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Nothing adequately prepares us for the initial shock of losing a loved one. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone. It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends, and professionals for the help, support, and comfort you need. Notifying family and friends is always an important consideration in the initial tasks to be completed.

Call immediate family members first, parents, children, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about a death immediately. Rely on others to assist you in notifying everyone: do not attempt to do this yourself. It not only helps others through the grieving process to have some responsibility, but also allows you to carry on with other tasks.

Although it may be difficult, telling others of a death it is therapeutic. Saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed in your mind - an important step in the grief process. So much is to be done in what seems like so little time. The emotional impact of death understandably makes it difficult to focus on the details that go into organizing a funeral. Also by clicking on the resource center on the home page, you open a wealth of information and guidance to assist you through all of your needs.

1. When death occurs at home, what should we do?
2. If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
3. A death of a loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
4. A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?

Question #1When death occurs at home, what should we do?
Answer:If the death has been expected, the first contact should be the funeral home  to remove the body and follow the personal wishes of the deceased.  If the person has been under Hospice care they like to be notified before notifying the funeral home.
If the death is unexpected, the police should be notified. They will in turn dispatch an officer and contact a local coroner or medical examiner who will then decide the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. They will arrange to have the body transferred to the either a hospital or examination center if an autopsy is required (at their cost). You may suggest to the law enforcement officer which funeral home you would like to make this transfer, however if you do not, they will contact the funeral home who is on rotation to make the removal. You are under no obligation to use the funeral home that makes the removal.  Once the body has been transferred and the examination completed you have the right to choose the funeral home you wish to carry out the deceased's final wishes. You should call the funeral home and notify them of the death and we will handle everything from that point and meet with you to carry out the deceased's final wishes.

Question #2If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
Answer:If a death was to occur away from the home, i.e. during a vacation or a business trip, then we suggest that you call us at the funeral home as soon as possible. We will take care of making the necessary contact with a reputable firm in the area that the death occurred.

Question #3A death of a loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
Answer:Whether or not you are present when the death occurs a health care professional will contact you and ask a few questions. Two of the questions you may be asked, you should be prepared for.

1. Which funeral service provider will you be releasing the body to, for transfer from the hospital?

2. Soon after, you will receive a call from a tissue bank for organ donation. They will ask if you would like your loved one to be a donor. It is now mandated that a tissue bank must speak to a family member about being a donor before the body can be released to the funeral home. You can accept or decline. You can also specify what they will be allowed to take. If you are considering your loved one being a donor there are a few things to keep in mind. Most tissues donated will not interfere with the embalming process, however, when bone, muscle and tendons are removed there are no arteries or veins to properly embalm the extremities. If your loved one has chosen cremation, they would be a prime candidate to be a "full donor" which means the tissue bank will take everything possible.
It is important for you to leave a contact number, such as a cell phone, so that the tissue bank can reach you as soon as possible.

Question #4A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
Answer:It is important that the charts at the nursing home reflect the funeral home you desire. The nursing home will refer to the charts to see what funeral home you have selected and notify the funeral home after they have contacted you. If you are not present and sure what is listed, you may want to ask when they call to notify you of the death. You can call the funeral home and set up a meeting time.

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