What Do We Do Now ?
If you have never had to do this before.....
If you have never experienced the death of a family member or friend then, initially, it can be daunting and somewhat confusing. Even though it will quite likely be an emotional time, try to remain calm. Firstly, if you are on your own perhaps you might call another family member for support and assistance.
If your loved one has passed away at home, in the case of an expected death from illness, you must still call their doctor immediately, if they are not already in attendance. They may then direct you to call the ambulance service or Home Nursing Service to attend if they are unable to attend themselves. Though it might seem odd, the police should also be notified. They will liaise with the health care professionals, discuss matters briefly with you and then, most likely, depart. Obviously if the death is unexpected or unexplained then, most definitely, you should call the police first. Once the police have gathered their information then it is up to family to contact the funeral company of their choice and they will attend and transfer your loved one to their premises.
Oceanview Funeral Services are available 24hours a day, seven days a week.
Taking care of your loved one is our priority regardless of the time of day or night.
Do I have to do all this in a certain timeframe?
To put it simply, families usually prefer a funeral be over as soon as possible. We appreciate that but we are also aware that acting too hasitly can cause people to overlook things that might be found later to have been of great importance. It also allows time for people to travel if need be, and they will need time to make arrangements at their end prior to the day.
When deciding on the day, time and location for the service, be sure you allow yourself enough time to consider and carry out all your preferred options.
Considerations that may require additional time:
- Relatives needing to travel from interstate or overseas
- Preparation of the eulogy or words of rememberence
- Preparing 'Order of Service' booklets for the church service
- Preparing powerpoint/slideshow presentations ~ very easy to take longer than expected due to the fact you are going through family photos and people start to reminisce
- Deciding which family members would like to or are able to do readings
- Allowing time for family to attend a final viewing
Information required when making arrangements
When a death occurs, there is a legal obligation to register the death with the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in that state. The Registrar asks for particular information as part of the process of registering the death. Whilst the Funeral Director supplies BDM with the relevent information on your behalf, they need your input of the correct information first.
Information to assemble before meeting to discuss arrangements:
- Date of birth and birthplace of the deceased, including Town/Province if born overseas
- Marriage details for all marriages (if any) - dates of marriages, names of previous spouses etc
- Children(s) names and birthdates - including any infants who may not have survived or any legally adopted children
- Parents' full names and occupations, including Mother's maiden name
- Date of arrival in Australia if born overseas
- Place of birth
What if we don't want a Service in a church?
If the deceased or their remaining family members attended a church or other place of worship, that would probably be the natural choice for the funeral ceremony to take place. Keep in mind most, but not all, members of the clergy appreciate the fact funerals are becoming more personalised and there are increasing requests to have the service performed by ministers at locations other than a church.
Optional venues for Funeral Services may include:
- The Chapel in the actual Funeral home itself
- A Crematorium chapel such as Woongarra Crematorium, Julago, Townsville
- Graveside at the cemetery (Belgian Gardens Cemetery, Townsville)
- A location of significance to the deceased eg. a rural setting, farm or beach house
- The Bush Chapel (outdoor setting)
- A private residence
- If required, a larger venue such as showgrounds hall or rugby park can be arranged if larger attendences are anticipated or to meet catering requirements
If clergy does not agree to conduct the service outside the church or if a non-religious service is requested, our Funeral Celebrant is available to officiate at the ceremony. A Funeral Service conducted by a Civil Celebrant has the same content as any other but without the religious element. We have always had such favourable comments about our Celebrant after the service is complete.
Some points to consider when choosing the venue for the funeral ceremony
- How many people can the venue seat? Is extra seating accessible if required / do we need to hire more from an outside source?
- Is wheelchair access available?
- Do you require special facilities, for example, video projection, room for musicians, television link-up to overflow rooms?
- Will the service be conducted completely in one location or move in cortege to the cemetery or crematorium?
- Can the venue facilitate on-site catering, if so, what are the costs?
- Is there adequate parking?
- Are there time restrictions in using the facility?
- Is the venue accessible in all weather conditions?
How can we make the Service special?
- By making the service as personal as possible. Try to carry out any wishes your loved one may have made, if known, by choosing a location/venue of importance for the Service. If they did not express any specific wishes, try to make decisions that you feel the deceased would be pleased with. We have conducted Funeral Services at Palleranda Beach, Queens Gardens, private homes, sporting clubs and various function centres a number of times. We also regularly make use of the Northreach Baptist Chapel on Canterbury Road in Kirwan.
- We collect signatures of those attending the Funeral Service then assemble a personalised Memoriam Book for the family. Under the circumstances, you can be forgiven for not noticing every person who attends and sometimes attendees might feel they are intruding and might not approach you at the Service.
- You are encouraged to place a framed photo of your loved one on the casket, or perhaps place objects that were of significance to them such as a fishing hat and/or rod, holy book, craftwork, tools etc. Larger objects such as a guitar or surf board may be placed to one side of the casket if desired.
- Having 'Orders Of Service' printed and handed to those attending is a practical keepsake.
- Engage organisations that the person was involved in, for example, the RSL, Surf Lifesavers, Lions Club or a sporting body. Some of these organisations have their own short ceremony that may be included, or you may like invite them to form a guard of honour or assist as pallbearers.
- The Cortege is the procession which moves from the Service to the cemetery or crematorium. It is led by the hearse containing the casket. You may ask that the procession pass a significant place, for example, the family home or place of business. When travelling in a cortege obey all road rules as standard.
- Personal touches may include favourite music being played, rose petals for family and friends to scatter, balloons for children to release or perhaps some final words or a poem may be read out by close family members or friends.
What exactly does the Funeral Director do?
The Funeral Director's role is primarily to take care of the recently deceased and arrange for their burial or cremation according to their wishes or beliefs and customs at the same time fulfilling the required legal obligations. Translated, that means we take care of all the details for you and your loved one, acting in most cases on your behalf. We save you from running around dealing with things you've never had to do before; it is most likely a very emotional time and you can not reasonably be expected to be thinking clearly. It is at this time we meet initially to make the arrangements to determine what is to be done and how it is to be carried out. We will guide you through the steps one at a time, and are available anytime, should you feel you need to check on anything or have changed your mind about something.
- Provide staff to arrange funerals locally, interstate and arrange overseas transfers when required
- Available 24 hours a day every day of the year (no exceptions for public holidays and we do not charge extra if we are called on those times)
- Arrange for deceased’s transfer to our funeral home after liasing with necessary agencies (ie Police, Coroners etc)
- Co-ordination with clergy or civil celebrants to conduct service
- Preparation and placement of press notices locally, interstate and overseas
- Provide mortuary care for the deceased
- Dressing of deceased in preparation for viewing
- Use of private viewing room
- Ordering of family floral tributes for casket and/or church
- Arrange catering supplies and delivery to venue of your choice
- Liaison with and fulfilling the requirements necessary for Returned Servicemen Services
- Arrangement of grave or crematorium requirements
- Provision of Hearse and Mourning Coach if required
- Collection of all Medical Certificates required ~ local or Coronial
- Completion of Death Registrar's requirements
- Ordering of Death Certificate
- Collection and storage of cremated remains
- Interment or burial of cremated remains when requested
- Provide guidance on all matters concerning the funeral
The link below provides the family with a variety of casket options. For further information please ask our friendly staff.
Our aim is to relieve you of as much work as we can so you may then focus of being with family and working through your grief together.