Logistics Around Death

Spoke with Nishad this morning. He’s the kind of guy who’s always around when you need him and happily sits on the sidelines of my life until called upon. Nishad has this unique blend of spirituality with day-to-day practicality. I deeply respect and admire him for the moral and practical support he continues to offer in all arenas of life.

Nishad revealed the following hints and tips for what needs to happen when / in preparation for when someone dies. I’ve added in some of my own comments.


  • set up an answerphone with details of the sadadi and funeral – if they really need to speak with someone, give a mobile number of someone who’s going to be on hand at all times
  • find out if the person who has passed away would have preferred to have flowers or not – if not, inform everyone asking them not to send flowers. If they really want to send something, they could make a donation


  • Which venue to use?
  • How to inform everyone about it – answer phone message, web site, calling people up
  • Have live music? Who to call upon?
  • How do you maintain the peace and respect so as to keep it away from being a social gathering?


  • Would we like to keep one at home?
  • Should shaanti be spoken?


  • Golders Green crematorium is probably the most convenient one to use
  • Asian Funeral Directors can take care of all arrangements
  • They can provide a white sheet to cover the body
  • What would mum like to have worn? Any makeup / jewellery?
    • Indian women traditionally wear their gharchoro (wedding dress)


  • make a list of immediate family members
  • make a list of all people who should know and hand individual lists to immediate family members to make the call on your behalf
  • prepare a script to email to friends and colleagues, and ask a good friend to send the email out on your behalf (providing them with all the email addresses)


  • visit your local council registrar
  • take a letter from the hospital or doctor about the death
  • take a cheque book(!)
  • request 5 or 6 copies of the death certificate

Soon after my conversation with Nishad, I got a call from him to say that he’s happy to pull together a list of contact numbers for me should I need them. Numbers for people such as the Asian Funeral Directors, halls to have a “sadadi” (community respect giving session) in, etc.. Thank you Nishad!

One response to “Logistics Around Death”

  1. Perfume avatar

    Fab article

    Another idea for….AT HOME:

    Could be to have details written on a piece of paper and left by the front door detailing times, venue etc. perhaps with a map so that people coming over to pay their respects can note the times down or take a copy from a pile that’s left near the door.

    The answer phone message could also be an auto response set up in email. Just as anyone could ring the number and hear the message, anyone could email and hear this news that they may not have otherwise heard.

    The sheet with details (mentioned above)could state that the person who has died would have preferred for any money that would have been spent on flowers to be donated to charity _________

    Re whether the shaanti should be spoken; there’s a debate about whether it’s appropriate or not. This is the same for whether the mourners should put water in the mouth of the person who has died or put flowers and such like in the coffin. It can be a very emotional time so I guess it needed to be handled with sensitivity.

    Thanks for this Suraj

    I’m sure it will help a lot of people : )

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