How to Activate Your Support Network

Friends and family are incredibly important after a death has occurred, both for emotional support and logistical support. As you make your way through planning and attending the funeral, settling the estate, and adjusting to life after your loss, having an active and dedicated support network can be a real comfort and help.

Even if you’re not ready for ask for specific help yet, letting the people in your life know that you may need them in the future can prepare you to ask for help later, and can prepare your friends and family to be there for you.

Choose a coordinator

One of the most helpful things a friend or family member can do is serve as a coordinator or point-person through the funeral-planning process. This person can:

By having a friend or family member serve as the coordinator you can focus on yourself and your family while feeling confident that the social details of the funeral are being taken care of.

Qualities of a coordinator

People best suited to serve as coordinator are people who:

  • Are close friends
  • Live near you
  • Know your immediate (and possibly extended) family
  • Are responsible and detail-oriented
  • Feel comfortable delegating tasks to others

How prepare your support network

Even if you're not ready for specific help, you may want to reach out to your friends and family to let them you know might need help in the future. By letting people know you may call on them, they can be ready to help when you do call. You prepare your support network by sending an email to close family and friends informing them of your situation, telling them you may need help in the future, and letting them know you will be reaching out to them again when there are specific things you need help with.

For advice on how to reach out to your network, see our article How to Ask for Help After a Death.

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