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Has anyone in Canada developed a checklist that widows (male or female) could use after the death of their partner? Items would include funeral planning, banking, insurance, tax and legal tasks that follow the passing and can easily be missed. 

Thanks and blessings,

William Delleman, Christ Community (Victoria)


Hi William, 

This is a good question and one that is immensely practical and helpful. I live in the US but did a quick search and found this checklist put together by a financial company in Canada: 10 things you need to do when your spouse dies. Might be helpful though I don't know much about the company. I'll also email a couple coworkers in Canada to see if they know of any good resources. 

Thanks again for this, 


Hello William! I (Erin) reached out to our Diaconal Coaches and here was one reply I received:

"I think this is where the elder and the deacon need to work together. You have the spiritual aspect of grief but also the practical aspects including the immediate funeral arrangements as well as government paperwork and legal ramifications. 

The article [provided by Staci] was good, particularly for the practical considerations. In my travels, I learned that Discovery Church in Bowmanville, ON uses a series of 4 booklets titled "Journeying through Grief" by Kenneth C. Haugk. The first booklet (A Time to Grieve) is given to the grieving person 3 weeks after the death of a loved one. The second (Experiencing Grief) is given 3 months after. The third (Finding Hope and Healing) is given 6 months after and the fourth (Rebuilding and Remembering) 11 months after.

Here's a link to a short article about this series on the Stephen Ministries website."

The Canadian Cancer Society has a fairly exhaustive list (for information purposes only) as well. Each province will also likely have their own "to do" lists. I wonder if this would be a helpful "project" for elders and deacons to pursue for their members. Thanks for bringing it up William!


Erin, Communications Coordinator

Diaconal Ministries Canada

Good day William.  I became widowed three years ago at the young age of 50. The struggle is REAL; the lack of resources is REAL. After creating a lengthy checklist for myself, I have wondered if I could help others navigate this path a little more smoothly, and have continued to compile information, and read books on grief.  The one I would highly suggest is "From One Widow to Another" by Miriam Neff. She includes a section on how churches can help widows. She also has a website "" with beneficial resources.  To me, the only thing worse than being a widow, is to be a widow in a 3rd world country where they are stripped of all their rights and left destitute. I admire Miriam for trying to make a difference for these widows through the proceeds of her books. 

Miriam makes some astute observations that though there are 103 references in the Bible to show that widows are close to God's heart, they are often overlooked in churches and communities. Her stats are regarding widows, but would resonate regarding widowers as well: "Approximately 50 percent leave the church they attended as a couple." "We lose 75 percent of our friendship network when we become one. Sixty percent of us experience serious health issues in that first year." "Most experience financial decline". 
I am also familiar with the Stephen's Ministry books, and find the set a beautiful gift. I recommend that every church use it as a resource for their grieving members. The books are however, meant as an emotional support, not a resource to navigate the multitude of details. 
How amazing it would be for the church to be at the forefront of support in the midst of devastating loss.
Thank you for your inquiry.
Caroline Kralt, (Ontario)

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