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At-Need

WHO TO CALL FIRST?

Whether you received a 2 a.m. phone call with news of an unexpected death or shared your loved one's final moments of a long illness, your initial reaction to the death is likely to be shock. It doesn't seem to matter how prepared we are - or aren't - a loved one's death often leaves us feeling numb and bewildered. If you're responsible for making the funeral arrangements, shock and grief can be immobilizing. Even simple decisions can be overwhelming.

Making the first phone call

What to do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When someone dies in a hospital or similar care facility, the staff will usually take care of some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home you choose, and if necessary, arranging an autopsy. You will need to notify family, friends and clergy. It may be easier on you to make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people, so the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you. If you are alone, ask someone to keep you company while you make these calls and try to cope with the first hours after the death.

Call a funeral director

Whatever the circumstances of death, one of your first calls should be to a licensed funeral director. No matter the time of day or night, we are here for you.

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