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When Death Occurs

What to do

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 many details 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.

Call the Funeral Home

Our caring funeral directors can assist you with your funeral arrangements. We will collect information from you to facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains into our care. You will also be asked if the deceased made plans and whether or not you’d like for him/her to be embalmed. You may ask any questions you have on your mind during this call, however most of the details will be handled during your initial visit to the funeral home.  During this call, you will also be informed about the items you need to bring with you like the clothes your deceased loved one will wear for the burial. Remember that we are here to listen, help and guide you through this difficult and trying time.

Meet the Funeral Director

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 to help you decide what suits your family’s preferences and budget. You will be asked whether you would prefer burial or cremation arrangements. You will be offered a selection of caskets,  as well as potential times and dates for the service. There also be a conversations to decide about the location of the burial, draft the 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.

 Death Certificate

A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including  vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician. The funeral home obtains the death certificate from the attending Physician. Memorial Funeral Homes will then complete the death certificate with the assistance of the family. Our funeral homes then file the death certificate with the city or town where the death occurred. The original death certificate stays in State's office of Vital Records.  Certified copies of the death certificate can also be purchased at the same time. the death certificate is filed with the city/town.  Certified copies are important when handling the administrative responsibilities for the deceased such as  bank accounts and safety deposit box access, benefits due to the family (like the Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims), and transferring or selling ownership of properties.

All of these tasks may feel overwhelming if undertaken alone. It is important to enlist a trusted friend or a family member to help you cope with the responsibility and emotional pain of this process. Remember that we are here to guide you through this difficult time and to ensure that your loved one receives the honor and tribute he or she deserves.

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