What should I do when a family member has died?
If the death is expected because the deceased has been ill for some time, the first thing the family should do is call a General Practitioner. The GP will need to visit the deceased and give an official declaration of death. If the person is to be cremated, the doctor who has been treating them needs to issue two certificates after death. One is the “Certificate of Cause of Death”, and the second is a cremation form. Alternatively, if the deceased is to be buried, then only the “Certificate of Cause of Death” form is needed.
The next step for the family is to call Rosetown Funeral Home to begin making the appropriate arrangements. In most cases, the funeral director will not transfer the deceased from the place of death until the attending doctor has issued the required documentation. Occasionally, the doctor is unable to sight the deceased at the time because they are away, off duty or otherwise unavailable. If this is the case, they may give permission for the funeral director to transfer and arrange to view the deceased later.
How much does a funeral cost?
As every funeral is different, costs can vary considerably from one funeral to another. This is obviously due to requests made and service arrangements chosen. Asking how much a funeral costs is similar to asking ‘how much is a new car?’ Therefore, it is important to have some idea of the service you are wanting before asking for estimates. For families who are ringing different funeral homes, we recommend getting prices based on the same services, so they can compare relevant estimates.
Will Rosetown Funeral Home provide a cost estimate?
Yes, Rosetown Funeral Home can provide cost estimates without any obligation.
Who chooses between burial and cremation?
When it comes to burial or cremation, the wishes of the deceased are generally followed (if made in writing). If their wishes are not known, it will then become the decision of the executor and/or family.
Is embalming necessary?
Although embalming is currently the common practice in New Zealand, it is often not actually required. At Rosetown Funeral Home, we try to avoid unnecessary embalming. Occasionally however, we will go ahead with embalming as per the family’s wishes. This is usually because people wish to have the deceased at home for a period of time, or there are time delays for viewing and/or the funeral service. We make sure to discuss all options with each family, and make these decisions together on a case by case basis.
If a death occurs in the night, do I have to call the funeral director immediately?
No, you do not. In fact, people often choose for the deceased to stay at home for a while, giving other family members a time to say goodbye. If you wish, we can come to the home and ensure the deceased looks as good as possible for those wishing to spend time with them.
Why is the Coroner involved?
A coroner becomes involved when someone has died unexpectedly. It may be due to an accident, suicide, or being found dead without prior illness. In these cases, the death is referred to as a ‘coroner’s case’ and is immediately reported to the Police.
If an ambulance is called and attends the scene, it is the responsibility of the ambulance staff to notify the Police. Once the Police have attended and an official identification of the deceased has taken place, a Police doctor will be called in to officially confirm the death. The Police will then contact the area’s duty funeral director to transfer the deceased to a mortuary, where a post-mortem (or autopsy) will be conducted.
At this point, it is then up to family to choose their own funeral director to continue with the arrangements. There is no obligation to choose the Police contracted funeral director. The chosen funeral director will then arrange to transfer the deceased to the funeral home.
May the family choose the casket?
Yes. At Rosetown Funeral Home, we offer many caskets in a range of different styles. When selecting a casket, you should take three things into consideration. These are: practicality, affordability, and what you regard as a fitting tribute to the one who has died.
In cremation, what happens to the casket?
It gets cremated too. The process of cremation is something people often wonder about. It comprises of the casket, with the body inside, being placed in a cremator, which is like a very large metal box about the size of a small car. In some places it is possible for families to watch the casket being put into the cremator. The process of cremation takes place under very high temperatures, and generally takes between two and four hours. There is room for only one casket, and the ashes are taken from the cremator before it is used again, ensuring there is no chance of the ashes being mixed with others.
After cremation, the ashes are cremulated, or broken up. They are put into a simple container, usually made of plastic, which is about 30 centimetres long, and 15 centimetres deep. These containers fit into the urns we offer.
Should children attend funerals?
Dealing with the death of someone close is hard at any age. When a loved one dies, it affects all members of the family, including children and teenagers. It is also important to remember that younger family members often express grief differently to adults.
When you are grieving yourself, it is especially difficult to watch a child struggle with the pain of loss. While we can’t ultimately fix grief or protect young ones from it, there are some things we can do to make a difference. While we should encourage them to be involved however, the decision to attend the funeral or not should ultimately be left up to the child.
Can I plan a funeral in advance?
When it comes to funerals, many of us don’t like to think about them, let alone plan for them. Today more and more people are realising it makes a lot of sense to pre-arrange their funeral or join a pre-payment plan. This gives peace of mind that your wishes are known, and you have made arrangements for them to be carried out.