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When Death Occurs

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.

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.




Within Hours

When a loved one dies at home or in a place that isn’t a healthcare facility, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel before they can be taken into our care. If your loved one was under medical care, it’s a good idea to call their physician as well.

If your loved one dies in a healthcare facility, they will notify the proper authorities, including the funeral home you have chosen to care for your loved one if they know that information.

Emergency and medical personnel involved in this part of the process will help you with obtaining a medical certificate and any other necessary paperwork.

This part of the process is often the most emotional, and we are here to help and support you. If you’re not sure what to do, call us any time.



Within the First Few Days

You’ll want to notify close friends and relatives, both through personal phone calls as well as your loved one’s death notice. If this process is too painful for you, it’s absolutely okay to ask a trusted family member or friend to help you.

This also is the time to review any of your loved one’s preplanned funeral wishes and meet with a funeral director to begin planning their service. If your loved one did not preplan their funeral, you might want to start thinking about a few of the big choices you will need to make, such as:

  • Burial or cremation
  • If burial, the type of casket
  • If burial, the location of their final resting place in a grave or mausoleum
  • If cremation, the type of urn
  • If cremation, the location of their final resting place through burial or scattering
  • Any religious services you will need, such as clergy or spiritual leaders
  • The types of services you want, such as a viewing, service, graveside memorial, etc.

 

These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Don’t hesitate to contact us to gain a better understanding of your options. We're here to make this process easier for you.




What to Expect When We Meet

When you meet with a member of our staff to discuss your arrangements, we'll first provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of what our services cost.

We'll then ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the services will honor. Use this time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved one's life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. Our professionals will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized, meaningful celebration of your loved one's life.

This process may include:

  • Preparing and filing the official death certificate
  • Scheduling the services and events (including the location, date, and time)
  • Selecting a casket, urn, or other products you may need
  • Drafting an obituary
  • Arranging necessary transportation
  • Selecting pallbearers

 

We'd like to make this process as smooth and stress-free for you as we can, so remember to bring the following information about your loved one with you as well:

  • Full legal name and home address
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Father's name
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
  • Highest education
  • Occupation
  • Information about the burial location if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information if using to pay for funeral expenses

 

Please also bring a recent photograph and any clothing you'd like us to use when dressing them 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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