Soon after a bereavement, you may be very busy with practical matters. During a time of emotional stress it can be hard to concentrate, so, if you feel unable to cope with the work involved, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you have been bereaved, there is usually quite a lot of paper work to attend to, especially if you are an executor of a will (if there is one). A solicitor will assist you if you need one, or, if the estate is very simple to deal with, you could ask a trusted friend or relative to help you. The local Citizens Advice Bureau can help you if you are not sure what to do. Talk to your Funeral Director about financing the funeral. They will be able to help you with advice on department of works and pensions DWP claims, or any other funding that may be available to help with costs. If you have joint accounts, you will need to contact your bank/building society to arrange for these to be amended to your name only. Usually these accounts pass by survivorship and from a practical point of view are fairly simple to deal with.
Funeral expenses are usually the first call on a persons estate. Upon receiving the final invoice of the funeral account, take it along with a copy of the death certificate and the bank/building society will usually issue a cheque for the amount of the funeral made payable directly to the Funeral Director.
There are many more matters to be dealt with, but don’t worry they can be dealt with over a period of time, when you feel you can do so. There is still help available from the Department for Work and Pensions. The Grant/Loan is means tested.
Contact your nearest job centre to ask your entitlement, they will usually ask for your National Insurance Number and to fill out FORM SF200 once the funeral has taken place, however, they should be able to confirm if you are eligible for financial assistance. The amount they issue may vary depending on each individual case.
Reactions to Grief
There is no “normal” reaction to grief at the loss of a loved one. If you have lost someone, the grief you feel and experience will be unique to yourself – people react differently to bereavement. It might be helpful to you to recognise that there are some feelings commonly associated with grief that most people will experience at some stage;
NUMBNESS AND DISBELIEF – initial shock and being unable to take in the reality of the death.
LONGING AND SADNESS – the strong desire that your loved one was still with you.
LONELINESS – feelings of loneliness without necessarily being alone.
PAIN AND GUILT – “why am I still here and my loved one isn’t ?”
ANGER – at the person who has died for ‘leaving’ you.
HOPELESSNESS – despairing of any relief from grief and pain.
FEAR OF THE FUTURE – “what will I do without them?”
A persons reaction to death will be influenced by many different things, including age, personality, and religious beliefs. The manner of the death and previous experiences (if any) of bereavement, may also have a bearing on how someone will cope with the loss. The death may have been as a result of a long term illness and suffering, or it may have been sudden or even premature (a child). Whatever happened, the situation cannot be changed – this is one of the biggest obstacles, not being able to make things right. Remembering the happy times may be of help to come to terms with accepting change.
After bereavement, life changes and the immediate pain and grief of your loss should lessen over time. You will need time to adjust and adapt to the changes and new coping skills may have to be learnt for you to come to terms with your loss and your new situation.
Over the weeks and months ahead you may feel the need to change things, or perhaps even move house. It is not wise to rush into decisions, take time to think about what you really want. Importantly, do not enter into any financial or legal agreements unless you are happy that you fully understand them. In short, do not do anything until you are ready.
Make sure you keep in regular contact with relatives and friends – some of them may be embarrassed to mention your loved ones name at first because they upset you, but do keep talking of the person whom has died, even if it makes you cry. This is all part of the healing process, and while a person is spoken about they will always live on in the heart.
Look after your health – visit your G.P. if you need to, and discuss the possibility of seeing a grief councillor if necessary. It takes some people a very long time to come to term with their grief and move on after losing someone close, but help is available if you ask for it.
Do not feel guilty if you are beginning to rebuild your life. It is part of a natural process of recovery and is not ‘disloyal’ to the person you have lost. Special anniversaries and birthdays can be painful to remember and when they come around try to make plans to do something, make plans beforehand to do something positive for yourself, perhaps arrange to go out with a friend or/and relative to relive some of your memories.
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us” – Helen Keller 1880-1968
Hopefully, by the time you have read this booklet, you will have passed through the very difficult, early stages of grief. It is impossible to predict how long you will need to grieve, for nothing can change the path of life and bring your loved one back.
Here are some practical suggestions for easing pain and loss:
• Do talk to other people about the person who has died, remember the happy times.
• Treasure your memories of the person, and your feelings for him/her, perhaps compile a special album of photographs and a box of mementoes.
• Give yourself permission and time to grieve, there are no time limits on the grieving process.
• Take care of yourself, you will cope better with grief if you try and eat properly and rest (even if you do not sleep well or sleep at all , rest)
• Seek help and support if you need it, do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help and tell people what you need, how you feel and how they can help.
• If someone offers practical help, they mean it, don’t refuse.
• If you feel the need to cry – do so !! Equally, if you cannot cry, do not force it, or feel guilty. Remember not everyone deals with grief the same.
• Coming to terms with the loss of a loved one may take a considerable amount of time, be prepared to adjust your expectations of how long it may take you to feel peace with your grief.
A funeral plan is a secure and cost-effective way of ensuring that your funeral is arranged and paid for in advance at today’s prices. It’s a thoughtful way to make things easier for your family at what will be a distressing time. You’ll have arranged everything in advance: chosen your funeral director, specified your wishes and taken care of the funeral costs.
Why choose Golden Charter for your funeral plans?
With more than 20 years’ experience, Golden Charter is the UK’s largest provider of funeral plans – which means we are perfectly placed to offer expert advice on a pre-paid plan to suit you. Golden Charter work with over 2,900 independent funeral directors from across the country. Moreover, Golden Charter is 100% owned by SAIF Charter, which represents around 800 of these independent funeral directors. We help to support independent funeral directors throughout the UK by securing their share of future funerals and enabling them to challenge the large corporate providers. All of our plans offer complete peace of mind that the costs within the direct control of your funeral director is covered, which avoids burdening family members with much of the financial worries a death can so often bring.
I Have Savings and Life Insurance – Why Should I Take Out A Funeral Plan ?
While relying on savings or taking out life insurance may seem like a good idea, your savings or any payout on an insurance policy may not be enough to cover your funeral. Funeral costs continue to increase at a higher rate than inflation, and more than the value of any interest you might get on savings. However, if you take out a funeral plan, you can freeze funeral costs at today’s prices, no matter how much they may rise in the future. Plus, your funeral director will have a note of your wishes, which can be a great source of comfort for family members, knowing that they are carrying out the funeral you want, when the time comes.
What Happens If I Die Before Paying All My Monthly Instalments’ ?
You are not fully covered until all your monthly instalments are paid. If you pass away before paying all your instalments, the outstanding balance will be requested from your family or estate. Once received, the plan benefits will be paid to your selected funeral director. Alternatively, the plan can be cancelled and we would refund any moneys paid less the cancellation charge of £199.
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29, Church Hill Parade, Sutton Coldfield B75 7LD
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