Helping a loved one to pre-plan his or her funeral arrangements will take a lot of pressure off you and your family upon the person's passing, but you'll still have some things to do. If the person has opted for cremation, it's important to follow a series of steps soon after the person has passed away, regardless of whether the death has occurred at home or in the hospital. Here are three cremation-related steps that you will need to take after the passing of your loved one.
Notify The Funeral Home
In many cases, you'll have pre-planned the cremation with the help of a local funeral home. After your loved one passes away, you should call the funeral home and explain what has happened. If the death has occurred outside of normal business hours, you don't need to wait — funeral homes are often reachable 24 hours a day, meaning that you should be able to get in touch with the funeral director or someone acting on his or her behalf even in the middle of the night. You'll need to give the location of the body and wait for someone to arrive to pick it up for cremation.
Remove Certain Personal Effects
Before the funeral home employee arrives to pick up your loved one's body and transport it to the local crematorium, you should remove certain personal effects. While a crematorium employee can take care of this duty on your behalf, it's easy if you do it in advance, as this minimizes the risk of an item getting lost. For example, you may wish to keep the person's jewelry. Or, if the person is clad in an outfit that holds a special significance for you and your family, you may wish to change him or her into attire that doesn't matter as much.
Organize The Cremation Viewing
Some families favor being in attendance when their loved one is cremated. Being present during this occasion can provide the family with a degree of closure. If you wish to proceed in this manner, you'll want to think about which family members will be involved. You can then speak to the funeral home employee when he or she arrives and find out when the body will likely be cremated. Cremation doesn't always occur immediately, but it will typically be done within a short period of time. This will give you enough warning to arrange for those you wish to attend the cremation to make any necessary travel plans to be there.