Do you need immediate help for a death?
An Expected death
Once your person has died, feel free to spend time with them. Everyone is different so there are no right or wrong ways of handling this immediate period of time. You may like to spend half an hour or even a day or two with them. This may vary depending on where the death has occurred eg a nursing home or hospital, or at home.
You do not need to phone us immediately. Take your time. Here is a guide to timings:
Generally, a hospital and nursing home prefers to have a person transferred to a funeral director’s mortuary within several hours, or they may move them to their on-site mortuary.
- If a deceased person is not being transported immediately but is going to stay where they are for 4-5 hours, our preference is for ice to be put underneath their neck and on their tummy; this assists with the body’s natural cooling system and will prolong preservation. We can request the ice be placed in position by talking with nursing staff, or you or a family member can ask staff prior to calling us.
One or two members of our team will arrive at the residence/nursing home /hospital, and then bring your person into our care. If you would like to be present when we arrive, that is absolutely fine. There is no right or wrong way – you may choose to leave before we arrive.
If you have already chosen to have your loved one brought home, or be kept at home for 1-3 days, we have additional guidelines for you. This is called Home-based Death Care. Please let us know if you would like information about this choice.
The deceased person is gently wrapped in a cotton shroud (no body bags are used) and placed onto our trolley and taken out to our vehicle. They are driven to one of our premises – both of which are called The Sanctuary; these are located in Woodend in the Macedon Ranges, and Fairfield in Melbourne.
- Upon arriving at The Sanctuary, they are gently placed into our mortuary; we will let you know when your person has arrived and is tucked up with us.
An Unexpected death
When someone dies unexpectedly, the police are usually called, and the deceased’s body will normally be taken to the Coroner. This is to determine how or why they died even if it might appear obvious, such as a car accident.
A useful document that explains the procedures with the Coroner is this one – ‘Coroners Court of Victoria – What happens now.’
Often a person’s body will be with the Coroner for 4-7 days, and in some circumstances, longer.
Funeral arrangements may be made during this time, but at Natural Grace, we strongly believe in slowing decisions down to give families time to emotionally settle and adjust to the immediate shock and grief. It also allows the time needed for a person’s body to be released by the Coroner.