General Question

Sunny2's avatar

What happens when someone dies?

Asked by Sunny2 (18817points) September 26th, 2012

What immediately needs to be done? Whom do you call? What do you do with the body? People in my family are at a point where they could die at any time. I realized I have no idea what the procedure is, should that happen.

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7 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Call 911 to have the paramedics come out to make sure. They’ll have a coroner come out if the person is dead, or they’ll take the body to the hospital. Or call the police.

You need someone to make sure the person is dead, and to verify that they died of natural causes.

Then you’ll be asked what to do with the body. You should know now what funeral home will handle it, and what the plans are- cremation, burial, service if any, etc. My parents had a whole list of things on file with a funeral home, so when my dad died there wasn’t any real decision making.

Shippy's avatar

It depends where they die of course, but like @zenvelo said funeral homes are very helpful.

rojo's avatar

What a great question. I hope people use this to get an idea of what happens and what to do. They don’t teach this kind of thing in school.

echotech10's avatar

When my grandmother died in 2005, she actually died about 20 minutes after she was transferred to hospice, and she died in front of me, but she stayed alive just long enough for me to say goodbye to her, and to thank her for evetrything she did for me, and to tell her i love her and to be nice to my father (her son) who died 18 years before her. I was her executor and was charged with the responsibility of making the “arrangements”. Fortunately for me, my grandmother was very organized. She wrote a letter that she kept on her desk in an envelope with my name on it, which had all of her instructions as to what to do with her when she passed away. Her funeral and burial was also pre-arranged, she had also prepaid for it. All I had to do was to call the funeral director when that time came, and get the final decisions made. I made those decisions based on her letter and her wishes. I also had to notify everyone as well, she had left me a list of people to notify, with their phone numbers. A difficult time was made less difficult because of her planning and foresight. Hope this helped.

hearkat's avatar

There’s actually an article about that in the October issue of Consumer Reports… I was just reading it yesterday.

Page 1:

Page 2:

gailcalled's avatar

Ten years before my mother died at 96, she got all her paper work in order, including Health Care Proxy and Living Will. Then, she and her 86-year-old boy friend began to hang out at the local funeral home…spent enough time there to have become on first-name basis with the funeral directo.

She picked out the plain pine coffin and the conditions (linen shroud, and even paid for the death notices in the NYT and the local paper. She already had a pre-plot next to my father’s in a near-by cemetery.

She was in hospice, in a unit attached to her staged-care facility. Everyone knew her and us. When she died, the staff called the funeral home and told us to let them know when we were ready. The paper work, death certificate, police, happened without anyone needing to bother us. My sister, bro-in-law and I stayed with my mother for an hour or so,, until we felt it was time.

Then the system took over. That was my mother’s last gift to us. In addition to a graveside ceremony, she requested a memorial service at her living facility. That was really nice. The average age was about 87, but everyone had good memories and told stories, some funny and some poignant.

ccrow's avatar

I would just like to say, if you are talking about people in hospice situation, they specifically told us NOT to call 911; the paramedics are legally required to try to resuscitate. Not doing any favors for someone who is terminal.

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