England | Dealing with an unexpected family bereavement that takes us back to the UK
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt on our travels, it’s that family time is precious and crucially important to young children. Our sabbatical from work has enabled us to take advantage of so many special opportunities. Spending quality time with close family and friends yet also allowing us to share truly special memories across Europe as a family.
However it came as quite a shock to see us unexpectedly return back to the UK from France due to our close family bereavement. And perhaps more so due to the nature of what we found out during this period. To help us cope, we’ve tried to keep ourselves busy and tried to ‘jot a few notes’ down to help others who might read this and one day find themselves in the same situation.
10 THINGS WE LEARNT WHEN DEALING WITH A CLOSE BEREAVEMENT
1. Check your Insurance Policies! You’d be surprised at what is cancelled with immediate effect leaving you vulnerable at a time when you least need it. i.e Car / Home Insurance
2. Get Organised! Try to encourage relatives to get a list together of passwords, important files or documents and keep it somewhere safe to help others when the time comes.
3. Utilities or Council Tax! It’s amazing the levels of bureaucracy that you encounter.. .So having a generic letter to send to the many levels of government was brilliantly useful… just don’t forget how many utility companies might need contacting!
4. Tell Us Once Service – dependant on the area you live, this service can be a brilliant help in taking some of the strain off who to contact. (click here for more)
5. MoneySavingExpert – Who’d have thought this useful guide and checklist (click here) would have been so useful in guiding us through the first few days
6. Direct Debits – It’s amazing what we rack up in Direct Debits/Standing charges so a monthly overview spreadsheet seems a great idea for us moving forwards (just in case)
7. ThanksGiving Service Catering – Who’d have thought that your local supermarket could provide cheap, affordable catering with just 3-4 days notice… worth remembering for any number of family gatherings (christenings etc)
8. Online Help – With young children to consider, there’s plenty online to help. From ideas on coping with grief to useful books or helpful ideas for ‘the next steps’
9. HRMC – Perhaps not over the first few days, but this useful guide certainly helped give some basic guidance (click here)
10. Canva Cards – Using Canva certainly helped with invitations, thank you cards and offered an opportunity to take a little stress out of the logistics.
But it also gave us a chance to find out more about Ocean Rescue. A fantastic initiative to try and clean up the world’s oceans (similar to the MSC at Birmingham’s Sea Life Centre). However, this is certainly something that will be increasingly important in both girl’s lifetimes and it’s been good to help educate them about the crucial part they can play in the future.