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Bereavement Resource Guide

Dear Bereaved, 

  On behalf of all of Lee Health, we are saddened with you at the loss of your loved one. Only you can truly know the depth of your pain, but we are aware that the pain of loss and grief is difficult for us all. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. Hopefully this packet of information will be helpful to you as you travel though this difficult place in your life. In the following pages you will find a general description of grief and the emotional chaos that comes with it. You will also find grief counseling options, other resources, and a checklist to help you manage the many changes ahead of you. 

Again, our sympathy and condolences are with you. 

Sincerely, 

Lee Health Spiritual Services Department



Grief

 Grief is the feeling associated with the loss of something. It can be health, wealth, or a favorite pen. Within grief is bereavement, which is, specifically, the loss of a beloved person. During grief/bereavement there are a myriad of feelings, most of which are uncomfortable. It can feel as though these feelings are random and quite strong. While these feelings are natural, and oftentimes uncontrollable, the actions made in the midst of these feelings are, and must be, controlled. 

The link below shows some online resources to help you understand your journey. The more you understand grief, the more equipped you are for this journey. The mark of this journey being successful is reaching a place where the pain of loss is something cherished — a reminder of the depth of love for the person who has died.



Counseling and Support Groups

There are many resources available on your journey of grief.

  • Hope Healthcare offers multiple grief support groups to meet your specific situation. Call 239-582-4673 or visit hopehcs.org/counseling 

  • Valerie’s House, Inc. is a wonderful resource if children are involved. They can be reached at 239-204-5804 or online at valerieshouse.org

  • If therapy is best for you there are a couple of sites that have comprehensive search engines to help you choose the right therapist for you. 
  • We know that each person grieves differently, but if you find yourself in the depths of depression please reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or at suicidepreventionlifeline.org

  • GriefShare is a group setting to learn, share, and grow with others on the same journey. You can find a location in your area on their website, griefshare.org, and click “Find a Group” in the upper left corner.


Tangible Assistance

Other resources you may need: 

  • The United Way helps people navigate their way through the maze of human and social service agencies in Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties by providing the most adequate resources for your situation. Call 211 or 239-433-3900 from your cellphone or visit unitedwaylee.org

  • FindHelp.org connects you with a wide variety of resources from food, housing, medical, transportation, and legal.

  • If assistance is needed in bereavement meals, you scan the QR codes below, or talk with your church and/or friend.


Survivor’s Checklist

All the logistical things that must be done after your loved one dies can be very overwhelming. Below are some checklists and tips to help navigate through what needs to be completed.

To accomplish many of the items below, you will need the following information of the decedent.

  • Certified copies of the Death Certificate (funeral home can assist)
  • Full name
  • Social Security Number

Funeral arrangements will need to be made as soon as possible.

  • Determine if there are any Prepaid Funeral Arrangements
  • Determine if there are Burial Instructions or preferences.

Visit leehealth.org/our-services/spiritual-services for a full list of funeral homes and crematories separated by areas in our community. 

Documents that may assist in decision making may include the following:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Revocable Trust (or any other type of trust)
  • Contact your loved one’s attorney (if he/she has one) regarding any estate matters.

You may need to take the will to Probate Court, which is the legal process of executing a will. Probate court ensures debts and liabilities are paid and the remaining assets go to to the beneficiaries.



Agencies to Contact

The funeral director may contact governmental agencies on your loved one’s behalf. Find out which have been contacted.

You may need to contact the agencies below as appropriate.

  • Social Security Administration, 800-772-1213(everyone) 
  • Veteran’s Administration (if decedent was formerly in the military) 
  • Defense Finance and Accounting Service, 216-522-6680(military retiree receiving benefits) 
  • Office of Personnel Management, 888-767-6738(if decedent is a retired or former federal civil service employee) 
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, 800-375-5283(if decedent was not U.S. citizen) 
  • State Department of Motor Vehicles (if decedent had a driver’s license or state ID) 
  • State and/or County Board of Elections (if decedent was a registered voter) 
  • Internal Revenue Service (if decedent owes taxes or is owed a return)


Finances & Insurance

Contact your loved one’s financial institutions and arrange for accounts to be settled.

  • Credit card and merchant card companies
  • Banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Mortgage companies and lenders
  • Financial planners and stockbrokers
  • Pension providers

Many people have multiple types of insurance. Contact each to cancel or terminate.
**If your loved one is employed, the Human Resources department may be able to assist.** 

  • Life insurers and annuity companies
  • Health, medical and dental insurers
  • Disability insurer
  • Automotive insurer
  • Mutual benefit companies 


Memberships & Organizations

You will also want to notify other organizations your loved one was associated with, especially if the organization collects fees or dues. 

  • Professional associations and unions
  • Health clubs and athletic clubs
  • Automobile clubs
  • Public library
  • Alumni clubs
  • Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Veterans’ organizations and clubs

You may also want to notify Credit Reporting Agencies about your loved one’s death. You should have them list all accounts as “Closed. Account Holder is Deceased.”

Experian
1-888-397-3742
P.O. Box 4500
Allen, Texas 75013
Equifax
1-800-525-6285
P.O. Box 105139
Atlanta, Georgia 30348
TransUnion
1-800-680-7289
P.O. Box 2000
Chester, Pennsylvania 19022

Other accounts you will want to close are as follows: 

Cellphone
Internet
Facebook
Entertainment
Email Accounts
Twitter
iTunes
Gmail
LinkedIn
Netflix
Yahoo
Instagram
Hulu
AOL
TikTok
Amazon Prime
Hotmail/Microsoft
Pinterest
Cable
Social Media
Snapchat

You may also want to forward your loved one’s mail and add them to a Deceased Do Not Contact list.