After the funeral

In this section

In this section

What to expect after the funeral

After a funeral, it is quite common to ask "What happens next?" Here's a general guide to some of the important things you may need to do after the funeral and some resources for help with loss and grieving. 

The next few days after the funeral 

Things may seem quieter now that you don’t have to organise the funeral; maybe the phone isn't ringing as much as it was, or fewer people are stopping by to check in on you. It could start to become difficult to think of facing your life over the next few weeks and months without the person who passed away.

It is important to remember to look after yourself during this time. Otherwise it may feel like too much to deal with.

There are two important things to do in the coming weeks and months:

  • As much as possible, you need to practice self-care. If you’re not sure what this means, you can read the NHS blog What does self-care mean and how can it help
  • Spend some time completing the paperwork which will officially change the status of your loved one with banks and creditors, employers, insurance companies, and mortgage holders. This can be a slow process, so be prepared and ask for help when you need it

What to do next

After a funeral there are some other organisational aspects that fall to the family of the deceased. But a funeral can also affect others as it is a sad occasion that can cause many different emotions to arise. We’ve prepared some advice and resources to help you after the funeral has taken place.


Some of the following advice may not apply to you; for example, if the person who died was not directly related to you, or you do not need to be involved with arranging the paperwork post funeral. However, attending a funeral can bring about feelings of loss and sadness for anyone involved. Grief affects people in different ways, so if you feel you need some support, it’s important to ask for help.

Bereavement support

Bereavement affects people in different ways. There's no right or wrong way to feel. There are a variety of groups available to help you deal with your feelings after losing someone, as well as possible financial help if you lost a spouse or civil partner. Of course, a good network of friends and family is always beneficial, but these groups provide additional professional support for you.

At East of England Co-op, we understand how difficult it is to lose a loved one, and that’s why we’re here to offer you a listening ear, for as long as you need us. We offer specific services for bereavement, including regular support groups you can attend. If you feel more comfortable talking over the phone, we also offer over the phone chats with our fully qualified counsellors.

One-to-one bereavement support*

We all deal with loss in our own way, as it is a very personal process. At East of England Co-op Funeral Services, we are here to help you work through the emotions you are facing.

The grief of losing a loved one can be overwhelming, and there's no one way to grieve, or a particular amount of time that you should grieve for. As long as you need us, we are here for you on a one-to-one basis to help you come to terms with your loss and adjust to life without your loved one.

One-to-one support often works well alongside group sessions, and our bereavement counsellors can either meet you in person or arrange to talk to you over the phone. And, if we have taken care of the funeral service for your loved one, this service is absolutely free for however long you need it.

Call 01206 797196 to find out more or arrange a session.

*Subject to area. Call us on 01206 797196 for more information.

Bereavement support groups

When you are dealing with bereavement, you can often feel like you’re completely alone – but this doesn’t have to be the case. At our regular Bereavement Support Groups, you will be able to talk to our experienced counsellors, as well as others who are in similar situations to yourself.

These groups are an informal and relaxed way to deal with your grief without having to worry. Group members are there to support each other and there is always a bereavement counsellor on hand for you to talk to. Sessions are free to all. Simply come along whenever you need support.

If you feel we could help in your area by setting up another group, please get in touch by ringing us on 01206 797196.

If you would like to find out more information about dealing with bereavement, you may also want to visit the Counselling Directory's page on Bereavement. This page covers emotions around grief, loss and bereavement and suggests ways you might like to try and understand them and cope.

Some additional groups and information for dealing with bereavement:

  • Cruse Bereavement Care supports bereaved people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can call them to discuss how you feel or arrange to speak to one of their trained bereavement counsellors
  • The NHS covers the emotions around grief and the various stages you may go through. They also can provide support or offer counselling
  • St Helena Hospice offer a free service in North East Essex to anyone who has been bereaved. 

Financial help for bereavement

You may be able to receive Bereavement Support Payment from the government if your husband, wife or civil partner died on or after 6 April 2017. You can check to see if you are eligible and the process involved, here.

The Paperwork

If the person who passed away was a relation, spouse or civil partner, after the funeral you have some additional tasks to complete. It might be a good idea to get a notebook that helps you to keep a track of these tasks. You'll want to record the dates and times of phone conversations, email or postal communication. Include the full name of the person you spoke to, their job title and their employer identification or extension number if necessary.

