The loss of a life close to you is a painful, emotional experience that requires time to grieve, accept and heal. So, if you are tasked with planning their funeral, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. Neil Ferguson, Director of Flaura Funerals in Somerset West, and Ken Swanson of Tygerberg Funeral Directors provide insight to guide you in the process.
At the time of death
The first step depends largely on the circumstances surrounding the death. If a loved one passes away at home, Neil advises there's no need to rush to call a funeral home, and in fact, it's common for loved ones to remain in the home for up to 24 hours, if the family wishes. ‘My advice is to take as much time as you need to come to terms with the loss and only when you are ready do you call the undertaker. This time is your opportunity to bid farewell to your loved one in peaceful surroundings.’
Natural causes at home
- Call the undertaker - they will take the deceased to a mortuary.
- A doctor will complete a Notice of Death there.
- Should you have a doctor who was treating your loved one (and gave you permission to call them in the event of their death), you can ask them to come and confirm the death.
- Contact the police. In this case, the deceased would have to be taken to the state mortuary.