DH has a terrible habit of leaving his phone on silent after work. April 2014, his Dad was trying to reach him couldn't get through.
FIL calls my phone, immediately says "I need to speak to my son." No hello, no preamble. I hand the phone over, hear FIL ask DH if he is seated, and then tells DH "BIL's dead." DH doesn't remember hearing anything beyond that point, but I heard FIL talking about travelling to BIL's city that night, and where to meet them (we took two vehicles). BIL was only 27. There's really no good way for a parent to tell their child that a sibling is gone, or vice versa.
On a somewhat lighter note, my paternal grandmother (PG) lived with us starting when I was 2. She was in her late 80s, had very advanced alzheimers, and she was very mean, especially to me (she had no idea who I was). She died a few months after I turned 6. My mom walked in to check on her that morning, discovered she'd passed during the night, and quietly got me ready for school and on the bus before calling Dad (who was out of town) and the non emergency lines to report the death. She did not want me overwhelmed and upset by a bunch of strange people in the house to remove the body, and at that time it was only her at the house to handle everything (no funeral, direct cremation, and a jerk of an assistant Medical Examiner trying to imply she had done something wrong). She did come to pick me up early from school, explained to the principal and guidance counselor what was going on (they in turn told my teacher) just as an alert in case I seemed off or whatever the next few days.
When I got in the car and was informed of PG's death, to my mom's surprise/relief, my reaction was to pump my fist and say "Yes!" (Remember, my sole impression of this woman was 4 years of a mean lady who tried to pinch and hit me, and whom I had to call Grandma). I apparently made the guidance counselor nervous over the next few weeks due to my lack of negative emotional response to PG's death.