It’s been estimated that over 55 million people died year 2013. That’s 2 people every second. Whether a death was expected or unexpected, we feel compelled to do something.

#1 Open the door of awareness to physical needs. The person who died may have a pet at home that requires immediate care.

#2 Take a moment to open the door of awareness.

Death leaves a mark of trauma on the psyche, making it more difficult to make decisions. But many of the decisions may have already been made. Today, pre-arranged funerals are becoming more common and we can respect the wishes of the deceased.

#3 If pre-arrangements were not made, show support to the decision makers.

Support the fact that decision makers are doing the best they can. Turn away from the trauma and world’s expectations, to help nurture a peace of mind. This peace will lead thought and speak for itself.

“Boaz replied [to Ruth], ‘I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.”

#4 Recognize love and thoughtfulness. Funeral Directors and professionals are equipped to arrange memorial services that fit the family of the deceased. They know local religious leaders and point the direction to go.

“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.” (Philippians 3:15, NIV)

#5 If you want to make food for those closely affected by the dead, make it so it can be frozen. Giving too much perishable food at once is an unnecessary added burden.

 #6 The spiritual qualities of awareness, peace, and helpfulness can soften the blow of bereavement. “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” (I Cor. 15:54, NIV)

To read more inspirational posts by Cherly Petersen, visit her Beliefnet blog "Everyday Spirituality."

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