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.
Our caring funeral director can assist you with your funeral arrangements. We will collect information from you in order to facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility. You would also be asked if the deceased has made pre-arrangements and whether or not you’d like for him/her to be embalmed. While of course you can ask any questions you have in your mind during this call, note that once you visit the funeral home, we can discuss the arrangements in greater detail.
During this call, you’ll also be informed about the things that you need to bring with you like the clothes your deceased loved one will use for the burial. Feel free to call us whenever you feel the need to. Remember that we are here to listen to you, help you, and guide you during this difficult and trying time.
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 so you can decide what suits your family’s preferences and budget. You will be asked whether you’d prefer burial or cremation arrangements and optionally you would select a casket, schedule a time and date for the services, decide on the location of the burial, draft an 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.
A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including other vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician. In case your loved one died due to an accident, a coroner or the county medical examiner may prepare the form. If you feel that you need assistance in filing for this legal document with the state, we can help you. Certified copies of the death certificate can also be purchased at the same time. These certified copies are important when gaining access to bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, claiming for benefits due to the family (like the Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims), and transferring or selling ownership of properties.
Why have a Funeral?
Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family and friends with an atmosphere of care and support in which to share thoughts and feelings about death, funerals are the first step in the healing process. It is the traditional way to recognize the finality of death. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show their respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grieving process.
You can have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. Planning a personalized ceremony or service will help begin the healing process. Overcoming the pain is never easy, but a meaningful funeral or tribute will help.
What does a Funeral Director do?
What do I do when a death occurs?
The funeral home will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery.
When I call, will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good-bye, that’s perfectly acceptable. Your funeral director will come when your time is right.
WHAT TO SAY
Expressing sympathy to the family of the deceased can be challenging. Start by offering your condolences. If you feel comfortable, share a fond memory of the deceased. Sharing moments of joy from their life can provide solace to the grieving family. For instance, you could say, "I was deeply saddened to hear about Mary's passing. She was always an amazing friend to me."
WHAT TO WEAR
When attending a memorial service or funeral, opt for dark and subdued colors such as dark blues, grays, browns, or black. Keep your attire simple and conservative. Men are advised to wear a jacket and tie along with dress shoes, while women should choose a dress or a suit. Keep jewelry subtle and traditional.
When attending a funeral or service, strive to arrive on time and enter the venue quietly. If there are no ushers present, remember that the first few rows of seats are typically reserved for the immediate family and close friends. Acquaintances should find seating towards the middle or rear.
WHEN TO VISIT
Upon hearing about a death, it is appropriate for close friends and family to visit the bereaved at their home to offer support and condolences. This is often an overwhelming time for the family, and your assistance with tasks like child care, food preparation, receiving visitors, or service preparations can be immensely comforting. The funeral home is also a suitable place to visit the family and express your condolences.
Sending flowers is a meaningful way to express sympathy to the grieving family and offer comfort during this challenging time. Floral arrangements and plants can be sent to the funeral home for the services or directly to the family's home.
WHAT NOT TO SAY
Avoid making comments that downplay the loss, such as "It's probably for the best since he was suffering too much" or "I've been through the same situation myself." These statements do not provide comfort to the bereaved. Allow the family to discuss the cause of death if they choose to, and refrain from bringing it up yourself.
KEEP THE LINE MOVING
Visitation periods can be emotionally intense, especially when speaking with the family of the deceased. If there is a line to greet the bereaved or view the casket, be mindful of keeping the line moving. Once you have passed through the line, step aside to continue conversations or allow other guests to greet the family. Following the service, the family may be more available for further conversations.
MOBILE PHONE USE
During the service, it is essential to turn off or silence your smartphone completely. Checking your phone is noticeable and distracts those who are paying their respects. If you need to respond to a message or take a call, exit the service quietly.
Allowing children to attend memorial or funeral services can help them bid farewell to a friend or loved one. It is important not to force a child to go but rather encourage their participation in this tribute alongside the rest of the family. Before attending, explain to them what they might expect during the service.
This can be an emotionally draining time for the family. Providing food as a gift is a kind gesture that the family will greatly appreciate, as it alleviates the stress of funeral planning and mourning.
Remembering the children in the family is also a thoughtful gesture, as they often struggle during this time. Small gifts like stuffed animals or books are suitable choices.
Time is valuable, and helping with household tasks can ease the family's burden. Assisting with pet care, driving children to school, running errands, or offering help around the house are wonderful ways to support the family.
In addition to the bereavement services for the families we serve, we have provided some helpful grief support links below:
Webhealing.com, the first interactive grief website on the internet, offers discussion boards, articles, book suggestions, and advice for men and women working through every aspect of grief. The site’s founder, Tom Golden LCSW, has provided book excerpts and contact information to help those healing from loss.
Willowgreen offers support and information for those dealing with life transition & aging, illness & caregiving, loss & grief, and hope & spirituality. The site offers advice, products, and inspirational materials.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) website contains a Grief & Loss section with grief-related articles and information.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website provides a host of information and resources for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury and their caregivers.
The basic Military Funeral Honors (MFH) ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veterans' family and the playing of Taps. The ceremony is performed by a funeral honors detail consisting of at least two members of the Armed Forces.
The Funeral Honors rendered to you or your veteran will be determined by the status of the veteran. The type of Funeral Honors may be Full Military Honors, 7 Person Detail or a Standard Honors Team Detail.
At least one of the funeral honors detail will be from the Armed Force in which the deceased veteran served. Taps may be played by a bugler or, if a bugler is not available, by using a quality recorded version. Military Funeral Honor Teams may act as Pall Bearers if requested by the veteran/family.
Who is eligible for Military Funeral Honors?
Who is not eligible for Military Funeral Honors?
How do I establish veteran eligibility?
The preferred method is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. If the DD Form 214 is not available, any discharge document showing other than dishonorable service can be used. The DD Form 214 may be obtained by filling out a Standard Form 180 and sending it to:
National Personnel Records Center(NPRC)
9700 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63132
The Standard Form 180 may be obtained from the National Records Center or via the following web site: http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf
Is anyone else eligible to receive funeral honors?
Yes. Members of the Commissioned Officer Corps of the Public Health Service (PHS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as members of a Uniformed Service, are also eligible to receive funeral honors.
For NOAA personnel, eligibility is established using NOAA Form 56-16, Report of Transfer or Discharge. If the family does not have a copy of the NOAA Form 56-16, it may by obtained by contacting the Chief, Officer Services Division, NOAA Commissioned Personnel Center at (301) 713-7715. or by writing:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Commissioned Personnel Center
Chief, Officer Services Division (CPC1)
1315 East-West Highway, Room 12100
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
For PHS personnel, funeral honors eligibility is established using PHS Form 1867, Statement of Service (equivalent to the DD Form 214). If the family does not have a copy of the Statement of Service, it may be obtained by contacting the Privacy Coordinator for the Commissioned Corps at (240) 453-6041 or writing:
Division of Commissioned Personnel/HRS/PSC
Attention: Privacy Act Coordinator
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, VA may also provide a headstone or marker for graves that are already marked with a private headstone or marker. When the grave is already marked, applicants will have the option to apply for either a traditional headstone or marker, or a new device (available spring 2009).
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state veterans' cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.
Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.
Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country.
VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for:
Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.
Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 27-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
For More Information Call Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000