At the Time of Your Loss
What To Do and Expect
Whether your loved one passes unexpectedly or as a result of a prolonged illness, the time of the death is very difficult and there are some things you should know.
A Death at Home Under Hospice
When the death happens at home under hospice care, if hospice is not already there, you should call them first. They will come to the home and do the necessary evaluations with their care and then they will call us upon your instructions. We will come to the home day or night. We respond 24 hours a day. If you have had the foresight to pre-arrange your services we will obtain the file and will know what your wishes prior to arriving at the home.
If you have not already discussed your wishes with us, upon arriving at the home we will express our condolences and ask if you have any questions for us. We will also ask if you know what your wishes are concerning burial or cremation. The answer to that question will lead into a brief discussion about viewing for the public or private family viewing. This will help us advise you whether embalming is the proper course of action. If we are to perform embalming, we wish to do so upon arriving back at the funeral home for the sole purpose of obtaining the best results for viewing for you and your family and your friends.
A Death at Home Without Hospice or Unexpected
The first course of action is to call 911. The appropriate authorities will be contacted, the police and ambulance will be summoned. Upon arriving, the police will discuss with you the circumstances of your loved ones death, their medications etc. They will then contact the medical examiner to inform them of the death and the results of the information that they have obtained from you. The medical examiner will then make a determination to whether they feel the need to see your loved one or whether they are satisfied with the information the police have given them and that there is no reason for them to be involved any further.
If they determine that they need to see your loved one, they will send their representative to the place of death to bring them back to their office where they will perform their investigation. At that time you can call us or if in the middle of the night, you can wait until the next morning to inform us of the death and that your loved one is at the medical examiner’s office.
If they determine that they do not need to see you loved one – the police will ask what funeral home you wish your loved one to go to and they will call us. We will respond at whatever time of day or night to the home and again have the discussion as stated before as to your wishes for your loved one.
A Death at a Hospital or Nursing Facility or Hospice House
This is very similar to a hospice home death. You will inform the hospital, nursing home staff or hospice as to whom to call. And when you and your family are ready for us, we will come to the facility, day or night. If we do not make contact with you in person at that time, due to a variety of reasons such as in a hospital may take your loved one to another place for us to pick up at. We will still need to talk to you whether this happens in the day or night to determine your wishes as to embalming, cremation and burial. So, don’t be surprised by a call to you in the middle of the night. It is simply that we want the best for your family in whatever your wishes are for your loved one.
We, at some point, will set a time for your family to come to the funeral home and discuss the final arrangements for your loved one’s service. The list below includes items you will need to bring or things we will need to know:
- Clothing, including under garments, if there is to be a viewing
- A picture of the way you wish your loved one’s hair to be prepared
- Discharge papers, if your loved one was a veteran
- You may want to start working on the obituary prior to coming in
- Vital statistical information for the filing of the death certificate
- Legal name
- Date of Birth
- Father’s name
- Mother’s name including maiden name
- Education level completed
We hope that this information is helpful. If you are reading this with a loved one near death, we encourage you to call us and let us be of help prior to the death by answering any questions you may have. Many hospices encourage families to come to the funeral home and make arrangements because they know as do we that it will help making that difficult time just a little easier.