What do we do when someone dies?
We understand that planning a funeral can be a very difficult experience. The team at Potter’s Field Funerals endeavour to make your experience as stress free and supportive as possible. Here are some guidelines to help you along the way:
- If a death has occurred at home (medical/palliative) you will need to notify the Doctor or Nurse in charge of the care of your loved one. The death will need to be certified by a medical practitioner before organising to have the deceased transferred to a funeral home.
- If an accidental or unexpected death has occurred you will need to contact the police and/or ambulance as the death will most likely need to be investigated by the Coroner.
- If a death has occurred at an aged care facility or hospital, the staff will assist you with instructions as to how to proceed.
- If you have not done so already, now is the time to choose the funeral company you would like to assist with your funeral arrangements. If you’re unsure, we recommend calling a small selection of funeral care providers to compare the quality of their services and pricing structures.
Your funeral director of choice will then organise to bring your loved one into their care and discuss a suitable time to make arrangements
Should young children attend a funeral service?
There is no definitive answer to this question which can cause such worry for so many parents and families; no right or wrong. It is actually a decision which is most often based on cultural traditions: some not only welcome children of all ages, but it is such a part of the fabric of their funeral ceremony, that their loved one spends time at home prior to the service itself so that all members of the extended family can gather around the open coffin or casket and pay their last respects in the most intimate way.
For those to whom this practice would feel strange and uncomfortable, it is important that they make the decision which they feel is right for them and a funeral director can guide and support them through this process if necessary; no right or wrong, just what’s the best for each child and each family.
How quickly do I need to decide on a funeral? What if I don’t feel ready straight away?
Death is an incredible difficult trauma to deal with. There are some religions and cultures that demand burial or cremation within a very short timeframe and that is always well known within the family and community so is a very straightforward process.
If there are no strict cultural or religious traditions to uphold, and the deceased has not prepaid or pre-arranged a funeral service or made their wishes known, it is the next of kin and those who loved them who have to make the decisions of where,when, burial or cremation in an unfamiliar, emotional and exhausting context. Once a loved one is in the care of a funeral director, they can be cared for while these decisions are made. Each funeral service and each family’s circumstances are different; sometimes, time is of the essence, other times, a delay of a week or more is essential, determined by: the availability of venues, clergy, celebrants, family and friends who live far away. Open discussion with your funeral director about your specific needs will ensure that the service for your loved one will be the farewell you want it to be and honour their lives in the most appropriate and fitting way.
How can I be sure that the cremated remains are really my loved one?
This is a question we often hear: it will be your loved one.
There are very strict procedures in place to ensure that mistakes are not made, right from the time of transfer into our mortuary, the check made by a second doctor in the mortuary, the checks by staff before the service and at the crematorium before the cremation takes place.
Does the hospital or doctor give me the death certificate?
The doctor or hospital is required to write a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and lodge the certificate with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. A copy of that certificate is provided to the funeral director, not the next of kin and is given to the crematorium for a cremation, and to the cemetery for a burial, along with the required documents signed by the next of kin. The funeral director can provide a copy to the family if they request it.
How do I obtain the death certificate?
The funeral director lodges a Death Registration Form which contains the personal information required for the death certificate with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages following the funeral. The registry will process the application and post the certificate directly to the next of kin, listed on the form as the informant, within 4-6 weeks. If your loved one’s death was reported to the coroner, the certificate will be issued approximately 12 weeks after the funeral.