A Death has Occurred
If you were present during the final moments in a loved one’s life, then you’ve been fortunate. We believe that while nothing prepares you for being present at the death of a loved one, bearing witness to the death of a loved one can bring new insights into your own capacity for selfless love and caring, help you to renew or intensify bonds with other family members, find a new respect for siblings, or help in the healing of old emotional wounds. It is a priceless gift – but it’s one you may not truly value until much later.
So, Who Do You Call First?
Whether you were sitting right next to the bed, or was unfortunate to get a call at 2 a.m. with news of a death of someone you loved, chances are your first feelings were of “being numb” and confused. Call Graham Funeral Home (757) 382-7747 and we will take control and guide you over the next few days and weeks ahead.
When someone dies, what you do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When the death occurs in a hospital or similar care facility, the staff will usually take care of some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home you choose.
However, you – or a designated family member or friend – will need to notify others. We’ve found it will make it easier on you if just a few phone calls are made to other relatives or friends, where you ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people. In that way, the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you.
And if you are facing this situation alone, then ask a friend or neighbor to keep you company while you make these calls. In that way, you’ll be better able to cope with the first hours after the death.
One of the first calls which should be made is to a licensed Funeral Director. Naturally, we'd like you to call us. But whether you choose to trust one of our funeral professionals to care for your loved one, or select a different funeral home, you should know that the Funeral Director will help you:
Transport the body
Obtain a death certificate
Select a casket, urn and/or grave marker
Arrange the funeral, memorial and/or burial service
Prepare and publish the obituary
Don’t Forget to Call the Employer
Was your loved one employed? Then, you'll need to call his or her employer immediately, to let them know of the passing, and the resulting change in their staffing arrangements.
At some later point (most likely when the funeral is over), you should ask about the deceased's benefits and any pay, which is owed to them, including vacation or sick time.
Also ask if you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company. And, you might ask whether there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is, and how to file a claim.
Call the Life Insurance Company
If your loved one had a life insurance policy, locate the related paperwork. At Graham Funeral Home your Licensed Funeral Professional will contact the insurance company and ask how to file a claim. Usually the beneficiary (or the beneficiary's guardian, if a minor) must complete the claim forms and related paperwork and we will assist with all of this if your insurance company will allow, and there will be no additional fee to assist. Some insurance companies such as Federal Group Life Insurance Company, Civil Service and some group employer policies will only deal with the family. However should you need help in completing the forms we will be more than happy to assist.
Most claims require you to submit a certified copy of the death certificate and a claimant's statement to establish proof of claim.
For more information on what's involved with funeral planning click here or contact us.