What to do When Death Occurs
With whom should I communicate?
Eventually, we are all confronted with the reality of death of a family member or a friend. Even if death is forthcoming or sudden, you will be going through various emotions. In a short period of time, you will have to make critical decisions. We hope that the information hereafter will be useful to you.
If death occurs at the hospital or has been forthcoming, the medical staff will inform you and ask you to call your Funeral Home to recover the body and to complete the funeral arrangements. In certain circumstances, if a sudden death occurs at the hospital, the medical staff may ask a coroner to be present and they will coordinate this step. If the hospital staff informs you that they will communicate with the Funeral Home to arrange the transportation of the deceased, we recommend that you also call to assure that the transportation of the body has been organized and the funeral arrangements have begun. At the same time, our staff will be able to reassure you by explaining the sequence of events to come and to outline all the documents and other information to bring with you for our initial meeting. Each call is answered personally 24/7.
If death occurs in a long-term care facility, the staff will communicate with a doctor or a coroner to register the death. As we have already mentioned, it is important that you call, yourself, the Funeral Home.
If an expected death occurs at the deceased home, normally the Ontario health system would have prepared a list of procedures to follow after death. Usually, the nurses are on staff 24/7 to communicate with a doctor, who will then certify the death. Once the death is registered, you can call our Funeral Home.
If death occurs unexpectedly, not in a hospital, nor in a long-term care facility, call 911 and they will send emergency services such as ambulance, police, and others if necessary. When the death is confirmed, the police will communicate with the coroner who will be responsible to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.
If a relative dies when you are both far away from home or abroad, and once the death has been certified and registered by the local authorities, call our Funeral Home and we will coordinate everything from then on. Your only concern will be to follow our instructions and thus save you time and money, as well as reduce your anxiety level knowing that everything is in the hands of professionals.
Information needed to finalize the funeral arrangements
When we meet to finalize the funeral arrangements, please have at hand all the necessary information and documents. If the deceased has no pre-arranged funeral agreement, and that you have never discussed his last wishes, it is important to verify his will and testament that might outline the deceased preferred funeral arrangements. Then you will have to determine whether there will be a visitation period and if so, of what kind; should the body or the incinerated remains be present at the funeral service; where will the funeral service take place, and where will the final resting place be. To prepare all the papers regarding the death, the following information is needed:
- Name of the deceased
- Birth date of the deceased
- Birthplace of the deceased
- Social Insurance Number of the deceased
- Full address of the deceased
- Names of the parents of the deceased
- Birthplaces of the parents of the deceased
- Name and address of the person responsible for the funeral arrangements
A list of the family members could also be useful to facilitate the writing of the death notice.
The last will and testament of the deceased may be required if family members can’t agree on the funeral arrangements. Thus we would have to rely on the executor, who would make final decisions in regards to the funeral service. We also prepare the benefit claims for the deceased and the survivor. In certain circumstances, we will need the Birth and Marriage Certificates of the deceased. During the initial meeting, the Funeral Director will provide a list of documents needed for the funeral arrangements. You may bring these documents at a later date, for example, when we would fill out the benefit claims.
Clothes required for the deceased
For funeral arrangements with a visitation period, we invite the family members to bring clothes for the deceased. Men are usually dressed in a suit and women usually wear a dress. We suggest that the deceased be dressed as he was during his life. Underwear, socks, suit, shirt and tie should be brought. Most families prefer not to put shoes on the deceased. Please note that a suit is not mandatory; the deceased could also wear a shirt or a sweater with pants. We do suggest a long-sleeved shirt with a closed neck. The same guidelines apply to the women.
When there is no visitation period and the deceased is to be directly incinerated, we kindly ask family members to nevertheless bring clothes to dress the deceased. The deceased will leave the Funeral Home for the crematorium or the cemetery dressed as he or she was during his or her life. In this case, the clothes can include comfortable pieces such as pyjamas, jogging suit, jeans, suit, dress or others.
Preparation of the Funeral Eulogy
The death of a loved one is often a very difficult event or stage of life filled with numerous emotions. Despite feelings of anger, sadness, … you may, one day, have to participate in the planning of funeral services for a deceased. The funeral services are normally a reflection of the personality of the loved one and the eulogy is an important part of that personification. The eulogy is a unique and meaningful tribute to the deceased, normally read during the funeral services.
Here are a few ideas that could help you in writing the eulogy…
The funeral eulogy can be read by a family member, a friend or a clergy member.
The purpose of the eulogy is to summarize the positive aspects of the life of the loved one. The eulogy can be in the form of a narration, a poem or a tribute. It can be a recollection of good and happy moments lived with the person. You can ask close family members and friends for details of events and/or anecdotes.
Music preferred by the deceased can accompany or follow the eulogy.
The eulogy can be a selected poem from a collection that reflects the life of the deceased.
It can be read by one or more persons.
In a more informal manner, especially in a chapel, people can be asked to stand and recall an experience shared with the deceased. In other cases, people can write their experiences before the service and these can be read by someone during the Funeral service.
There are many ways to prepare and deliver the eulogy of a loved one. If your first objective is to highlight favorite moments shared with the loved one by honoring his or her life, you have achieved your goal!
Follow-up completed by the Funeral Home
A few days following the funeral service, we will meet the family for a follow-up. During that meeting, we will hand over the Statements of Death; we will explain which pensions we will cancelled, and what the estate can expect from the Canada Pension Plan or the Régie des rentes du Québec. Also, we will fill out the forms for the Canadian Pension Plans or the Régie des rentes du Québec if applicable for the deceased, survivor or children; send the proper documents to the appropriate government department, and ask the family to communicate with us if they have not heard from the government by a specific date. We can explain the role and responsibilities of the executor of the last will and testament. As stated before, we can’t give legal advice but we can review the terms and responsibilities with you so that you will have a better idea of what to do and where to go when you leave the Funeral Home. The meeting normally lasts about an hour. For more information on the role and responsibilities of the executor of the last will and testament, please refer to the index «Legal Questions» where you will find informative newsletters describing those responsibilities.
Located in Alfred (Ontario), the Lamarre & Son Funeral Home and members of its staff have the privilege to service the families of Alfred-Plantagenet and surrounding communities throughout the Eastern Ontario region and for this, we are grateful for the trust you place in our establishment.
453 St. Philippe Street, P.O. Box 520, Alfred (ON) K0B 1A0