7 Tasks to Tackle ASAP

Here are 7 tasks to deal with ASAP whether or not your loved one's death was sudden or expected.

1. 911

Contacting the emergency medical team is probably the first number you will dial. Someone died. And you need help. Then it is time to say goodbye and have your loved one transported to the local hospital or funeral home. Someone has to officially declare the death.

Boo dialed 911. He received instructions for CPR. Within a matter of minutes his next-door neighbor, who is not only a close friend but fire chief, was in the house. CPR again. Now the room was filled with people and equipment. To no avail, Nonnie had died peacefully in her bed.

Sometimes the police show up. What happened? They will need to know.

2. Burial or Cremation?

This decision gets very tricky if the person who died didn't communicate their wishes. Imagine the delicate topic at hand when no one knows. Disagreement among family members who are emotionally charged is not fun and could be avoided. It is not a decision that can be reversed.

So ask your parents the question now. Ask your spouse. Tell your children  or any member of your family what you want-make that decision for your inevitable death now and share it.

Be sure to document it; somewhere where it likely will be found. If you hide your wishes, you can create problems at the time of your death.

3.  Organ or Body donation?

Another decision that can't be reversed. What do you want? What do your parents, spouse, or children want? You may be in a situation where you will be asked this question and you will want and need to know the answer. Wouldn't it be so much easier to know the answer now?  Do you know the specific donor organizations? Think about it. Then be sure to communicate it.

4.  Funeral or Memorial Service?

What are your wishes? Does anyone know them? Have you documented your wishes and put in a place where this information can easily be found?  Stay tuned for a more indepth conversation about funerals and memorial services. In the meantime, think about pre-planning and possibly pre-paying for your funeral arrangements.

5.  Obituary

Read my blog titled "Obit Lit". This is a daunting task. I highly suggest writing a draft.

6.  Calls and Contacts

A deluge of phone calls- to make and to receive.

When Mom died, Boo pointed out that five people were on their cell phones simultaneously in his family room making calls to Nonnie's  friends with the sad news of her death. The house was a beehive of activity.

Make a list of contacts and phone numbers and update it yearly. Your family will benefit from your doing so.

7. Passwords

We live in a "password" driven world. Think about how many different passwords you have. And now you might need a password to gain access to information stored in your loved one's computer upon their death.

There are many ways to deal with passwords. One way I recently read about is 1Password. 

However you choose to deal with communicating your various passwords is a personal matter. But do it. Somehow, just do it. So when the inevitable happens, someone can gain access to all of your personal information you have stored on the internet.

Any other immediate tasks to tackle? There's a long list.

I'd like to know what tasks you had to tackle.