• Sample pages
  • Page 1


    The last breath of someone you love has been drawn. You are grieving but action must be taken now. What do you do?

    After death has been officially declared and you take leave of your loved one’s side, you will begin caring for their remains. This is both a responsibility and an honor, albeit a terribly sad one. You loved this person in life—death does not end this love. You continue to care lovingly for your loved one and prepare to lay his or her body to rest.

    Try to be aware of your own needs during the next few days, as they will surely be compromised. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overwork, and the realization of your loved one’s death will take their toll. It is a shock to one’s system. Even if you were prepared for the death, when it actually happens, it is nearly impossible to anticipate the shock you will experience. Remember to ask for help. Those close to you will undoubtedly want to assist you—allow them to. This shared effort is cathartic for everyone at this most terrible time of great loss in your life.

    This book aims to provide a practical and spiritual guide to navigate the five days after your loved one’s death. The five days are not literal in actual number but they follow in order of the way things normally take place. Each day contains an outline of what can be expected as well as what needs to be done. The book closes with a practical, ancient, and scientific reflection on grief.

    NB: The particulars delineated below are those of a traditional funeral, one where the services of a funeral director and an Abrahamic faith are utilized as part of the service. When "burial" is used, cremation is also meant.

  • Page 2

    Day 1: Notify, Gather, Secure


    Notify the Funeral Director. The funeral director is your first telephone call. No matter what final disposition of the body will take place, the body needs to be removed from wherever it is and prepared for burial.

    Notify Family and Friends. Consider utilizing Social Media. This is becoming a common tool especially because it can be done quickly. With your first few telephone calls to family members, ask for their help in contacting others; for example, the deceased’s employer, colleagues, pastor, neighbors, distant relatives, and close friends.

    Notify the Attorney and Accountant. There is quite a lot of paper work that will need to be found, filed, and distributed before and after the funeral. Your call to the attorney and accountant will put these processes into action.

    Notify the Post Office. You must arrange for the mail of the deceased to be held or forwarded.


    You must gather two things: people and papers.

    Gather the Important People. With those closest to you, begin to think about the day and location of the funeral as well as the clothing to be worn for burial. These are the first decisions that need to be made. When you meet with the funeral director tomorrow (Day 2), these decisions will have to be finalized. This first gathering is a preparation for that meeting.

  • About the Author

    Eileen Colville has had quite a lot of experience with death. She comes from a large family with many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Her many experiences with funerals gave her the idea to start a business that provides personalized funeral programs.

    Eileen is now president of MILESTONE INSIGHT, which grew from the funeral programs business. MILESTONE INSIGHT tells the story of the person(s) celebrating a particular milestone. She started it because she saw it as the missing piece of life’s milestone events. From attending many milestone events in her own life, she noticed that there was nothing special and especially personal, set apart, about the person and their loved ones celebrating the event. This ―something‖ was the missing piece that gave birth to MILESTONE INSIGHT. Separated from the usual Program, Invitations, and Favors, Eileen’s insight was to fill in the missing piece with a person’s written life story—accomplished by in-person interviews with the person making the rite of passage, as well as their family and friends.

    This professionally written history is then showcased in a beautifully designed FOLIO along with photographs. The FOLIO, a resource worth reading and viewing, is then distributed to the guests at the event, deepening the meaning of the milestone by the sharing of the story. It becomes a family treasure worth having and keeping. It is history . . . to be cherished forever.

    You can contact Eileen Colville at mecolville@thecolvillegroup.com, or visit her on the web at www.milestoneinsight.com.

$4.95  buy now

Handling the Death of a Loved One

It goes without saying that death is inevitable, but it is not something any of us knows a lot about. So when fate delivers us in the role of planning the funeral of someone we love, many find themselves at a loss. There are a lot of issues that arise that need attention quickly. Practical matters and financial issues have to be faced when we are emotionally vulnerable, making us feel as if we just can’t handle it.

This book lays it out for you. Step by step, day by day. You will learn in what order things need to be done as well as the protocols for dealing with the funeral director, and the place of worship, You will discover for example, that embalming is not a requirement, but a choice. Suggestions for working with your family and planning every aspect of the funeral are here. The Afterword provides information on grief and loss.

“I have been around death all of my life. “Handling the Death of a Loved One” is a helpful guide. It is spot on, concise, well organized, and it will keep you on track. There is not a family I serve that could not benefit from reading this book.”
Jack Ruffenach
Funeral Director, Ruffenach Funeral Home
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

“Eileen Colville has put together an informative and thoughtful book for individuals who are going through a dark and confusing time. Many of our clients have little to no experience with funeral planning and have no idea where to begin when a loved one passes away. Eileen explains the funeral process from what to bring to the funeral home to make productive initial arrangements to what to pack in your purse on the day of the service. Her helpful book is a stepping stone in making through the inevitable process.”
Bridget Monaghan
Funeral Director, The Oliver H. Bair Funeral Home and Monaghan Funeral Home
Upper Darby and Red Hill, Pennsylvania
(610)449-8585 OR (215)679-6400

“I have been a licensed funeral director in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for 56 years. I found this book to be excellent and to the point. It is something all families should read.”
Jack J. Stretch 3rd
Stretch Funeral Service
Havertown, PA 19083

“Handling the Death of a Loved One” is a book that everyone should read. This book covers all the bases-from the moment the death occurs until after the funeral is over, followed by a section on how to deal with grief and loss. Also discussed is the notion of pre-planning one’s own funeral. Overall, this book is very well written and the information it provides is invaluable”
John J. McConaghy
McConaghy Funeral Home, LTD
Ardmore, PA 19003

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