GENERAL INFORMATION > FAMILY EMERGENCY / FAQ

Nothing adequately prepares us for the initial shock of losing a loved one. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone. It is essential to reach out to close relatives, friends, and professionals for the help, support, and comfort you need. Notifying family & friends is always an important consideration in the initial tasks to be completed. Call immediate family members first, parents, children, brothers, sisters and grandparents of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about death immediately. Rely on others to assist you in notifying everyone; do not attempt to do this yourself. It not only helps others through the grieving process to have some responsibility, but also allows you to carry on with other tasks. Although it may be difficult, telling others of a death is therapeutic. Saying aloud that a loved one has died confirms the death in your mind - an important step in the grief process.

There is so much to be done in what seems like so little time. The emotional impact of death understandably makes it difficult to focus on the details that go into organizing a funeral. Clicking on the resource center will open a wealth of information and guidance to assist you through all of your needs.

  1. When death occurs at home, what should we do?
  2. If we are on vacation, and a death occurs what should we do?
  3. A death of a loved one has happened at the hospital, where do we turn?
  4. A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?


Question #1 When death occurs at home, what should we do?
Answer: If the death has been expected, the physician caring for the deceased will be able to pronounce the death. This is the person you should first contact. If the deceased was under the care of a hospice organization, you should call the hospice worker first who will make the necessary calls to the physician and the coroner. You can then call the Olson Burke/Sullivan Funeral and Cremation Center to take your loved one into our care and follow the personal wishes of the deceased.

If the death is unexpected, the police should be notified. They will in turn dispatch an officer and contact a local coroner or medical examiner who will then decide the level of investigation necessary to determine the cause of death. They will arrange to have the body transferred to the either a hospital or examination center if an autopsy is required. Our staff with then coordinate details with the examination center to bring your loved one into our care as quickly as possible. Once the body has been transferred and the examination complete you have the right to choose the funeral home you wish to carry out the deceased's final wishes. If after a preliminary examination and investigation it is determined no further inquiry is necessary, you may then call the funeral home of your choice to remove the body and carry out the deceased's final wishes.




Question #2 If we are on vacation and a death occurs, what should we do?
Answer:

If a death was to occur away from the home, i.e. during a vacation or a business trip, then we suggests that you do a few things first.

Call Olson Burke/ Sullivan Funeral and Cremation Center, and we will take care of making the necessary contact with a reputable firm in the area that the death occurred.

This action will avoid any possibility of becoming involved with a funeral home outside of your residential area that may care little about matters because they feel they will not ever deal with the family again. We are committed to acting as your agent, monitoring and avoiding any possibility of excessive, unnecessary or double-billing possibilities.

Contact the local police department and they will dispatch an officer to your location immediately so you will not be alone.

If the death was sudden and unexplained, your local police authorities will make the necessary call to the local coroner or medical examiner to attend to the place of death. A county medical examiner or coroner may be called.


Our staff will then coordinate details with the local funeral service firm in order to follow your loved one’s final wishes.

If you have not called your funeral director, you will have to consider doing so as the body will have to be removed by them or an authorized agent. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where police and or coroners have called a funeral home of their choice. While we will not speculate on the motives, often families find themselves being pressured by a funeral home that was called to the scene.



Question #3 The death of a loved one has happened at a hospital, where do we turn?
Answer: Whether or not you are present when the death occurs a health care professional will contact you and ask a few questions. Two of the questions you may be asked, you should be prepared for.

1. Which funeral service provider are you entrusting to take custody of your loved one's body?

2. Would you like an autopsy performed? Unless the deceased has died unexpectedly, you do have a choice in the matter. An autopsy is the thorough examination of the decedent's body, to understand and determine the cause of death or any factors that may have contributed towards the cause of death. The information resulting from an autopsy can help researchers in developing cures and medications to assist in the prevention of diseases. Autopsies are generally performed quickly, as to not interfere with the funeral process. However, you may experience some short delays and should check with the health care professional as to when you can expect the autopsy to be completed, if a delay could be of concern to you.

Question #4 A loved one has died in the nursing home, what should we do first?
Answer: If you have not called your funeral director, you will have to consider doing so as the body will have to be removed by them or an authorized agent. Regrettably, there have been circumstances where police and or coroners have called a funeral home of their choice. While we will not speculate on the motives, often families find themselves being pressured by a funeral home that was called to the scene.
    
Olson Burke-Sullivan
Funeral & Cremation Center
6471 N Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631
773-774-3333
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