Since the majority of deaths occur in an organized health care institution such as hospitals and nursing homes, the attending staff will likely provide you with some preliminary information. If the death occurs at home, please notify the attending physician or registered nurse (if the death was unexpected or if there are any irregular circumstances, phone the Police immediately). If the deceased was under hospice care at home, hospice should have given you some basic information and guidelines to follow. Regardless of the circumstances leading up to a death, our guideline will help you along the way.
Step One: First Contact
- If the death took place outside of a healthcare facility, contact a Doctor, Nurse, Hospice aid, or Coroner/Police (if necessary)
- Contact our Funeral Home by phone at 306-773-8355 – we are available 24 hours a day.
- When you call, there are a few initial questions we will ask:
- What is the full name of the individual who died?
- Where did they die? Are they still at that location?
- What is your name and your contact information?
- Are you the next of kin?
- If you are not the next of kin, who is and what is their contact information?
- To the best of your knowledge, did the individual have a pre-arranged funeral plan?
- At this point in time, if you would like, we can set up an appointment time with you and your family to meet with us to make arrangements.
Step Two: Completing Arrangements
- If an appointment time was not set during our first contact, we will do so now. Let us know when it works best for you and your family to come to the funeral home (or we can meet you at your residence or alternate location if it is more convenient) to complete the details of the arrangements.
- For the arrangement meeting, we will ask you to have information and items that we need to complete the arrangements such as:
- Vital Statistical information for your loved one including:
- Date and place of birth (city/province/country)
- Current Address and postal code
- Parents names, including mother’s maiden name
- Parents place of birth (city/province/country)
- Marital status and spouse’s full name
- Employment History
- Provincial Health Card Number
- Attending Physician
- Pre-arrangement documentation (if applicable)
- Cemetery plot papers (if applicable)
- A recent photograph
- Clothing for your loved one
- Deciding on a location for the services – this can be at our facility, your church/place of worship or another facility that is appropriate
- Contact the Clergy/Celebrant/Officiant who will be presiding at the service
- Set a start time for the service
- Identify family/friends to serve as pallbearers – people in poor health can be named as honorary pallbearers
- Identify family/friends to serve as ushers
- Identify family/friends to serve as musicians
- Identify family/friends who would wish to share a tribute(s)
- Choose the disposition for the deceased either burial or cremation
- Compose the obituary/life history. Either with our assistance or on your own if you wish (there is no additional fee for this service) – the information can include: a photo, age, place of birth, list of surviving family members, list of predeceased family members, employment, education, memberships, military service, hobbies, activities and any other stories or bits of information that make your loved one special and unique. The details of the service, donations to a particular charity (if desired) – this we will add to the end of the obituary and post it on our website, plus submit it to any appropriate newspapers (if desired)
- Determine the number of Funeral Director Certificates of Death you will need and we will issue them to you. You may also require a Provincial Death Certificate, which would need to be ordered.
Step Three: After the Arrangements and Before the Service
- Prepare a list of family, friends and co-workers to be notified – we will provide you with an email to be sent to them with all of the service and obituary information
- Notify all organizations such as church, groups and associations – we will provide you with an email for this purpose as well
- We will have provided you with a notebook to keep a record of visitors, flowers, meals and other gifts that are delivered – this will be useful when you want to send “Thank-you” letters/cards
- People will often mention to you “Please let us know if there is anything that we can do” so be prepared (and don’t feel selfish) to accept this generosity – make a list of items and tasks such as meals (remember any food allergies), household chores (including cleaning or mowing the lawn or shoveling snow) and transportation (for out of town family or friends or even picking up kids from school) – again don’t feel selfish accepting this help, your friends want to help but usually don’t know what to offer
- Arrange for child care (if necessary) although we strongly suggest that all family members be present at the service
Step Four: After the Service
- At the time of arrangements we will have given you a guide book called “Post Care Guide”. This has a list of a number of different agencies you may need to contact including but not limited to:
- Notifying the bank/financial institution of the death
- Notifying insurance companies
- Contacting the lawyer if necessary
- Canada Pension Plan (forms were also included), and other pension plans
- Cancel credit cards, driver’s license, and health card
- Create a list of people and organization to send thank you cards to – consider sending a copy of the memorial folder to those who were not able to attend the service – we will provide you with 20 thank you cards, let us know if you need more
- We will provide every family with an aftercare package. We will give special consideration to surviving spouse, live-in care giver and parents (in child death), thus keeping in touch with them for a year after the service. Our desire is for our last contact with you not be the bill.
If you have more detailed questions on what steps to take next or if you are ready for us to assist you, call 306-773-8355 any time, day or night – we are here to help you.