No matter if a death is sudden, or if it is something that was a long time coming, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed. No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one. When you are in a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering. The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.
When death occurs at home or a place of business
If the person was not under the care of CCAC, the police will have to be notified immediately. The police will be dispatched to the home and place the call to the coroner. From there the coroner will determine whether further action is necessary. The coroner must release the body before a funeral home can do anything. If the person was under the care of CCAC, contact their representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.
When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility
The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home will notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after a death has occurred. If a funeral home has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death. If you are present at the hospital when the funeral director arrives, they will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present it is important to get in touch with the funeral director.
Informing a Funeral Director
Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to a licensed funeral director. Funeral directors are here to provide proof of death certificates, transport the body, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and discuss other details. Funeral directors are here to help and advise you and will work very hard to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral arrangements.
Meeting a Funeral Director
You should notify a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one. Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state, but, funeral home staff have years of experience dealing with these issues, and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. Some of the details can be discussed on the phone during the initial call and an information form can be filled in and emailed back to us before our meeting. If Prearrangements have been done, most of the information required will already be on file so the time spent with us will be considerably shorter.
First the Funeral Director will gather information required for the death certificate. This includes:
- Full Name and Address
- Marital Status
- Date and Place of Birth
- Social Insurance Number
- Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name) and birthplaces.
- Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
- Occupation and Employer
If no pre-planning has been done, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral arrangements. These include:
- Deciding if you wish to plan a celebration of life or graveside service and scheduling the location, date and time.
- Choosing Funeral Products such as Urns, caskets, Memorial keepsakes, DVD Tributes, etc…
- Arranging a cemetery or cremation plot or niche.
- Preparing an obituary notice
- Selecting burial or cremation
Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honour the life of your loved one.