Okay, so no one really likes to think about death, especially the death of loved ones. However, sometimes knowing what to expect, including what happens when someone dies unexpectedly at home, and the practical side of death can help enormously.
What I have written here, is a brief overview of what happens to your loved one after death.
It includes some of the duties you will have to perform as next-of-kin or closest person to the deceased. This is to help you (and myself) to understand the practical steps. Hopefully, this will help make the whole process a little easier.
Let’s start with places people usually die: a hospice, the hospital, or at home.
You will hopefully have had time to talk with hospice staff about which Funeral Home you would like to use. The staff will contact your nominated Funeral Home, who will come to collect the deceased.
The Police then call the Funeral Home that they are contracted to. The body is removed to the Coroner who performs any further tests to explain the cause of death. Once the investigations are complete or no further evidence can be gained from the body, the deceased is released to the family. You can now arrange your chosen Funeral Home to take responsibility for your loved one.
It may be useful to have a few family members or close friends who are good at organising information and talking to people to make these calls. Retaining information and making decisions can be difficult when we are in a highly emotional state. I know that my brain would be a fuddle of mud if I was trying to organise a funeral for anyone in my close family.
While this is happening, you need to go with the Death Certificate to your local Registry Office and register the death.
You will be given a Green Form which you must give to the Funeral Home for the funeral process to continue. This is the beginning of many, MANY identification checks from now until you bury or collect your loved one’s ashes. This means it is super hard, if not downright impossible, for the wrong remains to get buried or given to a family. A very reassuring point.
It’s also a great idea to have a chat with your loved ones about funeral ideas. What do you want to happen at your funeral? What music would you like played? Is there a particular type of coffin? Do you want to be cremated, which is cheaper, or buried, which is somewhat more expensive? Do you have someone you would like to speak or do a reading? Is there a favourite poem? Are there specific people you would like to attend…or not attend?
It may seem weird, but I have talked with a number of families who have had to do a lot of guessing as to what the deceased would have liked, so it is good to talk.