What to Do When...

  • Most of us are not prepared to plan and carry out a funeral ceremony for someone we love. And so much of the information available on this critically important subject fails to focus on what is most important: having a personalized, meaningful funeral that helps families and friends begin the healing process of mourning after the death of someone we love.

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  • (1) Notify the Proper Authorities • When a death occurs in a facility such as a hospital, hospice unit or nursing home, the facility staff will notify you and the necessary authorities. If the death occurs at home under hospice care the hospice nurse or representative may give family members instructions to follow. If the death should occur at home or in the workplace not under hospice care 911 should be called. If the deceased has been under a doctors care, the non emergency police dispatch number can be used.


    (2) Calls to Make • The first calls made should be made to family and friends to notify them that the death has occurred. One of the next calls to be made should be to the funeral home. The funeral home can provide you with information and guidance. Make sure everyone that wants to be there has come before asking the funeral home to come make the removal. A call may also be placed to your family's minister or spiritual advisor.

    (3) Making the Call to the Funeral Home • The first call to the funeral home the call taker will need to get information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home. They will need to know the name of the deceased, location of the deceased. (if at home street address and directions), whether any pre-arrangements have been made, and whether you give permission to embalm. Please notify the funeral home if this will be an immediate cremation. Embalming is not required for immediate cremation.

    (4) Making Arrangements at the Funeral Home • It is necessary to make an appointment with the funeral director to make arrangements. The funeral director will guide you through the arrangement conference, explaining how to make a memorable celebration of life. The conference will include getting the information needed for the death certificate, schedule the date and times of the visitation and service, selecting a casket, vault or urn, preparing information for the newspaper notice and signing the necessary forms. The funeral director will also go over ways to personalize the funeral as well as items available to purchase.

    (5) Checklist of Items to bring to the Funeral Home • Full legal name, date and place of birth, social security number, parents name (including mother's maiden name), cemetery deed, military discharge papers (DD214), a recent picture or snapshot, Masonic apron, Rosary, etc., clergy name and phone number and a list of people for the newspaper notice

    (6) Clothing WOMEN • Dress, gown, pants suit, skirt and blouse, pants and blouse, normal underclothing stockings or socks, shoes optional. (Preferable long sleeves and high neck) MEN • Suit or slacks, shirt, tie, normal underclothing, socks, shoes optional. (Preferable long sleeves and high neck.)