The overwhelming feelings of despair, disbelief, shock, and numbness caused by the passing of a loved one cannot be conveyed by mere words. Even when the death is expected, the pain that loss brings can still be devastating. In truth, no one is completely prepared for the death of someone close to their heart.
During this difficult time, there are decisions to be made immediately, arrangements to be coordinated, and a lot of things to be considered for your loved one’s final farewell. We understand how this may feel overwhelming, especially with the grief you’re feeling over the loss. Please know that we are here to help and support you.
On this page, we’ve put together helpful information to guide you through this process.
NOTIFY PROPER AUTHORITIES
If your loved one passes away while under the care of a facility — such as a nursing home or a hospital — staff from the facility will contact you and notify appropriate authorities themselves.
If the death occurred in the workplace or at home, you will need to get in touch with his/her physician or emergency medical personnel, as the cause of death must be identified and indicated in legal documents.
In the event that no one was present at the time of death, you will need to contact the police before moving the deceased to another location. If you are unsure how to proceed, feel free to call us at any time. We are here 24 hours a day to serve you.
CALL THE FUNERAL HOME
Our caring staff is on-call 24 hours a day to assist you when a death occurs. Our longtime employee, Greg Anema, lives at the funeral home and will be available to offer assistance should the death occur during the night. On the initial call we will collect information from you in order to facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility. We can also set an appointment time for you to come in and meet with one of our funeral directors. We are here for you, so feel free to contact us with questions or concerns as they arise.
MEET THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR/STAFF
On your first meeting with us, we will discuss the arrangements for your loved one’s burial. You will be shown a list of our packages/services so you can decide what suits your family’s preferences and budget. You will be asked whether you’d prefer burial or cremation arrangements and optionally you would select a casket, schedule a time and date for the services, decide on the location of the burial, draft an obituary notice, arrange for vehicle services, and select pallbearers.
We would also use this opportunity to inquire about your loved one for us to have a better understanding of the person the services will honor. It will be extremely helpful if you can bring some memorabilia — photos, videos, treasured items, letters — that would give us a clearer picture on how you envision paying tribute to your loved one.
OBTAINING A DEATH CERTIFICATE
A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including other vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician or medical examiner. Death certificates are prepared by the funeral home and certified by the local health department. Certified copies of the death certificate are then purchased from the health department in the county where the death occurred. In instances of accidental death or unexpected death the medical examiner or coroner may need investigate the circumstances of death which may cause a delay in receiving the death certificates.
These certified copies are important when gaining access to bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, claiming for benefits due to the family (like the Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims), and transferring or selling ownership of properties. We are happy to answer questions as they arise.