WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEONE DIES?
Depending on the circumstances, what to do and who to call in the first instance will be determined by the way in which the person has died. The following is our general guide.
An expected/’natural’ death in a hospital, care facility or at home:
When a person is expected to die and passes away at home, the first professional person to call is usually the treating doctor or palliative care nurse. In this situation, and generally within one to two days from notification, the doctor will issue a legalised Medical Cause of Death Certificate. If a person has died in a hospital or care facility, the nurse or staff member in charge will assist you with immediate arrangements. The medical staff and funeral director will both liaise and organise to obtain the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death by the treating doctor. (It is a legal requirement for the Funeral Director to obtain this document).
There is no 'set' time in which to contact a funeral director, although this can be governed by the time requirements of the facility your loved one has died in.
Or perhaps you may wish to spend further quiet time with your loved one. Whenever the right time is, we are here to support our client families in any way we can, in order to bring their relative or friend into our care with the greatest of respect and support.
We understand that this time can be traumatic and overwhelming, and as such there is no requirement to rush into immediate decisions relating to the funeral. In fact it’s a good idea to give yourself time to think about the funeral and how to best serve the needs of the deceased and your family.
We encourage and support our client families in doing whatever is right for them.
An unexpected, accidental or traumatic death:
In suspicious circumstances, suicide or cases where a doctor is unable to determine the cause of death or the deceased dies outside of a hospital or nursing home, it is necessary for family or medical staff to notify police who will attend and co-ordinate for the deceased person to be transferred to the Coroners Office.
The Coroner will make an assessment into the cause of death, which may or may not involve various tests including the possibility of a post mortem examination. In this situation the deceased person must remain with the Coroner until a clearance has been obtained by the funeral director.
Please contact us as soon as possible to assist in liasing with the Coroners Office and to commence with funeral arrangements and bringing your loved one into our care.
ARRANGING A FUNERAL
FUNERAL PLANNING AND VENUE CHOICE
If your loved one had definite wishes, then in most situations it is important that the funeral is in line with these wishes. Whatever the case, modern day funerals or life celebrations may vary considerably, without necessarily having any compulsory rituals or traditions, or with the funeral being held in a particular place.
We respect and cater to the needs of our diverse multi-cultural society and realise that every family and deceased person is unique.
Nowadays there is certainly no such thing as a ‘typical’ funeral.
People are seeking greater choice and affordability, with funerals of a different style. Examples of this are home funerals or perhaps a private cremation followed by a memorial service or gathering at a later time. We have assisted families in having wonderful memorial celebrations in their family home.
Particular locations or themes may be desired, to honour and reflect the life of the person who has passed.
We assist in every way possible to help individuals and families in having a funeral of their choice and at their chosen venue. This may be in an outdoor location, church or other religious facility, sporting venue, club, other beautiful venue, family home or in one of Melbourne’s wonderful crematorium chapels or reflection spaces.
Some points to consider when choosing a venue are:
- how many people may need to be accommodated?
- will funeral transport vehicles be required?
- is there adequate seating?
- is the venue easy to find?
- is there adequate parking?
- are there time restrictions in the use of the venue?
- are special facilities required, e.g. for catering purposes, audio- visual equipment usage etc.
We understand that for some, the choices are confusing and it may be difficult to make a decision. We will provide gentle guidance and support in helping you make the decision that feels right for your family and loved one.
FUNERALS BY WOMEN
We understand the sensitive cultural and personal issues that may arise in relation to the personal care of your deceased friend or family member. In some instances our clients request that only females attend to their loved one.
Should you so desire, we guarantee that only professional and trusted female members of our team will be enlisted, whether that relates to mortuary care, the funeral arrangement meeting or when possible on the day of the funeral itself.
Right from our initial consultation we are committed to understanding and meeting your needs with compassion and dignity.
FUNERALS FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN
Speaking from personal experience we believe there are simply no words to describe the loss of a baby or child.
We provide empathy and assistance and are here to support you at this difficult time.
As a guide our professional service fee for a private unattended service of a premature baby to a one year old infant, ranges in price from $850 to $990, depending on whether a cremation or burial (limited to location) option is chosen.
This fee includes:
- a funeral arrangement meeting at the place of your choice
- professional service fee including mortuary care and transfers
- cremation certificate and death registration
- if in the case of cremation, return of your loved ones ashes
- in the case of a burial, transport to the graveside and burial
Fees for funeral services for children will vary depending on certain factors including the age of the child (up to age 17), however will be provided at cost prices.
Additional costs may include:
- choice of coffin
- cremation fee
- floral tributes
- celebrant/clergy fee
- venue hire/chapel or church fees
- orders of service
- photographic tributes
FUNERAL SERVICE FORMATS
There are a multitude of ways in which a funeral may take place.
Generally the preferred option is to choose a service that will honor and ‘fit’ the person who has passed and family and friends who survive that person.
This may be a private or public event in a chosen place with the coffin or casket present.
In other instances a memorial service may be the preferred option with no coffin or casket present.
We will assist you in choosing the best option for both the deceased and living. We understand that in many cases financial, physical, emotional and religious factors may need to be considered.
WHO WILL CONDUCT THE CEREMONY?
It’s important to consider who may be best to conduct the funeral service and obviously this may depend on the wishes of the deceased.
This person/s may be a member of the Clergy, a Celebrant, friend or family member. It is desirable in some instances for a combination of chosen people to deliver the Ceremony.