AFTER DEATH... Funeral Arrangements
I then called my brother and sister to break the news. Needless to say, they were as shocked as we were when I said "Mom died," since they expected Dad would go first. I asked them to call me back as soon as they could look at their schedule and tell me when they could come for the funeral. I also told them that Dad would pay for their airfare and their spouse's airfare. (Dad and Mom had told me several times in the past of this plan so I reminded Dad of it. He was still in agreement.)
We decided not to call anyone else until us three children had agreed upon the date of the funeral, since the first question most people ask is, "When is the memorial service?"
I made an appointment and met with the mortuary director to find out what dates were available. After conferring with my brother and sister, we settled upon the following Saturday morning. That would give them time to arrive. Plus, by having it on a Saturday, none of our friends and relatives had to take time off of work. Having set the day and time for the funeral service, I began to call friends and other relatives to share the sad news. As I made these calls, I formed a "dynamic calling tree." For example, I called one cousin in Hawaii. She agreed to call all the other cousins in Hawaii. I called one cousin in California. I asked her to call her brother and all the cousins on the West Coast. I called the secretary at the church we attended. She agreed to call all the members that knew Mom.
The following Monday, I took over the clothes, shoes, and jewelry we had picked out for Mom. I ordered 15 death certificates. (Turns out that 10 would have been sufficient.) Then I drove over the mountain to the Kaneohe State Veterans Cemetery to arrange for burial.