What To Do Now
What To Do Immediately After A Death Occurs
We are startled into reality when someone we know or love dies. Why do we never seem quite ready to lose a loved one or friend to death? We all know that death is inevitable, yet we live as if we’re never going to die.
Suddenly faced with our loss, and our own vulnerability, we still have to carry on.
At this time, the service of a caring and thoroughly professional funeral director is essential to ensure that the funeral arrangements are organised and carried out with dignity and sincerity.
Most of us know the trauma of losing a loved one and the complex issues that must be resolved, when death comes, especially if it is sudden and unexpected.
“Funerals are for the living...Death is a Fact of Life – For all of us”
Where did your loved one pass away?
- In A Public Hospital – Most public Hospitals have mortuary facilities so the immediate situation is under control. Some have a “relative interviewing officer” who will request a meeting with the bereaved. If this is not the case, a funeral director should be contacted as soon as possible.
- In A Private Hospital – Usually private hospitals do not provide mortuary facilities. So provisions of the funeral director’s name and telephone number to the hospital enables removal of a loved one from the hospital to a mortuary provided at the funeral home.
- At A Nursing Home – A similar procedure to private hospitals except that the funeral director will be called by nursing staff and they will require instructions prior to registration into the nursing home. A GUIDING LIGHT FUNERALS funeral plan can arrange this on your behalf.
- In A Private Home (Sudden & Unexpected Death Having Occurred) – If a death occurs suddenly and unexpectedly: IMMEDIATELY RING “000” The Police will control events for the time being. Funeral Directors at this point are unable to take control, however, you can contact a funeral director at this stage in time and they will advise you after the Police, the situation in hand and the process involved with the arrangement of the funeral. Should you wish, you may call us at this time, irrespective of the hour or if the Police are in attendance at your family residence, however, you may wish to call us later on, allowing the family time to come to terms as to what had occurred. Rest assured, our staff are trained professionals and also human and will understand the situation in hand , the shock and grief, confusion, pain associated with such a sad tragedy that had occurred to the family. We will be by your side to comfort you and offer you all the support that you and your family will need. Our caring and support does not stop here.
- In A Private Home (Expected Death immanent) – Some people who have terminal illness and if circumstances allow, having come to terms along with acknowledging the inevitable, chose to stay at their home, with their family and loved ones, rather than seeing out their days in a hospital. If your loved one passes away at home as it was expected, you should immediately contact your regular family doctor and funeral director. All procedures will be taken care for you. Before a funeral director can transfer a deceased to a funeral home a Death Certificate must be signed by a doctor providing the have seen the deceased within the last three months, the certificate will normally be issued.
- Unexpected – Accidental – If a Doctor is unable to determine the cause of death, whether it was accidental or unexpected, the Police will refer the matter to the NSW Coroner’s Office. It will then be the case that the Coroner will seek to determine the cause of death by various means, including requesting a pathologist to inspect the body and carry out an autopsy (If required).
The Coroner would usually be involved in the following circumstances;
- The Death of a person occurred in a Public Place.
- The Death involved drug overdose, suicide, homicide, poisoning, fire, accident.
- The Death was at the person’s place of work.
- The Death occurred and the deceased has not seen a Doctor in the last three months.
- The Death occurred in a hospital and was unexpected
- The Death of a person – a resident in a government institution.
- Cot Death (SIDS) or any death that cannot be explained without a post mortem
What you will need to consider for the funeral service
While the deceased is the main concern, and in particular if there has been no specific wishes known to the family or has there been any prepaid or prearranged funeral plan left by the deceased, it is the living who must then face up to the decisions, answer all questions, arrange the funeral and pay the account.
If you are the person responsible for arranging a funeral, you would contact Guiding Light Funerals to start planning the funeral. This would give us the authority to make contact with the hospital, nursing home or Coroners to take your loved one into our care. We would receive our instructions directly from you, so other members of the family would consult with you. At the time of the arrangement, the funeral consultant will go through every detail with you and will leave you with a fully itemised account.
Things to decide on regarding the funeral:
- Would your loved one have wished for a burial or cremation?
- Do they already own a grave?
- Which Cemetery or Crematorium do you wish to book?
- What type of service do you require?
- Would you like the Funeral Service in a Church, at the Cemetery Chapel or in our Chapel?
- If a church service, which Church would you like the Funeral Service to be held in?
- Would you prefer a Viewing or Rosary?
- If cremation, which chapel will the service be conducted in?
- Will the ashes be scattered, interred or taken home?
- Will you require Clergy or Celebrant for the Funeral Service?
- Will you place a Death Notification in the newspaper?
- In which newspaper would you like to place a Funeral and Death Notices?
- Do you prefer a casket or coffin?
- Do you prefer a timber or metal casket?
- Will the floral tribute be a floral cross or a sheaf?
- Do family members expect you to order sympathy flowers on their behalf?
- Who will be the pallbearers?
- Who will deliver the eulogy?
- Is there a special selection of music you wish to have?
- Will you have a photographic or video tribute?
- Will you collect donations on behalf of a hospital, church or organisation?
- Do you wish to release doves or balloons?
- Do you require a candle box for the grave till the monument is built? (Orthodox clients)
- Will you have a Memorial Book so that friends and family can sign the register?
- Would you like Memorial Cards?
- Do you require refreshments after the Funeral Service?
- If Repatriation, will you have a Funeral Service before the repatriation interstate or overseas takes place?
- Who do you nominate as the Consignee?
- Will family be travelling interstate or overseas with the deceased?
For more information about arranging a funeral, feel free to contact us on 1800 053 134.
At Guiding Light Funerals the caring does not end with the payment of the account. Guiding Light Funerals personnel with their training and experience, will ensure a smooth transition through the difficult times. It is comforting to know that help is available during a time when our ability to cope may be impaired. Guiding Light Funerals is owned and operated by an Australian born family.
Over the last few years, we have grown to gain the trust and respect of other communities and their Churches keeping with the traditions and relevant customs,
We proudly offer our services to other members of any community who have been affected with the tragedy of sadly losing their loved one, regardless of their ethnicity and religious beliefs. Our main aim is to offer a unique and personal service to people and their families where Guiding Light Funerals professionals keep in touch until they know the people close to the deceased have fully recovered from the trauma.
Our commitment will always be with you and your family, from the time of your initial call, we will be by your side, to listen to your needs and any special requests. If it can be done, it will be done, in most cases we will never say no. It has always been and always will be, in our interest to continue and offer assurance to those families who have placed their faith and trust in us with their loved one, to be Dependable, Sincere, dignified, with all our heart and provide the funeral service without the high costs charged by many other firms.
It is and has been our dedication from the start in fulfilling the wishes of each family, right down to the last detail and being there with them, at any hour, night or day, doing something different for them, never contemplating any potential loss by us, but providing something unique and memorable for the rest of their lives, to give their loved one, a very unique and dignified funeral, which has grown our reputation in the community and sets us apart from others.
“ The wounds of grief need time to heal. The funeral may help this process, by enabling us to acknowledge our loss, give thanks for the life of the person who has sadly died, make our last farewell and begin to take up life once more”