Coping with bereavement

Planning a funeral is a busy time for a grieving family. It’s also a way of restoring control after the loss of a loved one; the rituals involved can make it easier for people to cope with their grief.

But what happens when your loved one has been laid to rest? That’s when we can feel overwhelmed – when the deep sense of sadness and loneliness can set in. Many are often reluctant to talk to their friends and family members about this, not wanting to be a burden on them. But there is no time limit on such feelings, and no prescription for when, whether and how deeply we will feel loss.

Cruse Bereavement Care Scotland


War Widows’ Association of Great Britain

Silver Line Scotland

The only certainty about grief is the uncertainty. It can hit people at any time, for a long time. Every one of us will manage our grief in a uniquely individual way. Research has shown that it can take more than two years for people to feel ready to move forward with their lives following bereavement, and that women, on average, grieve for longer than men.

It’s important to know that help is at hand. Many organisations offer support to people who have suffered bereavement; it can include counselling, information and advice, or practical support.

If you, or someone you know, might benefit from support, why not contact one of these organisations?

What to do when a loved one dies

At home or in a nursing home

The first contact should be with the deceased’s doctor who, if satisfied with the cause of death will issue the Medical Certificate of Death. You may be asked to collect the certificate from the surgery, or if in a nursing home, staff should liaise with the doctor.

Contact us once the doctor has been informed.

In hospital

A doctor will issue the medical certificate of death, which you will need to collect along with any belongings. If the funeral is to be a cremation, please advise the hospital staff so that they can prepare the required paperwork.

Contact Affertons and allow us to gently guide you through the funeral arrangement process.


The Procurator Fiscal (Scotland) or the Coroner (England and Wales) will generally become involved. If the deceased has not been under a doctor’s care on a regular basis, the emergency doctor, or any police involved, will inform the Procurator Fiscal.​​​

Contact Affertons as soon as possible. We’ll advise on the procedures involved and liaise with the Procurator Fiscal’s office. Any Police involvement may delay the timing of the funeral.

Funeral Care Support Directory

Dundee Cemeteries Office

Park Grove Crematorium

Perth Crematorium

D.C. Thomson

Church of Scotland Presbytery

Roman Catholic Diocesan Centre

Dundee Procurator Fiscals Office

Police (non-emergency)

How much will it cost?

During a period of mourning, the ‘M’ word is often a taboo subject and difficult to think or talk about. At Affertons we believe in being completely open and honest about money and financial arrangements from the get-go. And we’ll discuss it with you in a sensitive manner.