Aside from informing immediate family members, one of the first calls you should make is to the mortuary or funeral home. It is advisable to select a funeral home prior to death, if possible. If the death is unexpected, ask for references from your family and friends on a local and reputable funeral home.
The next step is to call the deceased person's clergy. You will need to inform the funeral director of this information so schedules can be coordinated. Clergy generally want to be informed as soon as possible to allow enough time to plan and schedule a service. They will be able to provide you with a schedule and what their availability is to conduct the service.
You may want to next notify friends of the deceased and extended family members. It's recommended you enlist help in contacting the family members especially if the family is large. Delegating these calls to another immediate family member or even close friend can save you much time and free you up to tend to other parts of the planning process.
By initiating these calls, you are affirming in your own mind the death of your loved one which starts the grieving process. This may be an extremely difficult time for you so enlist the help of thoughtful friends and relatives who can help you with minor details or things such as cooking, childcare, or shopping. You can help by actively assisting the delegates.
If you are wondering how to help those who have lost someone through death, you can help. Saying "If there's anything I can do...let me know" is nice but put that into action! Often the family members do not really know how to ask or reach out. Be proactive and make suggestions to them or step up and let them know specifically how and where you can help them.
Below is a list of helpful actions to assist survivors after a death has occurred: