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Knowing what to do when someone dies

When someone close to us dies, we can experience great sadness, stress and emotional strife. Grieving families are also faced with many decisions during this hard time, as there is often much to organise. None of us should ever go through this process alone, so it is essential to share our feelings and memories with family and friends. This creates a bond of compassion and respect, allowing us to cherish and honour the memory of the person.

The sharing process can help to lessen our suffering as we work through the grieving process.  Central to all of this is the funeral service itself.

What to do first

What to do first often depends on the location and manner of death.

  • If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the first thing to do is contact Rosetown Funeral Home to begin making arrangements.
  • If death occurs at home, the first person to call should be the doctor. If you are unable to get in touch with a doctor, give us a call and we can begin to guide you through the process.

When the Coroner is involved

The Coroner is a legal officer who may become involved in the funeral process. Appointed under the Coroners Act, their duty is to establish the cause of death in a particular set of circumstances.

The Coroner may become involved when:

  • A doctor is unavailable or unable to establish the cause of death
  • There is a sudden unexpected death
  • Death occurs from other than natural causes
  • There is an accidental death
  • There has been no recent consultation with a medical practitioner

The involvement of the Coroner is a totally separate procedure from the funeral, so it is worth noting:

  • It is still the family’s responsibility to organise a funeral
  • It is the family’s right to choose their own funeral director
  • There is no obligation to use the funeral director contracted by Police, used to transfer the deceased from the place of death to a public mortuary

In these cases, it is important that the deceased is not moved or disturbed in any way without the permission of the Coroner.


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