Locate and safeguard as many of the documents listed below that belonged to the person who has passed away. It may help to put each into in a designated set of file folders, and keep them within easy reach:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver's license
  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers
  • Deeds and Titles to real estate and personal property
  • Recent hospitalisation records
  • Insurance documents: life, health, car (there may be more than one policy in each category)

Here is a checklist of the tasks you may be facing in the coming weeks:

  • Request certified copies of the Death Certificate. Be aware that for each additional copy there is a fee
  • If the deceased left a will you may need to speak to the lawyers who put this together
  • Get the mail redirected, if applicable. You can do this at your local post office, or online through Royal Mail
  • Stop any insurance coverage. You may need to provide them with additional information, so keep your relevant paperwork handy. Not everyone has life insurance, but some people have more than one policy. No matter how many policies were in force, you will probably need to provide each of them with a certified copy of the death certificate for each claim made
  • Contact the deceased’s employer or union. Determine if there are any death-related benefits available, ask (and answer) questions, and change any relevant contact information
  • Pay any necessary bills and notify any of the companies who provide their utilities to have the accounts paid off or closed
  • Transfer title of real estate and personal property. You'll need to inform the DVLA of the change in ownership of any vehicles
  • Close or modify credit card accounts. You will probably need to provide each of them with a certified copy of the death certificate
  • Arrange to close or modify bank accounts. Depending on your relationship to the deceased, you may be entitled to convert them into your name
  • Change any stocks and bonds into your name. To do this, you'll need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate to all organisations involved
  • If the person who has died was in the armed forces, police force or medical profession, or if they belonged to any national societies, you may need to cancel any benefits or memberships. This might include professional or avocational associations such as Masonic lodges, Rotary Clubs, gym and golf course memberships
  • Tend to the deceased’s digital estate. If they were active on social media, you'll need to inform the specific networking sites of the change in status. You will need to close any email accounts as well as any online banking portal or investment accounts. You can have emails forwarded to your own account if you prefer

Remembering a loved one

There are many ways you can keep the memory of someone alive after the funeral. Displaying photos of them or listening to their favourite music, speaking to or spending time with their friends or family can all help.

You may also choose to have a physical reminder of them. If they were buried this might be a gravestone that you can visit and keep decorated for them, or if they were cremated you may choose to place the urn somewhere you can see or decorate in their honour. You may also wish to have a plaque made for a memorial. There does not always need to be a grave or specific place of burial.

This is all completely up to you and everyone feels differently about how to process their loss. Remembering something as sad as losing someone or attending a funeral can be painful, so be sure to go at your own pace and get in touch with professional counsellors or bereavement therapists who deal with grief and bereavement if you can.

Ashes to Glass

We've partnered with award-winning glassworks at Barleylands, Billericay, to enable you to create beautiful memorial jewellery and paperweights using your loved one's cremation ashes.

As talented glass blowers and masters in antique glass and silver restoration, the professionals at Barleylands Glassworks have taken their craft to an even higher level with 'Ashes to Glass'.


The signet and tribute jewellery collections are set with Cremation CrystalsTM and the finest quality 925 Sterling Silver or 9ct Gold. You can choose between signet and tribute rings or long and round pendants. Any item of jewellery can have a personal message engraved on them free of charge (up to 25 characters).

Don't worry if you can't decide on a message to be engraved straight away. We will send your order first and you'll have up to four weeks in which to decide as the engraving is the last step.

The Cremation CrystalsTM come in a choice of five different colours - green, pink, blue, red and black.


Memorial paperweights are the perfect size to hold in the palm of your hands. The design represents a spiritual embrace with twists of coloured glass given a frosting of cremation ashes by a master glassblower, who then encases this within fine crystal glass.

They take great care when creating your Ashes to Glass memorial and they will be delivered to you, complete with their own Certificate of Authenticity.

Memorial services

Remembering a loved one the way they would have wanted.

What is a memorial service?

A memorial service is a service held to remember a person who has passed away without their body being present. If a person has been cremated and a service is held with the remains present it is still considered a memorial service.

Memorial services can take place at any time after the person’s death and are generally a little more relaxed than a funeral. Sometimes they are called ‘a celebration of life’ and bring together loved ones to share memories of the person who has passed away.

This is a chance to say goodbye and remember the person who died. It might take place on an important anniversary or a date that was special to them, because there is no body present you can be very flexible. You can personalise the service in any way you like and do not have to hold it in a religious building if you do not wish to.

What do I wear to a memorial service?

This is similar to a funeral, in that formal wear is considered the most appropriate unless another dress code has been stipulated.

What happens at a memorial service?

Some memorial services may be like funerals if they are held in a church. Religious readings and songs may be included. However, in a less formal setting the service may be more relaxed. Celebrating a person's life, while having been done as a eulogy at the funeral, does not need to be conducted in the same way. People may speak more freely or use non-religious readings that the person who died loved or cherished.

Memorial services are an extraordinary opportunity to show respect and love for the person who passed and allow for a final goodbye one last time. Whether sombre or more lively, it will be a choice the family can make together.

Couldn’t find the answer to your questions here?

At the East of England Co-op, we've had the privilege of serving many families over the years. During that time we've found that the time after the funeral is different for everyone involved. If we can be of assistance to you during this challenging time of change and adjustment, simply call us. We'll do our very best to support you.

We have tried our best to answer all your questions but understand that you may have more. If you're worried about what comes after the funeral, want more advice or simply to talk through your options, a member of our team can guide you through.

Take a look at our price list, or contact your local funeral team for more information.