When someone dies in a medical facility, usually the staff will take care some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home of your choice. You will be responsible for contacting friends, family, and clergy. When someone dies at home or work, first call the emergency phone number in your area, usually 911; or if under the care of hospice, call that hospice organization instead of 911. Depending on the circumstances of the death, the deceased will either be transported to the morgue for autopsy or to the funeral home of your choice. If your loved one was under medical care, please notify their doctor.
What do I do next and what does a funeral director do?
Next, contact the funeral home of your choice. That funeral director will help you with the following:
Transport the body
Obtain a death certificate
Select a casket, urn or grave marker
Arrange a funeral, memorial or burial service
Prepare the obituary
Help you notify the deceased’s employer, attorney, insurance company and banks
Offer grief support or direct you to other resources
What is the purpose of a funeral?
For thousands of years, funerals have allowed survivors to express their feeling about the death of someone they love. According to noted grief educator Alan Wolefelt, the funeral ceremony helps mourners:
acknowledge someone has died
remember the person who died and encourage us to share those memories with others
affirm the worth of their relationship with the person who died
provide a social support system
search for the meaning of life and death
offer continuity and hope for the living
What are your hours of operation?
We are open: Monday - Saturday 9:00 am-8:00 pm Sunday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm However, in your time of need, we can be contacted 24 hours a day at (804)232-3874.
What does one do at a viewing or visitation?
A viewing is when the body is present, and friends and family can come and say their farewells. Those who attend may sign a guestbook, speak with family members and view the body.
Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists report that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death.
What will help you with the loss of a loved one?
Share your grief with friends and family members. Participate in the funeral as much as possible by planning a personal service that reflects your loved one's life. The best way to begin the healing process is with a meaningful funeral, where you experience the support of others also share your loss.
Can you help us with sending memorials to the funeral?
Yes, we can provide contact information for a local florist and memorial gifts.
What is the purpose of a vault?
Outer burial containers enclose the casket and support the weight of the earth. Many are also designed to prevent water from entering the casket. Although no law requires a burial vault to be used, some cemeteries may need some outer enclosure.
What is a cremation?
Cremation is a process in which intense heat transforms the body back to its essential elements. The body, enclosed in a container approved for cremation, is placed in a cremation chamber. The soft tissue is vaporized. What remains is not ashes but bone fragments weighing from three to nine pounds on average. This is what is contained in the cremation urn.
What is a memorial service?
A memorial service commemorates the deceased without the remains being present. Although the body is not present during a memorial service if a body is available a viewing may be held beforehand. Just as in a funeral, the body may be buried or cremated. Because the body is not present at the memorial, disposition may occur before or after the service. You can hold a memorial service instead of a funeral or in addition to it. For instance, you might have a funeral in the town where the person lived and died and a memorial service later in the town where he/she grew up.