
- The doctor who has been caring for your parent or brother or sister will need to come to the house to sign a death certificate before the funeral directors get notified. If they die overnight then they may stay in bed until the next morning and then the doctor can be called.
- It is the funeral directors who will come and take them to the funeral home.
- They will be placed in a bag and then on a trolley. In many cases you will be able to see them again at the funeral home.
If they die in hospital
- The nurse will disconnect any machines and remove catheters and IVs.
- When you and your family feel ready, they will be taken on the hospital bed to the mortuary where they will be washed and prepared before the funeral directors come and take them to the funeral home.
Feelings and reactions
- Talking about death is not easy for anyone. It is not something that we deal with very much. It is scary, upsetting and just really really hard.
- This last stage of your brother or sister’s life will throw up all sorts of emotional stuff. You may have dealt with heaps already but it may take a different form now.
- It might feel like real life is suspended and you are living in a completely different world.
How am I supposed to feel?
- How you feel and what you do in the time straight after they have died may surprise you and there is no right or wrong way to feel.
- You may feel like you are expected to cry, but the tears aren’t there. Or you may think of a happy memory of your brother or sister and feel like it’s not okay to share it.
- Many people describe the hours and days straight after their parent or sibling's death as “being in a dream” or in a movie.
- It’s an unreal time, and one of the biggest things that will ever happen to you in your lifetime, so don’t feel like you have to be a certain way, or say particular things. Let your feelings come when they come.
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