Handling the death of a loved one is never an easy task. We've put together some of the important information you'll need to make the initial decisions, reach out to the appropriate people, and begin the process of designing your loved one's final farewell. Remember that, as you begin to cope with your loss, it's often a good idea to enlist the help and support of a trusted friend in making the necessary arrangements.
Within Minutes to an Hour
When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, you'll need to contact emergency personnel or your loved one's physician if he or she was under medical care. If no one else was present when the death occurred, you'll also need to notify the police before the deceased is moved to a secondary location.
When a death occurs while your loved one is in a hospital, care facility or hospice program, the professional staff will notify you and contact the appropriate authorities. If you've already given them the name of a funeral home, the facility will contact them as well.
The next steps involve contacting the funeral home to start the process.
Initial First Call
Your initial call with our funeral director will allow us to inquire about any prearrangements and gather the information we need to transport your loved one to the funeral home, but you can also feel free to ask any questions you may have and resolve any of your initial concerns. At later meetings you'll be able to discuss your arrangements in greater detail.
If your loved one has not specified any arrangements or preferences beforehand, there are some initial questions you will likely need to answer when you consult with your funeral home:
- Should I choose embalming?
- Do I need to purchase a casket?
- Will I care for my loved one's physical remains through burial or cremation?
- What sort of funeral or memorial service should I plan?
- Are there any religious traditions or customs I need to plan for? Should I engage the services of a clergy member or spiritual leader?
These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Start thinking about your decisions, and contact us to gain a better understanding of your options and discuss what might be the most appropriate solution for your situation. We're here to make this process easier for you, and we can start by making sure that you have all of the information and guidance you'll need.
What to Expect When You Meet With Us
When you meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we'll first provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of what our services cost. We'll then walk you through the entire arrangement process, and ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories and highlight their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's unique journey.
This process will include:
- Preparing and filing the official death certificate
- Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
- Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
- Drafting an obituary
- Arranging necessary transportation
- Selecting pallbearers
To help express your loved one's personality and life story, feel free to bring any memorabilia - like photos, videos, music, crafts, or treasured items - that might give us a better understanding of how you envision paying tribute to your loved one. Even if you're not sure how a particular aspect of their life might be incorporated, don't hesitate to ask; we can often make unique suggestions on a way to add that element as a special touch to their service.
We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, and you can come prepared for your meeting by making sure that you have the following information about your loved one on hand when you meet with our professionals to discuss your arrangements:
- Full legal name & home address
- Social Security number
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father's name
- Mother's maiden name
- Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
- Highest education
- Chosen place of burial, if applicable
- Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
- Names and relationships of survivors
- Insurance policy information, if applicable
**Please also bring a recent photograph and any clothing you'd like us to use when dressing them for the service.**