We Are Here For You
It may feel monumental to contact us but we want to assure you that from the moment we connect with you, we will be beside you for as long as you need. We do not intend to overwhelm you with information; this is simply a time to get to know each other, answer any questions you may have, and determine the next steps. We encourage you to bring a family member or trusted friend to help gather information and ask any questions.
If you feel you are in crisis, please call the 24-hour Crisis Connection at 612-379-6363.
Important Things to Know
The death of a family member will result in many logistical issues that can be very overwhelming. This list covers some of the immediate things that come up. We suggest having a family member or friend review this list with you to determine how they can help. We are happy to talk to you, or to them, to answer any questions.
You and/or your unmarried children may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. You can apply online for your children, however, adults must contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an in-person appointment. Since this process can take some time, it is important to start it as soon as possible.
There are many variables that determine if a life insurance policy will be paid out. If you have a copy of the policy, or have contact information, contact them as soon as possible. We will also be happy to help guide you towards a professional in your area.
Child Support Payments
Typically payments cancel upon the death of the child support provider; contact your child support case worker to discuss any arrearages and to determine the date of last payment.
If your spouse or non-custodial parent carried the policy, it is likely to cancel on the date of his/her death. While employers do their best to send out COBRA information, if you are an ex-spouse or non-custodial parent, they may not know to send it to you. Contact his or her employer as soon as possible to determine next steps.
Update any emergency contact forms that include your spouse or co-parents information to minimize delays should an emergency occur with one of your children. This includes doctors, schools, activities, babysitters, etc.
Contact the School or College
If your child/college student has lost a parent or sibling, it is important to work with the school to develop a plan that provides support for them during the school day. We are happy to facilitate this process for you upon request.
Legal and Financial Issues
Whether it is changing legal documents, reviewing a will, or discussing financial concerns, you will want to contact your attorney or financial advisor. We can also connect you to a professional that will provide a free consultation.
Credit Cards and other Financial Accounts
There are legalities in closing credit cards, cell phones, auto payments, and other financial obligations. This is one area that a family member or friend can be very helpful in; the following article provides information on how to start this process.
Social Media and E-mail Accounts
There are certain steps to take for social media and E-mail accounts. The following links provide instructions to cancel or memorialize some of the more widely used accounts: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Yahoo
Brighter Days Grief Center is working with several different organizations to bring free grief support services to our families. These groups are not facilitated or operated by the staff at Brighter Days Grief Center, rather, they are reputable programs offered by professionals within the industry. Some groups will be held at our location, others are spread throughout the Twin Cities area. Please call or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on dates and availability.
Youth/Young Adult Groups
Professional organizations, facilitators, and practitioners will provide individual and group grief support in age appropriate settings. Age groups will range from ages 5 to 25, addressing the issues that the age group is impacted by most. Interested in a weekend retreat with others your age? Visit our Camps section to learn about an Emerging Adults Camp hosted by Children's Grief Connection.
Adult groups are specific to the type of loss, and are intended to provide support, compassion, and coping skills. An especially important aspect to our adult groups is pairing each participant with another whom has gone through a similar loss. We believe this is an essential piece to making sure that participants do not feel alone, and that they always have support within their reach.
Extended Family Groups
We are looking to connect with organizations or practitioners that would like to help us bring this type of support to our center. These groups will meet with the intent of providing them the tools to help the immediate family members cope while also working through their own emotions regarding the death of their loved one.
Caregivers for terminally ill spouses or children can get lost in the shuffle, often times lacking the time or support to take care of themselves. We will strive to connect and grow our caregiver resources to provide them with the village of support they deserve. Please make sure to visit our Caregiver Support section for resources and support.
College Campus Groups
Young adults facing the loss or illness of a family member need support but are often far away from home. If you can't come to us, please know that we are working hard to come to you! We are looking for passionate ambassadors to help spread our message in an effort to bring our peer-based programs to campuses. Please contact us to learn how!