1What do I do when a death occurs?
If the death is sudden or unexpected, call 911 immediately. If the death was anticipated and hospice is involved contacting your hospice physician should be the next step. They can help your family coordinate with the funeral home. If you are not sure who to call, you can contact our staff here at O’Connor and we can begin assisting you with the care and coordination of transferring your loved one into our care. If other logistics are involved, our knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you.
2What takes place after the death and before the funeral?
Call the funeral home to make an appointment with a funeral arranger. At your appointment plans will be created for the type of funeral ceremonies you would like to have and some events may even get scheduled if you know when and where you would like the ceremonies to take place.
3What do I need to bring to the funeral home when I meet with an arranger?
It is helpful for families to bring a recent, color photograph of their loved one with them to their first meeting with their arranger. If you already know the clothing you would like to have your loved one dressed in, it is appreciated that you bring that with you as well. Other information like their social security number and other details of family history are very helpful to know or have with you at the time of the arrangement conference.
4What type of ceremonies options do I have for my loved one’s funeral?
Our mortuary is committed to honoring cultural traditions and helping your family create the ceremony that would best honor your loved one’s life. Whether your family wants a visitation, burial or cremation, our staff will be available to help make the appropriate selections and care for the details.
5What are appropriate behaviors and customs for funerals in the United States?
It is customary to wear black to a funeral in the United States. While bringing money to a funeral is a common custom in Korea, it is not expected in the United States. Instead, many families send flowers, write a thoughtful letter, organize a time to bring a meal to the family, or donate to a favorite charity of the deceased in their honor.
6Is there a difference if my loved one dies at home or at a hospital?
Yes. If your loved one died at home, see question #1 for suggestions on who to call. If your loved one dies at the hospital, the staff will suggest calling the funeral home you’ve selected.
7What do I say to the family of the deceased?
Many families say that they don’t remember what people said to them, but they do remember that they were present with them. That said, what we say to grieving people can have a significant impact and so choosing our words wisely and thoughtfully is important. Avoid statements that say “at least” or that might minimize the person’s loss. Statements that include the name of the deceased are special and sharing memories of them or something they inspired you to do can be treasured stories. A few simple and appropriate statements are:
- Their life was so special, we will miss them so much.
- We are grieving with you and thinking of you.
- We will always remember the beauty of their life and the joy they were to us.
8How much do funeral services cost?
Costs depend on the type of service desired as well as the number of ceremonies your family wishes to incorporate and on what memorial products are selected. Please click here to see a detailed listing of the ceremony plans we have specifically crafted for Korean families seeking either burial or cremation.
9What do I do with my loved one’s assets after they’ve died?
Your funeral arranger will help you obtain copies of the Certified Death Certificate that you will need to provide to the institutions where your loved one’s assets are vested. Additionally, an estate planning attorney can be of great help when there are legal and complex issues to deal with.