After someone has died

“What happens to the body after death?

Now, I know that this subject may be a little off-putting for some people, but the intention isn’t to shock or upset anyone. This message won’t go into any details, but it will provide you with knowledge that will hopefully better prepare you if or when you face a situation where someone has died.

Many people, obviously, don’t have much to do with people who are dead, and most of our education probably comes from movies or TV shows, which, let’s face it, isn’t the most accurate in factual insight. In reality, things are very different. In most cases, the person looks the same. Perhaps the most significant thing people may notice is that sometimes the mouth is open. Putting a rolled tea towel can help with this. Most people look peaceful, especially if they had been dealing with discomfort.

Forest river

If we look at a common general case, the person has died in their bed at home, and I’m talking to the closest person to them – a spouse perhaps. This is what to expect in general terms. The first thing is that the body and the person isn’t going to do anything, so it is good to know that you don’t need to panic.

If someone dies in the early hours of the morning, and it was expected, then you can wait until morning to contact the doctor or funeral home. If the ambulance is called, they don’t usually take someone who has passed. If the family doesn’t want the person there, they can phone the funeral home, and they should come immediately. However, there is no rush if you choose to wait.

Sometimes it depends on what the person has died from in regards to what happens with the body. There are times when changes happen quicker than others. For example, bodily gases may emerge sooner if there was a medical condition that quickened this. But, again, this happens over hours, not minutes. These changes are mainly noticeable with the odour that emerges. But again, this won’t happen for hours. It is a natural process, and you can use fragrances or flowers to cover it while keeping the person cool and out of direct sunlight, which helps slow down the process. You can wash their face if you want and remember to wash your hands afterward.  Touching the person is fine.

So there is no need to rush anything. If you want to spend some time with the person who has passed away, then do that. If you prefer not to, you can. There are no hard and fast rules because everyone is different in how they deal with something like this.

Death is a natural process and shouldn’t be something to fear. Even with the pain of loss, you have choices that you can make without any pressure from others. How you want to spend this time is entirely up to you. Do what is best for you.”