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Gregory A. Vaitl, Supervisor

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A Death Has Occurred. What Do I Do Next?

The overwhelming feelings of despair, disbelief, shock, and numbness caused by the passing of a loved one cannot be conveyed by mere words. Even when the death is expected, the pain that loss brings can still be devastating. In truth, no one is completely prepared for the death of someone close to their heart. 

During this difficult time, there are decisions to be made immediately, arrangements to be coordinated, and a lot of things to be considered for your loved one’s final farewell. We understand how this may feel overwhelming, especially with the grief you’re feeling over the loss. Please know that we are here to help and support you. On this page, we’ve put together helpful information to guide you through this process. 

NOTIFY PROPER AUTHORITIES  If your loved one passes away while under the care of a facility — such as a nursing home or a hospital — staff from the facility will contact you and notify appropriate authorities themselves. If the death occurred in the workplace or at home, you will need to get in touch with his/her physician or emergency medical personnel, as the cause of death must be identified and indicated in legal documents. In the event that no one was present at the time of death, you will need to contact the police before moving the deceased to another location. 

CALL THE FUNERAL HOME  Our caring funeral director can assist you with your funeral arrangements. We will collect information from you in order to facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility. You would also be asked if the deceased has made pre-arrangements and whether or not you’d like for him/her to be embalmed. While of course you can ask any questions you have in your mind during this call, note that once you visit the funeral home, we can discuss the arrangements in greater detail. During this call, you’ll also be informed about the things that you need to bring with you like the clothes your deceased loved one will use for the burial. Feel free to call us whenever you feel the need to. Remember that we are here to listen to you, help you, and guide you during this difficult and trying time.

IS CREMATION AN OPTION?  Cremation is always an option at Christman's Funeral Home. We can assist you with funding the cremation cost and show you options that can include urns and cremation jewelry. Are the cremations completed near me? Yes, your loved one will be cremated locally because peace of mind is one of our primary goals. 


Should I Prearrange? What Do I Do Next?

Why is having the talk of a lifetime important? Although we might have daily conversations with our loved ones, the most meaningful and deep ones don’t always happen. Having this kind of conversation can make a huge difference — it can help us see our loved ones in a different and more positive light, it can teach us valuable lessons, it can give us a clearer picture of the things they love, it can bring us closer together, and it can help us reaffirm to them how much we love them.

Who should have the talk? We could have the talk of a lifetime with anyone we value, cherish, and love. It could be our grandparents, our parents, our siblings, our uncles and aunts, our cousins, our spouse, our children, our grandparents, or our friends. It also doesn’t have to be done only when we feel we are or someone we love is at the end of their life. We’ll never really know what the future holds, so let us take the opportunities we still have with them while we still can.

How do we start the talk?  We shouldn’t really wait for a special moment to start having these kinds of talks. We can do it anytime and anywhere, when we and our loved ones are comfortable — at home while we’re having meals together,out for a walk, gathered as a family, or playing games. We could also sometimes start with visual prompts, like a photo or an entire photo album, a memento, or a souvenir. We can open up about past experiences while we’re at memorable place, such as a church, a favorite restaurant, or an old park. These can be great ways to start a story. 


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