Helpful information when dealing with the death of a loved one. Thank-you to the Michigan Funeral Director’s Association. Visit the web-site at http://www.mfda.org.
When Death Occurs:
SHARE YOUR GRIEF with a relative, a close friend, a neighbor, your clergy or even a stranger. Grief is a natural force. It is okay to cry but it is not a requirement. Crying is a release of emotions which some need and others do not. It is neither a measure of love nor the lack of it.
FUNERALS provide a time and place to face the loss of a loved one. They serve as a statement that the loved one has died and your life is now changed. Without this time, it is easy to deny both the death and the grief that follows. Funerals provide an opportunity for both the family and friends to say good-bye.
CHILDREN ARE PEOPLE TOO and excluding children who wish to attend a funeral only adds to the confusion they already feel. Instead, prepare them beforehand by discussing what they will see. Allow time for their questions and answer them honestly and briefly. After the funeral, information available from your funeral director can help in correcting any misconceptions they may have.
Things You Should Know
DEATH AT HOME
Sudden or unexpected death at home or other private residence when a physician is not present should be reported to the local law enforcement immediately. Do not disturb the body. When the police arrive they will notify the proper authorities for removal of the body. Let the police know your preference for a funeral home. Depending on the circumstances of death, it may be required that the remains be first transported to and/or released by the county medical examiner.
When death at home is anticipated, normally the patient is under hospice care. When the death occurs you should contact Hospice. Hospice will often facilitate many of the procedures. You may wish to contact the funeral home of your choice and have them make arrangements.
Michiganregulations state that bodies that are neither buried nor cremated within 48 hours of death should be embalmed for transportation purposes. There is no exception under this regulation for refrigeration, nor is a funeral home required to have refrigeration available.
Autopsies are performed, pursuant to State law, at the discretion of the county medical examiner when death occurs without a physician present or under suspicious circumstances. No family member may prohibit an autopsy by the county authority and no family permission is required. Any person with reasonable cause to believe that a death was not natural or accidental must report their suspicions to the local law enforcement and may request an autopsy by the medical examiner. Next of kin may grant or deny this privilege to the hospital where the death occurred.
Cremations may take place legally only after permission has been received from theCountyMedical Examinerto ensue that no criminal action is concealed by the destruction of physical evidence. Embalming is required for transportation purposes, if the cremation does not take place within 48 hours of death or if the deceased had certain communicable diseases. The funeral home and the crematory will require express written authorization from the next of kin.