When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden, or if was a long term illness, the loss of a loved one makes us feel emotional and overwhelmed.  No amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the loss of a loved one.  When you are in this heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can be difficult. 

When death occurs suddenly

If the person was not under a hospice/palliative care, the police will need to be notified immediately.  A police officer will attend the scene as procedure warrants. The officer will then notify the family physician or the coroner on call to attend the scene to pronounce the death. Once the physician/coroner has attended the scene and completed a medical certificate of death the funeral home is then notified to come and transfer the deceased to the funeral home.  If the person was under hospice/palliative care, contact the homecare nursing service as they will advise family members of the procedures to follow.

When a death occurs at a hospital/nursing home/hospice facility

Once a staff member of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home has notified you  of a death of a loved one.  It important for your family to contact a funeral home of choice to advise them. The funeral home will set an appointment for your family to come in and speak with a licenced funeral director to make arrangements.  The funeral home will contact the facility where the death has occurred to make arrangements to have the deceased transferred to the funeral home for care.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should meet with a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to begin to make final arrangements for your loved one.  Deciding on these final arrangements may seem like a very daunting and overwhelming task, especially when you are in heightened emotional state. Professional funeral directors have years of experience helping families during this difficult time, and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

Funeral Director will gather information required for the death registration.  This includes:

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status (if married the date)
  • Date and City of Birth
  • Occupation
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Surviving spouses SIN#, Date and place of birth
  • Social Insurance #

The funeral director may also require pertinent items / documents, such as:

  • Health Card (some funeral home will return to OHIP)
  • Marriage Certificate & Void Cheque (C.P.P. Survivor)
  • Photo of the deceased
  • Clothing if required
  • Cemetery information
  • Last Will (possibly)

If no prearrangement has been put in place, necessary arrangements need to be made for the funeral service.  These include:

  • Scheduling the location, date and time of the visitation and funeral service
  • Selecting burial or cremation
  • Choosing Funeral Products
  • Ordering flowers
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing a newspaper notice
  • Selecting charitable donations
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A funeral director will guide you through all these steps, using your wants, needs and desires as a foundation to create a memorable funeral for your loved one. From here the funeral services can be personalized.  Did your loved one have a favorite sports team?  What was their favorite type of music?  What activity was your loved one known best for?  Recalling fond memories assists with the grieving process and will help honor the life of your loved one.