While having a loved one in hospice care allows you time to emotionally and practically plan for his or her death, it can be challenging to focus on specific tasks at the time of death. Know that Smart Cremation is here to help when that time comes.
What to Do When Your Loved One Passes in Hospice
Contact the Hospice Office
When your loved one passes, call the hospice office. You may turn off machines, such as oxygen machines or monitors. Some family members prefer to sit with the loved one, while others find this too difficult and will want to leave the room. Do whatever is right for you. When your hospice nurse arrives, he or she will help with the immediate process of pronouncing death and beginning the end-of-life logistics.
Call Friends and Family
Notify family and friends who should be made aware of the death. Call sisters, brothers, parents, and children right away. Enlist the aid of those family members to help spread the news to more distant relations and friends. Let your family help you with this difficult task.
Contact the Cremation Provider
Contact Smart Cremation at (503) 402-2578. We collect a few details to start the cremation process. Smart Cremation manages all of the logistics, from transporting your loved one from hospice to filing the necessary cremation permits.
At Death Cremation Checklist
Every family is different, but these are a few common end-of-life items you need to manage when a loved one dies:
- Retrieve a copy of the will, notify the executor, and check for special instructions regarding final disposition
- Make decisions about the type of cremation services you’ll want for your loved one, including whether you want a viewing, funeral, and/or memorial service
- Notify anyone involved in the final services, such as individuals who should speak at a service or the person who should officiate
- Prepare and publish the obituary
- Make arrangements for interment, if necessary
How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One in Hospice Care
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is different for everyone, and, despite the anticipation of death associated with hospice placement, one can’t fully prepare to experience death. Some people begin grieving immediately, while others experience a period of shock where the death doesn’t seem “real” until final services. When you lose a loved one, it is helpful to keep these coping tips in mind:
- Just because hospice has allowed you to anticipate and prepare for death doesn’t make death any less powerful and challenging.
- There is no “right” way to grieve. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel, and don’t put pressure on yourself to think or behave in a certain way.
- Crying is a normal response to sadness, but not everyone processes grief in this way. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t cry – but if you do cry, don’t feel like you have to hide it from your friends and family. Showing your emotions in whatever way feels natural to you helps both you and your family.
- There is no timetable for grieving. Some people return to their normal routine relatively soon, but find themselves feeling sad again weeks or even months later. Others take longer to adjust to the initial loss. Don’t force yourself to “buck up” after a certain amount of time has passed. Alternately, don’t feel guilty if you’re able to return to your routine quickly; everyone processes grief differently.
If you’re having trouble dealing with your grief, consider joining a support group or speaking to a professional. Hospice organizations provide recommendations. Talking with others about your grief is cathartic, and helps to identify things that may trigger your grief.