When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends are usually confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral, all of which must be made quickly and under great emotional duress. Often people find themselves in a state of shock or numbness, not knowing what to do next. The following steps will guide you through the process of how to proceed when a loved one dies and will prepare you for what to expect as you are making funeral arrangements.
1.) Determine Who to Call First.
If someone dies unexpectedly at home, you will first need to call 911. The police and paramedics will come to your home and will either take your loved one to the hospital or if it is determined that death has already occurred, the police will work with the medical examiner to determine how to proceed.
If someone dies at home under hospice care, call the hospice nurse if he or she is not already present. The hospice nurse will be able to pronounce death and you will not need to notify the police.
If someone dies at a hospital or in a medical facility, the medical staff will usually assist you in calling a funeral establishment when your loved one is ready to be released.
2.) Call Austin Funeral & Cremation Services, (615) 377-0775.
We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When your family is ready, we will send someone from our staff to take your loved one into our care. During this initial phone conversation you will set up a time to make the funeral arrangements and decide if you would like your loved one to be embalmed. Embalming is not required, but always recommended if you would like to view the body or have an open casket visitation.
3.) Meet with Funeral Director to Make Arrangements.
Our directors would be glad to meet you in your home or a place that is convenient and comfortable for you. Or if you prefer, you may come to our offices in Brentwood. During this difficult time, it is important that you are in a place where you and your family are comfortable.
While making funeral arrangements, many decisions must be made. These decisions will relate to what type of funeral services you would like to have, the obituary notice, selecting funeral merchandise, and caring for the body of the deceased. Our funeral directors will compassionately walk you through these decisions, providing guidance and support each step of the way.
4.) Final To-Do’s.
- Select clothing (if your loved one is going to be buried).
- Gather pictures if you would like a video tribute created to keep or display at a service (video tribute example).
- Contact those you would like to participate in the service such as pallbearers or speakers.
- Ensure family members and close friends are notified about times of services.
- Make final arrangements with the cemetery (Nashville area cemeteries).
5.) Spend Time with Your Family and Friends.
The staff of Austin Funeral & Cremation Services will work diligently to carry out your wishes. During this time, it is important for you to be with family and friends. Share stories and pictures of your loved one. Allow others to support and comfort you. The same funeral director that met with you to make the funeral arrangements will be the first face you see at the service. He or she will guide you and your family through every detail of your service. Certainly, if you have any questions or concerns, please let your funeral director know.