Facing The Practicalities and Concerns of Death: A Guide

We all know that death is inevitable and natural. It occurs for everyone. Yet, when the undesired strikes, we often find ourselves at a loss. No matter how much you might be able to expect the unexpected, many people tend to not know what to do when someone they know passes away.

When a loved one passes away, the grim reality is that none of us will be completely prepared to face the presence of death. Be it in the hospital or close to us in the comforts of our home, it is not an easy feat to approach death. During this period of grief and mourning, it can be challenging and exhausting to seek out information on what to do. With the passing of a loved one, there is a list of steps and actions needed to be done.

First things first, the cause of death has to be determined and subsequently certificated. If the person passed away in the hospital, the attending doctor will fill up the Certificate of Cause of Death (CCOD). Should the person pass away at home, you should call a doctor for house call who will then certify the cause of death. Deaths that happen in private hospitals and at home are to be notified to the authorities within 24 hours. They are to be registered in any neighbourhood police post or The Registry of Births and Deaths located at the Citizen Services Centre of the ICA Building. If the doctor is unable to determine the cause of death, the police has to be called in so that the body can be sent to the Mortuary @ HSA (Health Sciences Authority) in a police hearse.

A funeral director should also be called immediately. They will guide you through the steps and procedures, such as what to prepare and expect. The next of kin must provide both their ID and the ID of the deceased as well as the CCOD certificate to register the death. The next of kin must also decide on cremation or burial. They will have to choose a funeral home (assuming that the deceased person did not pre-plan or indicate their desired funeral home) and relay the information to the funeral director. Liaising directly with the funeral director is very important as this will ensure that the funeral services and arrangements will all go as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

They are experienced in dealing with all things related to funerals and death. Even if the person died overseas, they will assist in all the administration and work required to dealing with international authorities. Whether by land or by sea, your loved ones will be repatriated home as soon as possible so that a formal and meaningful funeral can be held.

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