When a 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 at Kern Funeral home will guide you through this information in more detail and answer your questions. Don't hesitate to contact us for anything you might need.

 

Within Hours

When a death occurs at home or in the workplace, you'll need to contact emergency personnel or your loved one's physician if he or she was under medical care. If no one else was present when the death occurred, you'll also need to notify the police before the deceased is moved to a secondary location.


When a death occurs while your loved one is in a hospital, care facility or hospice program, the professional staff there will notify you and contact the appropriate authorities. If you've already given them the name of our funeral home, they will contact us as well.

 

If you're ever unsure of whom you should notify or what your next steps should be, please call us for assistance in determining the appropriate course of action for your particular situation.

 

Within the First Few Days

The next steps involve registration of the death, and the processes and documentation involved depend upon the circumstances. We at Kern Funeral Home will help to guide you through obtaining a medical certificate and the appropriate registration procedures.

 

After you've taken care of the initial necessary arrangements, you'll want to notify friends and relatives of the death. If it is too painful for you to do this yourself, it's absolutely okay for a trusted friend to make the call in your place. Now is the time to review any prearranged wishes or plans your loved one may have put in place, and meet with us to discuss your options to begin the process of designing a funeral. Kerns will also assist in writing a death notice or obituary to notify those in the community of your loved one's passing.

 

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have about what you need to do, even if your concerns aren't directly related to the funeral. We're well-versed in all topics relating to the loss of a loved one, and we'd be honored to provide you with answers, advice, and guidance in your time of need.

 

A Network of Support

Know that, during your time of loss, your greatest resource will be loved ones who want to offer their assistance in any way they can. We encourage you to get in touch with relatives, neighbors, friends, clergy members or other spiritual advisors, and other trusted members of your community. They're often more than happy to prepare food, look after children, help with arrangements, or simply offer a kind word and open arms.

 

Grief & Healing

 

What If There Aren't Any Prearrangements?

If your loved one has not specified arrangements or preferences beforehand, there are some initial questions you will likely need to answer when you consult with our funeral home:

 

  • Will I care for my loved one's physical remains through burial or cremation?
  • Should I choose embalming?
  • What sort of funeral or memorial service should I plan?
  • Are there any religious traditions or customs I need to plan for? Should I engage the services of a clergy member or spiritual leader?

These questions are just a starting point, and you don't need to know the answers right away. Start thinking about your decisions, and contact us to gain a better understanding of your options and discuss what might be the most appropriate solution for your situation. We're here to make this process easier for you, and we can start by making sure that you have all the information and guidance you need.

 

What to Expect When You Meet With Us


When you meet with a member of our staff to discuss arrangements, we will first ask you about your loved one to gain an understanding of the person the service will honor. Use the time to communicate your ideas and preferences, share your loved ones life story, revisit memories, and highlight their accomplishments. We will use this information to guide you in the creation of a personalized meaningful celebration of your loved one's unique journey. Then we’ll walk you through the entire arrangement process, and provide you with a general price list to give you a basic idea of what our services cost.

 

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, and you can come prepared for your meeting by making sure that you have the following information about your loved one on hand to discuss your arrangements:

 

  • Full legal name & 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
  • Chosen place of burial, if applicable
  • Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
  • Names and relationships of survivors
  • Insurance policy information, if applicable

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

Kern Funeral Home, 1122 South Third Street, Mount Vernon, Washington, 98273 - (360) 336-2153
Mount Vernon Cemetery, 1200 East Fir Street, Mount Vernon, Washington, 98273 - (360) 336-6845


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