A Death Has Occured
Receiving Notification of a Death
Whether you received a 2 a.m. phone call with news of an unexpected death or shared your loved one's final moments of a long illness, your initial reaction to the death was likely shock. It doesn't seem to matter how prepared we are - or aren't - a loved one's death often leaves us feeling numb and bewildered. If you're responsible for making the funeral arrangements or executing the will, shock and grief can be immobilizing. Even simple decisions can be overwhelming.
What to Do First
What to do first depends on the circumstances of the death.
When someone dies in a hospital or similar care facility, the staff will usually take care of some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home.
If the death occured under the supervision of hospice -in home or at a hospice facility - contact your hospice nurse or representative. They will usually take care of some arrangements, such as contacting the funeral home.
If the death occured anywhere other than in a hospital or similar care facility, or was not under the supervision of hospice, then the Coroner must be notified immediately. The telephone number for the Weld County Coroner's Office is (970) 392-4545 or you may call 911 and have them notify the coroner's office for you.
You will need to notify family, friends and clergy. It may be easier on you to make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people, so the burden of spreading the news isn't all on you. If you are alone, ask someone to keep you company while you make these calls and try to cope with the first hours after the death.
Call the Funeral Home
Whatever the circumstances of death, one of your first calls should be to the funeral home. We are here to help you anytime of the day or night. At Adamson, our staff answers every phone call personally - 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Your call will never be answered by a call center or answering service.
Once notified, we'll come to the place of death and take your loved one into our care. If the death occured outside our service area (approx. 50 miles) we will make all of the necessary arrangements to have them returned to us.
One of our Funeral Directors will contact you to schedule a time to meet with you and those you wish to assist you with the service plans for your loved one. The meeting is usually held at the funeral home, however, the director can come to you if you are homebound or otherwise not able to come to the funeral home.
The meeting will usually consist of gathering information needed to obtain death certificates and a permit to bury or cremate, obituary preparation, and scheduling and planning the service arrangements you wish to have.
Throughout the entire process your funeral director will keep you informed about the arrangements as they are confirmed and will give you his cell phone number so that you may have immediate access to him for questions or concerns.
His goal is to assist you in making this process as easy as possible for you.