DH is military and was active duty during the Gulf War. We lived on post, and most of the service members were deployed. The wives (almost all the spouses were female) had evolved a habit of phoning ahead of visits to each other's quarters, or hollering through a window on our way over, or something. No doorbells without advance warning. That's what a notification team did. The day after DH got home, our doorbell rang, and my reptile brain was gearing for the worst when I got up to answer it -- only to glance over and see him sitting in the living room, unpacking.
When my father died, the hospital's response could have been used for a training video. He had a heart episode at home, and an ambulance came for him. We were ushered to a separate waiting room when we showed up, and the ER physician came in while they were working on him to update us on his condition. He was also very professional and compassionate when he came to tell us he had died. Then a grief counselor came in to talk to us, and after that another staff member brought us to a private area to see him. My father's cardiologist was in the area and made it a point to approach us with his condolences. The most wonderful thing to me, though, was what the ER doc said to my mother: "You did everything right." It saved her years of self-recrimination, and I'll always be grateful to him.
Poor DS1, though. He was in high school at the time, and already at school when my father got sick, so I needed to have him called to the office to let him know and let him decide whether to stay for the rest of the day or not (he opted to stay, and actually went on a field trip to do cleanup at an area farm). A few weeks later, I went to have him dismissed for an orthodontic appointment I had forgotten to mention ahead of time, and he had a bad couple of moments until he realized the reason he was called out of class. (Footnote, another place that did it right -- they set a room aside for us, guidance counselor spoke with me, gave me privacy to tell him, then she came back in to speak with him for a bit. Really well done.)
I do worry about not screwing up this kind of thing, to the point of mentally preparing how to handle it ahead of time. DS1 (24) lives with his girlfriend, and I could see contacting her in some circumstances; they live less than two hours drive from here, so telling him something in person is also an option. DS2 (21) is at school thousands of miles away, but his girlfriend is from out there and her nearby parents are tactful and warm-hearted people. He's also a full-time student, and there's on-campus staff to call upon if needed. Both sons have someone loving and kind close by.