Vigiling at home
Sometimes it’s good to keep your dead relative at home for a while before they go off with the funeral director. Even if someone dies in hospital or hospice it is usually possible to bring them back home for a while. It can be very healing to be able to spend quiet, unrushed, private time with those you have loved and lost. You may want to read to them, place flowers round them, dress them or just spend time next to them for a while before you feel ready for them to go. Depending on your belief structure you may feel they should remain at home for a while until their soul or spirit has left their body. This is usually possible.
So what do you need to do to facilitate keeping someone at home for a while?
Let’s assume that the death is expected and took place at home. Call the district nurses if they have been attending or the GP surgery. Someone will come out to confirm the death.
There is absolutely no reason to rush to call the funeral director, you don’t have to have your loved one taken away in a hurry. It is quite acceptable to wait until morning if they died in the night, or if you would like to spend the whole day with them and the next day that is okay as well.
When the district nurses or doctor have visited and confirmed the death if the death was expected they will arrange for a certificate of cause of death.
If the death was unexpected or sudden the coroner will need to do a post-mortem to decide on cause of death in which case the body will have to go to the hospital and will be away for about a week until the coroner is happy to release the body.
At Attwood Funerals we are happy to assist people if they want to vigil at home for a few hours or a few days soon after death.