If you were present during the final moments in a loved one’s life, then you’ve been fortunate. We believe that while nothing prepares you for being present at the death of a loved one, bearing witness to the death of a loved one can bring new insights into your own capacity for selfless love and caring, help you to renew or intensify bonds with other family members, find a new respect for siblings, or help in the healing of old emotional wounds. It is a priceless gift – but it’s one you may not truly value until much later.
Whether you were sitting right next to the bed or was unfortunate to get a call at 2 a.m. with news of a death of someone you loved, chances are your first feelings were of “being numb” and confused. But, if you're responsible for making the funeral arrangements or executing the will, you really can’t give into the shock or grief - you’ve got to move forward and take care of things.
When someone dies, what you do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When the death occurs in a hospital or similar care facility, the hospital staff will usually take care of contacting the funeral home you choose, and if necessary, arranging an autopsy.
However, you – or a designated family member or friend – will need to notify others. We’ve found it will make it easier on you if just a few phone calls are made to other relatives or friends, where you ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people. In that way, the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you.
And if you are facing this situation alone, then ask a friend or neighbor to keep you company while you make these calls. In that way, you’ll be better able to cope with the first hours after the death.
One of the first calls which should be made is to a licensed Funeral Director.
Funeral Director will take care of:
• Transferring your loved one
• Obtaining a death certificate
• Showcase a casket, urn and/or grave marker
• Arrange the funeral, memorial and/or burial service
• Prepare and publish the obituary
• Help notify the deceased's employer, attorney, insurance company and banks
• Offer grief support
• Direct you to other resources
Was your loved one employed? Then, you'll need to call his or her employer immediately, to let them know of the passing, and the resulting change in their staffing arrangements. At some later point (most likely when the funeral is over), you should ask about the deceased's benefits and any pay, which is owed to them, including vacation or sick time. Also, ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company.
If your loved one had a life insurance policy, locate the related paperwork. We can assist in filing a claim. Usually the beneficiary (or the beneficiary's guardian, if a minor) must complete the claim forms and related paperwork.
We will take care of submitting a certified copy of the death certificate and a claimant's statement to establish proof of claim.