When Death Occurs

No matter if a death is sudden, or if it is something that was a long time coming, 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 a heightened emotional state, even the most basic decisions can seem staggering.  The following is a rough guideline of what needs to be done within the first 24 hours after death.

When death occurs at home or a place of business

If the person was not under hospice care or in-home nursing care, the police will have to be notified immediately.  The police will be dispatched to the home and place the call to the coroner/medical examiner.  From there the coroner/medical examiner will determine whether further action is necessary.  The coroner/medical examiner must make a pronouncement of death and release the deceased over into our care before we can do anything.   If the person was under hospice care or in-home nursing care, contact the care representative if they were not present and they will notify family members what the proper procedures are to follow.

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

The staff of a care facility such as a hospital or a nursing home should notify you and the necessary authorities immediately after the death of your loved one has occurred.  If Chambers and Grubbs' name has been provided to the hospital or nursing home, they will be notified at the time of death.  If you are present at the hospital when our Director arrives, he/she will ask a few questions about the deceased wishes and set up a time to come into the funeral home to make arrangements, however, if you are not present our Director will contact you by telephone to discuss these arrangements.

Informing a Funeral Director

Once everything has been cleared with the proper authorities, the next call you place should be to us.  Our Funeral Directors are here to help you obtain a death certificate, transport your loved one, and in the event pre-planning was not done, select a casket/urn and arrange the funeral/memorial service.  We will also help you notify the employer and insurance company of the deceased to assist with those arrangements.  Our staff is here to help and advise you and will work very hard to relieve the stress and logistics involved in funeral planning.

Meeting a Funeral Director

You should meet with one of our Licensed Funeral Directors 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 task, especially when you are in a heightened emotional state, but, our professional funeral home staff have years of experience dealing with these issues, and strive to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Making Arrangements

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

  • Full Name and Address
  • Marital Status
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Date and City of Birth
  • Social Security #
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father’s Name, Mother’s Name (including maiden name)
  • Name of Spouse (if married or widowed)
  • Occupation and Employer
  • Veteran of Armed Services or not

The funeral director will also need pertinent documents required to do all the legal paperwork, those documents include:

  • Life Insurance Policies or name of company and policy #
  • Clothing for deceased including undergarments (if viewing desired)
  • Discharge paperwork for Veterans (DD-214)
  • Cemetery deed/paperwork (if applicable)
  • Favorite photograph of deceased
  • 2 to 3 recent photographs of the deceased for cosmetic purposes (if viewing desired)
  • Jewelry (if desired, can be removed & given back to family at conclusion of services)
  • Glasses (if desired)
  • Rosary or crucifix (if applicable)

If no pre-planning has been done, 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
  • Arranging a cemetery plot
  • Preparing an obituary notice
  • Scheduling transportation arrangements

A Licensed Funeral Director will guide you through these steps as well as listen to  your thoughts and ideas and give input on how best to create a memorable service for your loved one.  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 us to assist you in honoring the life of your loved one.