Aug 23, 2006
Hi all,

Day 1

So yesterday I woke up - got ready to goto work - went to find out from my mom how she is feeling and remind and remind her that if she is not feeling better - I'm DRAGGING HER KICKING AND SCREAMING to hospital - instead, I found her dead.
Let's be honest - I'm shocked and I dunno how to explain how I feel.
No one prepares you for this - it was really only me and my mom - we didn't have the greatest relationship - but I'm not going to lecture you guys on that - the point of this thread is to tell you what to expect (if you haven't gone through this) and what to do, etc - I'm not claiming that this thread will have all the answers - I might need help but those that know me know - when I go through something hectic, I normally share my experiences so they - YOU - can learn from it in some form or another.

So... I found my mom dead - she must've died at some point early hours of the morning because she was stiff (Rigor Mortus) - I won't go into too much details but suffice to say, first call I made was my boss - I can't explain it, but she's like my other mother so I called her first (She my boss hey, and a Paramedic) and then I called the police - this all started at about 6:40am.

Boss arrived, confirmed the death (not that I needed it) and then one after the other I started to call the girlfriend (she should've been the 3rd call, but she wasn't - I wasn't thinking)
My colleagues arrived (support structure) and the word spread.

At about 10ish, the police arrived, they did their documents.

Here is the important thing;

For someone who has died, you need to know their medical history, have their ID's and such and the police will ask for a statement - you'll repeat the same story over and over - I started to get irritated I guess.
Once the police have done their thing, depending on what happened, the stand by detective will come through, take photos if need be and then once that's all done, they call their control room and then they call Metro control to arrange FPS (Forensics) whom will also take their own photos.

Because I work in EMS, we all know each other - I think FPS came alot faster than normal - my colleague was working the day, so when he arrived and found out it was my mother he was coming for, it was hard for him and for me.
Familiar faces seem to help make things easier - for me it did.

I'd like to mention that my mom was wearing minimal stuff - the police had to redo their paperwork and FPS had to also do paperwork because of the age we live in I guess - I did have to explain to them that due to the heat - that is how she dressed (just a nighty on)

Everyone was helping me with everything - I did nothing which for me is not normal.

Once my mom's body was removed, my colleagues started going through my mom's cupboards and such looking for any documents - such as the will, policies etc.

My mom had a AVBOB policy which was found - lucky for me, my mom is as organised as me, so they found majority of the important stuff quite fast.

But this is where I want to mention that I did discuss with my mom (a few months back) about policies and such should anything happen - it's a discussion that needs to be had with your family members - some don't mind it, others do - my mom was very hesitant to have it with me so I didn't know anything - please have this discussion - know where / what etc is should anything happen.

Later the day, my colleague from FPS called me to tell me the body was at Salt River and I had to come down to ID the body.
Went down with her ID and my ID and did more paper work - more questions - same questions SAPS asked me - I saw the body of my mom through a window and confirm that it was her.

Like I said, thankfully my colleague at FPS was the one doing the paperwork with me, I think I was going to loose it because i was answering the same questions over and over.

He gave me paperwork, because my mom's medical history was vastly unknown (she never shared anything with me) she had to have an autopsy done (Which I don't mind because I want to know - for my own reasons - what she died from) they had to keep the body till that is done - I also got a document which I needed to give to the undertaker to get the body at a later stage.

I was then told my people that if I knew the PIN of my mom's bank cards, to go draw whatever I can because I'll need it over the next while - at this point, I felt horrible - like I was stealing from her - but it had to be done.

I want to mention that at this point, everyone around me was so supportive, it was / is amazing! No one left me - I haven't had a melt down or anything yet, but like one of my colleagues told me, it will come.

Day 2

I woke up very stressed - I am still stressed - it's about the financial side of things - people talking about lawyers etc - I'm stressing.

I went into work only to see if I could stop the stress - it helped a bit dealing with problems at work, but then one of the ladies who is assisting with all the documents they found told me they found a active policy with AVBOB and I needed to take my stuff to them to go and deal with that.

We went there, the guy at AVBOB was as pleasant as he could be - for me, I was just irritated - my mom always told me to just have a cremation and scatter her ashes over my grans spot in the garden - all these other discussions were irritating me.

I had to view the coffin I wanted, and that was hard, they ranged from cheap to like R34000 - I don't have the finances and knowing my mom, she wouldn't want anything fancy so I asked about the silent cremation package which is about R9500.
Other packages with chapel etc costs R15000 and obviously, it goes up.

We left there because they pretty much can't do anything till the policy has been sorted (by head office) and FPS have told them to collect the body and due to backlogs, it will probably only be sorted tomorrow.

One thing I need to mention that - till you get the death certificate - there isn't alot that can be done with anything but at least for now - the AVBOB side might be semi sorted.

If I remember anything, I'll add it to the post in question later - dunno if this will help anything, but I hope it does because I'm struggling with things but as life has it, learning as we go with lovely people to help me but I know that not everyone is as lucky as me when it comes to certain things and if this helps a bit - it's successful.
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Expert Member
Mar 23, 2011
Sorry for your loss, hope you are able to deal with everything.

And thanks for the advice, will definitely be having the conversation with the family to make sure we all know where to find things and what to do when the time comes.


Executive Member
Nov 19, 2012
I'm sorry to hear of your loss, I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling right now. The advice is golden, so thank you for sharing, and good luck for the next few months.


Honorary Master
Aug 13, 2009
What a terrible experience for you Medicnick83. How awful that you were the person who found your Mom dead.

Thanks for the advice and remember you have friends here on myBB.


Executive Member
Jul 6, 2011
condolences .
thanks for the advise , you have just reminded me of a few things i need to take care of .


Honorary Master
Aug 7, 2003
Sorry to hear!

How old was your mom if you don't mind me asking?


Executive Member
Oct 6, 2010
Sorry to hear. Keep strong and maybe ask your workplace about chatting to a counselor if you dont have someone.
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Treasure Maker
Mar 6, 2012
Sorry about your mom. Good to hear you've got a good and trusted friend for emotional support.


The Humble Scot!
May 19, 2009
Condolences for your loss. Do hope and pray that you'll get through this time as smoothly as possible. No matter how much you think you are prepared for this, it is always painful. For me, the reality took a while to settle in.

Hang in there, Squire. And like @maumau said, you have a ton of folk in here who will be very happy to help in whatever way we can. It is at times like this that the best of the forum and this amazing community arises.


Honorary Master
Jun 5, 2006
Condolences, and thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with us. Wishing you strength in the days ahead


Expert Member
Jul 24, 2010
Sorry for your loss. And appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

I had a similar experience on the 1st may. It started at 03h00. It all happened so fast. The funeral and cremation was held on the 2nd may.
I am still trying to unpack and understand what happened.


Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2014
Sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is. But take heart in the fact that it will get better.


Honorary Master
Feb 3, 2012
Thanks for sharing.
Always sad to hear of people going through this and I don't look forward to the day I go through it.
Condolences and I hope the stress clears up to give you time with the memories of your mom.


Honorary Master
Apr 8, 2006
Condolences dude....

Never a good thing to have to go through, I did so once as a child with my Grandmother...

But its a good heads up, its a conversation I think I need to have with my parents at some point in the near future...


Expert Member
Apr 24, 2011
Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope this is as easy and painless as it can be for you and yours.


Honorary Master
Oct 19, 2007
My condolences Nick. :(

Other relevant pointer:

* Try to have a central archive with scans of all the passports, IDs, birthcerts, wills etc for everyone in the family
* You'll likely need the originals too, so know where they are stored
* Know whether family members have DNR orders / living will
* Make sure they all have wills