If there’s one certain thing in this life, it’s death. While we try to ease the impact of death by telling jokes or making light of it, we eventually have to come to grips with knowing that our loved ones will eventually pass on.

Being prepared as much as you possibly can may help you to better respond when that time comes.

First, allow yourself to absorb the shock that your loved one has actually died. If you are alone when the death occurs, call someone you trust and ask that person to come and be with you.

Even if your loved one had been ill for quite some time and the doctor’s prognosis was bleak, the actual moment of death may still come as a surprise to you.

If your loved one died at home, you will have to call your local police to report the death. Once they arrive, police officers will ask you questions about the circumstances surrounding the death.

When they are satisfied with your answers, you will be allowed to have your loved one’s body moved to a funeral home.

If the police have suspicions, your loved one may be taken to your local medical examiner to determine the cause of death. After the examination, the body will be released for burial.

Whether your loved one died in a hospital or at home, you will have to contact a funeral home. It’s possible that your loved one had made advance funeral arrangements with a local funeral home or insurance company.

If this is the case, your loved one would have told you or another family member about the funeral plans or insurance policy.

Many people turn to insurance companies like TermLifeInsurance.org, their local funeral director, or their family lawyer when they need help in making their pre-burial plans. You may be able to find out which plans have already been made by contacting these resources.

If your loved one did not leave instructions, then ask someone you know to recommend a funeral home in your area if you are not certain which funeral home to choose from. You can also call around to several funeral homes until you find one that will match your budget.

Another task that is necessary after your loved one dies is contacting other family members and close friends. With today’s technology, this may not be as difficult as it sounds. While you will need to talk directly to certain relatives either over the phone or in person, distant relatives or friends can be notified through a mass email message or through text messages.

When meeting with funeral home directors, you will have to discuss each step of the funeral process, from preparing the body, to conducting the memorial service, as well as burial or cremation. If your loved one has a pre-planned funeral, then follow through with the plan. Whatever you do, make sure that your loved one is laid to rest with love and dignity.