What to do when someone passes away in your presence

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Often in our Nechama column, we share Jewish thoughts on the spiritual journey beyond grief.  This month’s column will deal with the practical steps to be taken when someone dies in your presence.

Remain calm

Close the eyes and mouth of the deceased and straighten the arms and legs

Remove jewellery from the deceased

If possible, lift the deceased onto the floor with feet facing the door

Cover the whole body from head to toe with a sheet

Light a candle near the head of the deceased

Open the windows

Do not talk unnecessarily in the room

Do not eat, drink or smoke in the room

Contact the Chevra Kadisha – Mr Urwyn Treger on 082 570 8833

The Chevra Kadisha will return your call to make arrangements to pick up the body of the deceased

If the deceased was a male, give the Tallis of the deceased to the Chevra Kadisha when they arrive

Contact the family Rabbi and/or local Shul

Contact the family doctor or the doctor treating the patient in hospital

Contact the family members

Where possible, have a copy of the deceased’s Identity Book

When the Chevra Kadisha arrive be sure that they give you the Compassion Pack containing, amongst other items, a Handbook for Mourners, which will guide you regarding funeral arrangements and mourning practices

In case of a loved one passing away over Shabbat or Yom Tov, contact Doves on 081 755 6770

To download the full PDF of the March Cape Jewish Chronicle, click here

To visit Nechama’s website, click here

To read the most read article of last month, click here

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