- While alive we should do everything we can to stop the Grim Reaper Image via Wikipedia
It is Friday The 13th so we are going to cover unexpected death. Sometimes the Grim Reaper comes out of Nowhere and surprises us with unexpected death. Most of us have experienced this horrific surprise.
This was the exact scenario in the recent death of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens
A day above ground is better than a day below.
The person doing the post today is Gail Rubin She has a new book coming out in September: “A Good Goodbye:
Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die” I have previewed the book and it is one you should read.
Americans’ idea of “expected” death versus “unexpected” death is a lot like the classic Monty Python skit about the Spanish Inquisition. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”
“Expected” deaths, which happen in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes or hospice settings, still manage to seem “unexpected.” Whether a death is a complete surprise or not, here are a few things that happen on the way to a funeral.
The first call in an “expected” death goes to the primary doctor or hospice provider for the deceased, to facilitate pronouncement. Emergency room doctors can also record pronouncement. After the time of death is officially recorded, the body can be moved and preparations made for final disposition of the body. The second call would be to a funeral director, if previous arrangements have been made. If arrangements aren’t already in place, a boatload of decisions will need to be made under duress.
Chances are, you’d be in the same boat with an “unexpected” death, such as an auto accident, suicide, homicide, when a person under the age of 18 dies or a body is discovered under mysterious circumstances. A police officer, coroner or medical investigator will make the pronouncement to the best of their ability given the circumstances.
By health code, a body has to be processed within 24 hours – before decomposition begins – in one of four ways: refrigerate, embalm, cremate, or bury. Embalming and refrigeration give the family a few more days with the body before cremation or burial, allowing distant relatives to travel for a funeral. Both Jews and Muslims are prohibited from embalming and those religions dictate burial within 24 to 72 hours.
The funeral director or the Office of the Medical Investigator/Examiner (or coroner) prepares death certificates, with information completed by a medical certifier. You might be surprised at the information you need to supply about the deceased. In addition to their legal name, you need any AKAs (also known as), Social Security number, birth date and place, marital status at death, mother’s name prior to first marriage, military service discharge information, and more. If you’d like a full listing of information usually requested for a death certificate, drop me a line!
Gail Rubin, author of
The Family Plot Blog and A Good Goodbye:
Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die
Funeral industry|Funeral News| Funeral Blog by your Funeral Guy
The information in this Post Came From Gail Rubin, thanks Gail for the practical advice