- What do I do if someone dies?
If someone dies at a private home unexpectedly ring 000 without delay. Police will attend and direct events initially. If the death is expected, call the person’s regular doctor and the funeral director. The funeral director will take care of everything.
At a public hospital
If someone dies at a public hospital you should contact a funeral director as soon as possible. Most public hospitals have mortuary facilities, so the situation is not urgent.
At a private hospital or nursing home
Private hospitals do not usually have a mortuary, so it is important to call a funeral director without much delay so that your loved one may be transferred to a funeral home.
- Why do we have funerals?
Most humans view death as a mysterious end to the pain, grief, and happiness of life, and many societies, recent and historic have sanctioned ways to commemorate (and sometimes celebrate) death. A funeral service today provides an opportunity for friends and family to pay tribute to a loved one, to share his or her memories, and to honour that person’s life.
A funeral helps with the grieving process, invoking a rite that acknowledges our loss, gives us time for thanks and opportunity for celebration. It is a last farewell.
- Should we cremate or bury?
Religious beliefs and cultures often determine the answer to this question. If the wishes of the deceased are known, these should be followed. If no instructions have been left, then the immediate family or executor will make this decision.
- Should we have a viewing?
Viewing time with your loved one is an acutely personal decision. Viewing can help friends and family come to terms with what has happened, and offer a sense of peace. Some, however, prefer to remember their loved one as they once were.
- Should children attend the funeral?
This is another rather personal decision. It is necessary to think about the child’s age, and the relationship he or she had with the deceased. It may be easier for parents to attend a funeral without their children.