Your loved one has passed away … where to begin

When a loved one has passed away, what happens next depends on where they died and if it was expected – our Where To Begin page can outline all the details. If the death was expected, you may have been able to discuss your loved one’s final wishes. Hopefully, you have been able to find out if any funeral pre-planning was done or what final arrangements they would like. If a funeral service has been pre-planned, you’ll know which funeral home to call.

Otherwise, the first step is to call your funeral director or find one. If you don’t have any experience with a funeral home, you can ask friends and family for recommendations, do an internet search, check reviews, and look for one that has a website that centres around your needs. There are many different types of funeral homes, including small private ones, franchises, large corporations, and mid-range, but every type will have funeral directors. If the service has not been pre-planned, deciding who to use should be where you feel most comfortable. You may also want to consider proximity to the airport if you have friends and family flying in for the services, pricing may be a factor, and you may wish to stay with local ownership, one with ties to the community and personal relationships within the area.

At Country Hill Crematorium, we are not far from the airport. We are locally owned and operated; we work in the same community where we live and have many contacts and resources for any requests you may have. We pride ourselves on having modest prices so you can create the funeral service you want for your loved one. Additionally, no matter when or where the passing of your loved one occurs, our caring and licensed funeral directors can assist you immediately.

Our sole focus is to help you and your family in this time of need. It is essential to know that you do not need to rush to make arrangements; we are available whenever you want to begin. Once you call us, we will guide you through the entire process. We believe every funeral service should be a celebration of life and offer a way to grieve and heal that’s right for you and your family.

If you’re worried about not knowing everything that needs to be done at this time, rest assured, our funeral directors can walk you through every step. Family and friends will need to be notified, but initially, you only need to call those closest to you and the deceased; this is an excellent time to select a key person, or two, to support you through the planning process, including meeting with your funeral director.

Our professionally trained, caring and supportive funeral directors will listen carefully, ask questions, and make suggestions. We encourage you to share information about your loved one so we can make suggestions about how to best honour them. We want to hear all your ideas and preferences and will use this information to help create a plan that suits your needs, with extensive input from you. We can also use this information to write an obituary notice.

All prices are discussed up front, so you have clarity on what to expect and choose the most appropriate options for your needs and budget. You will never be pressured or told what is best; we will simply provide options, ideas and suggestions. You drive the entire process; we are here to help you figure out what is needed for your situation and to make it happen.

Once you’ve selected the funeral home you want to work with and have scheduled a meeting time, you will need to gather documentation for the funeral director. These items are all outlined in our Where to Begin pages and include:

  • Full legal name, address, marital status (if married, spouse’s name)
  • Birthdate, place of birth, mother and father’s full names (including maiden name) and places of birth
  • Legal documents, including driver’s license, social insurance number, and Alberta Health Care number
  • Personal information such as occupation, accomplishments, certifications, designations
  • Family relations
  • Will information: is there one? If so, who is the personal representative/executor?

You may also want to bring the clothing you want to have used and any photographs of the deceased you wish to share (in the obituary or the service). If you would like our help with any insurance claims, please bring the policy documents.

Above all, keep in mind that our funeral directors are here to help you, one step at a time. We can walk you through everything that needs to be done. You do not need to know what you want when we meet, we will figure out what is best together. Just as we will treat your loved one with respect, you will be treated with kindness, compassion and respect. We know this is a very difficult time for you and your loved ones, and every effort will be made to make it easier for all of you. If you have suffered a loss, our funeral directors are available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. We can be reached at 403-274-0576 for assistance when you need it most.

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