9700 Webb Chapel Rd.
DALLAS, TX 75220
Phone: (214) 350-9951
Fax: (214) 357-6824

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Pre-Arrangement

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Family Emergency

Nothing adequately prepares us for the initial shock of losing a loved one. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone. It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends, and professionals for the help, support, and comfort you need. Notifying family and friends is always an important consideration in the initial tasks to be completed.

Call immediate family members first, parents, children, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about a death immediately. Rely on others to assist you in notifying everyone: do not attempt to do this yourself. It not only helps others through the grieving process to have some responsibility, but also allows you to carry on with other tasks.

Although it may be difficult, telling others of a death it is therapeutic. Saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed in your mind - an important step in the grief process. So much is to be done in what seems like so little time. The emotional impact of death understandably makes it difficult to focus on the details that go into organizing a funeral. Also by clicking on the resource center on the home page, you open a wealth of information and guidance to assist you through all of your needs.

1. When death occurs at home, what should we do?
 
2. If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
 
3. A death of a loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
 
4. A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
 

Question #1When death occurs at home, what should we do?
Answer:If the person is on Hospice care, the hospice nurse caring for the deceased will be able to pronounce the death and this is the person you should first contact. The hospice nurse will call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and follow the personal wishes of the deceased.  
If the death is unexpected, the police (911) should be notified. They will in turn dispatch an officer and contact a local coroner or medical examiner who will then decide the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. They will arrange to have the body transferred to the either a hospital or examination center if an autopsy is required (at their cost). You may suggest to the coroner or medical examiner which funeral home you would like to make this transfer, however if you do not or they wish to use their own personnel, you are under no obligation to use the funeral home they choose.  Once the body has been transferred and the examination completed you have the right to choose the funeral home you wish to carry out the deceased's final wishes. If after a preliminary examination and investigation it is determined no further inquiry is necessary, you may then call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and carry out the deceased's final wishes.

Question #2If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
Answer:If a death was to occur away from the home, i.e. during a vacation or a business trip, then we suggest that you do a few things first.
Call us at the funeral home. We will take care of making the necessary contact with a reputable firm in the area where the death occurred.

This action will avoid any possibility of becoming involved with a funeral home outside of your residential area that may care little about matters because they feel they will not ever deal with the family again. When calling us, we can act as your agent, monitoring and avoiding any possibility of excessive, unnecessary or double-billing possibilities.

Question #3A death of a loved one has died at the hospital, where do we turn?
Answer:Whether or not you are present when the death occurs a health care professional will contact you and ask a few questions. Two of the questions you may be asked, you should be prepared for.

1. Which funeral service provider will you be releasing the body to, for transfer from the hospital?

2. Would you like an autopsy performed? Unless the deceased has died unexpectedly, you will have the choice. An autopsy is the thorough examination of the deceased body, to understand and determine the cause of death or any factors that may have contributed towards the cause of death. The information resulting from an autopsy can help researchers in developing cures and medications to assist in the preventions of such diseases. Autopsies are generally performed quickly, as to not interfere with the funeral process, however you may experience some short delays and should check with the health care professional as to when you can expect the autopsy to be completed if a delay could be of concern to you.

Question #4A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
Answer:If the person was under Hospice care, the hospice nurse will contact the medical examiner/coroner of the death and obtain their approval to release the body to the funeral home. If you have not already provided the hospice nurse with the name of the funeral home, you will need to do so. The hospice nurse will contact the funeral home to arrange having the body picked up.

If the person was not under Hospice care, the nursing home staff will contact the medical examiner/coroner who will then decide  the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. The medical examiner/coroner may arrange to have the body transferred to their facility for further investigation, or if further investigation is not necessary, they may release the body for the funeral home to pick up.

365 Days of Healing

Grieving doesn't always end with the funeral: subscribe to our free daily grief support email program, designed to help you a little bit every day, by filling out the form below.

52 Weeks of Support

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.