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Where to Start

Handling the death of a loved one is never an easy task. We've put together some of the important information you'll need to make the initial decisions, reach out to the appropriate people, and begin the process of designing your loved one's final farewell. Remember that, as you begin to cope with your loss, it's often a good idea to enlist the help and support of a trusted friend in making the necessary arrangements.

 

If you have any questions about your next steps, the options available to you, or what the funeral arrangement process will entail, we'd be honored to walk you through this information in more detail and answer your questions. Don't hesitate to contact us for anything you might need.

 

If you have any questions about your next steps, the options available to you, or what the funeral arrangement process will entail, we'd be honored to walk you through this information in more detail and answer your questions. Don't hesitate to contact us for anything you might need.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Should someone pass away out of town or state whose arrangements you will be responsible for, please contact us first to offer our guidance in making appropriate arrangements that are consistent to your wishes. We have colleagues and relationships with other funeral directors worldwide and can assist you with planning every necessary detail, saving you valuable time and resources.

 

Let's Get Started

Whether this is the first funeral you’re planning or not, we know the process can feel overwhelming. However, when you choose O'Connor Funeral Home, we’re here to help you every step of the way. We want your loved one’s funeral to be a time of peace and remembrance, not a time of stress.

 

Below we’re sharing how to get started on your loved one’s funeral from the moment they pass away.

 

The First Few Hours

If your loved one passes away in a healthcare facility, the staff there will notify the proper authorities, including their funeral home of choice if that was already specified.

 

However, if they die elsewhere, it’s important for you to contact emergency personnel right away. If you know their physician, it’s important to contact them as well.

 

After emergency personnel take care of your loved one’s body, they will help you get the necessary paperwork including a medical certificate.

 

This time is usually shocking and hard to accept. If you’re unsure of what to do, don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff.

 

The First Few Days

Though this part is tough, it’s important to notify relatives and close friends of your loved one’s death through phone calls and sharing your loved one’s death notice. Of course, it’s not up to you to reach out to everyone yourself. Ask a family member or close friend to share the burden.

 

Next, it’s time to meet with your loved one’s funeral home of choice or to select one yourself. If they had any preplanning completed, be sure to bring this up with the funeral director. However, if they did not preplan anything, then you need to start thinking about these choices:

 

    • Final disposition method. Burial, cremation, or something else?
    • If you choose burial, what casket?
    • If you choose cremation, what vessel or urn?
      • Also where do you want their ashes to remain?
    • Necessary religious services such as clergy members or spiritual leaders
    • What kind of service do you want?
      • Viewing, no viewing, graveside memorial?

 

A Network of Support

Your initial call with our funeral director will allow us to inquire about any prearrangements and gather the information we need to transport your loved one to the funeral home, but you can also feel free to ask any questions you may have and resolve any of your initial concerns. At later meetings you'll be able to discuss your arrangements in greater detail, but we're always available in your time of need to provide emotional support, a sympathetic ear, and careful guidance.

 

Know that, during your time of loss, your greatest resource will be loved ones who want to offer their assistance in any way they can. We encourage you to get in touch with relatives, neighbors, friends, clergy members or other spiritual advisors, and other trusted members of your community. They are often more than happy to prepare food, look after children, help with arrangements, or simply offer a kind word and open arms.

 

What is There Aren't Any Pre-Arrangements?

If your loved one has not specified any arrangements or preferences beforehand, there are some initial questions you will likely need to answer when you consult with your funeral home:

 

      • Should I choose embalming?
      • Do I need to purchase a casket?
      • Will I care for my loved one's physical remains through burial or cremation?
      • What sort of funeral or memorial service should I plan?
      • Are there any religious traditions or customs I need to plan for? Should I engage the services of a clergy member or spiritual leader?

 

These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Start thinking about your decisions, and contact us to gain a better understanding of your options and discuss what might be the most appropriate solution for your situation. We're here to make this process easier for you, and we can start by making sure that you have all of the information and guidance you'll need.

 

Meeting with Our Funeral Directors

When you meet with one of our funeral directors or staff to discuss your arrangements, you can anticipate the following:

 

      • First, we will give you a price list to give you an idea of what our products and services cost.
      • We will ask you to tell us a little bit about your loved one, so we can give them the most meaningful service possible. By sharing things like their life story, fondest memories, and big accomplishments, it gives us a good idea of who they were. Our team will use this important information to create a service that honors and celebrates your loved one.  
      • A few other things we’ll help you with include:
        • Scheduling the service
        • Preparing and filing the death certificate
        • Choosing an urn, casket, or other products
        • Writing an obituary
        • Arranging transportation
        • Choosing pallbearers

In order to make this process as easy as possible, please have the following information about your loved one with you:

 

      • Full name
      • Home address
      • Social Security number
      • Date of birth
      • Place of birth
      • Father’s name
      • Mother’s maiden name
      • Occupation
      • Highest education
      • Names and relationships of living family
      • If applicable:
        • Veteran’s discharge papers (DD-214)
        • Burial location
        • Clergy name and phone number
        • Insurance policy

For the obituary, please bring a high-quality, recent photo of them. Also, if you’d like a viewing, please bring us the clothing you want us to dress them in for the service.

 

 

John D. O'Connor Funeral Home | (412) 521-8116 | OConnorFH@aol.com
5106 Second Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15207


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