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Barclay Funeral Home Resources

In this section you will find helpful information such as a Brockville accommodation directory, information on general funeral topics, grief resources and more. Use the menu on the right to easily navigate throughout this section.

First Thing to do

The first thing to do when death occurs is call the Funeral Home. The earlier they are notified, the earlier they can begin taking care of the many details that are involved. Remember that funeral directors are 'on-call' 24 hours a day and can respond at once. An appointment will be made by the funeral director with you in order to discuss the wishes of the family and to help guide them designing an appropriate service.

A Medical Certificate of Death must be completed by the attending physician. This document requires the person's name, age, and date and cause of death. The body must be pronounced dead by medical personnel before being transported anywhere. This certificate, with the Statement of Death must be completed before registration of the death can take place and before a Burial Permit can be issued by the local registrar.

Death or Burial Away From Home - When death occurs away from home, it is important to know what to do. These circumstances present no difficulties to the funeral director as plans can be made from anywhere in the world. Call the hometown funeral director for help if confronted with this situation. At that point, they will assume responsibility for the return of the deceased to their community. They will engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death to act as their agent.

The Coroner's Role - When a death occurs within 24 hours of admission to a hospital, in a nursing home, in an institution, or is due to other than natural causes, a coroner may investigate. The coroner, without the consent of the next-of-kin, has the authority to order an autopsy. The authorization of a coroner is required prior to cremation or transfer of a body outside the province.

Proof of Death Certificates - Proof of Death Certificates are issued by all funeral homes and may be used for many purposes such as obtaining Canada Pension Plan benefits, bank or credit union releases, some insurance claims, and other legal matters.

An official Certificate of Death can be obtained by writing to the Office of the Registrar General of the Province of Ontario if necessary. Application forms for such can be obtained from the local funeral home, city clerk or post office. There is a fee for each certificate.

Some Things to Consider - More times than not, there is no more difficult time than that encountered immediately after death. Death touches and affects relatives, friends, and associates in a direct way. Consider the feelings of others who shared in or benefited by the life of the deceased when planning a funeral service. A funeral gives the community an opportunity to acknowledge and respond to the changes that death has brought about. The funeral is an opportunity to pay tribute to a life lived.

Religion - The importance of a spiritual advisor to the family at the time of death is something that is recognized by funeral directors. Religious advisors give warmth, understanding and support to those who mourn. Their experience and training can help the family reaffirm its values and think again on the meaning of life. Spiritual advisors can make a service thoughtful and inspiring by working with the family and the funeral director. They can make sure that the emotional and social needs of the survivors are met.

The Visitation - Family, friends and the community can express their personal feelings and respect for the deceased during the period of sharing time that is often referred to as 'the visitation', 'calling hours' or 'the wake'. This sharing is important to the bereaved family. It can also be important to others who may share a special bond to the person who has died.

Children at Funerals - Children have awareness and a response to death at a very early age. An option of attending the visitation and funeral service should be presented to children. They need to participate with their family in sharing the sorrow and expressing love and devotion in their own special way. By shutting them out of the experience, they are denied the meaningful experience, which can affect their future emotional development. If a child is unwilling to participate, they should not be forced to attend a funeral. However, they will appreciate being given the choice.

Cemeteries/Crematorium

Cemeteries - Local government, church groups or private enterprises operate cemeteries. Some cemeteries permit traditional upright monuments, other permit only ground level markers. Others contain a mausoleum, in which internment is above ground.

Some cemeteries require the casket to be placed in an outer burial container. This container, which prevents excessive earth settlement, is usually made of concrete, steel or fibreglass and will vary in price and quality.

Crematorium - Crematoriums are operated almost exclusively by cemeteries.

Cremation does not mean elimination of the funeral and the value that the funeral provides. Visitation and a service in the funeral home can still take place. The body is cremated in the casket that is purchased. Some funeral homes provide a rental casket for the visitation and funeral service. However, an alternative casket or container must be used for the cremation.

Normally, the cremated remains are available for disposition shortly after the service and in some cases can be present for the service. Urns and other types of containers to hold the cremated remains are available from the funeral home. Many cemeteries have various options for the disposition of the cremated remains.

Monuments and Markers

Most people wish to memorialize their loved one by marking the graves. Ground level markers and upright monuments can be purchased from monument dealers. Cemeteries have regulations regarding the actual size and types of markers and monuments that may be used. Costs will depend on size, material, design and craftsmanship.

Living through grief

The death of someone you love is the beginning of one of the most difficult times of your life. It is a period of time when your life can become unglued. When you lose someone or something of value, the natural response to that loss is to grieve.

Five Basic Facts About Grief

1) Grief is a process that takes a lot of time, energy and determination. You won't "recover" from your grief right away.

2) Grief is intensely personal - this is your grief, don't allow others to tell you how you should be grieving.

3) Grief is an assault on your entire being. It will affect you emotionally, physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. There will be days that you may not understand your reaction to certain people or situations.

4) You will be affected by the lose for the rest of your life. As time passes, you will develop new insights into what this death means to you.

5) Grief has the potential for being transformative. Your values may change and you will see life from a different perspective.

How Can You Help Yourself?

Grief has the potential for being transformative. Your values may change and you will see life from a different perspective.

1) Learn all you can about grief - there are many resources available on the topic of grieving. Visit www.griefwords.com - a comprehensive library of articles and book excerpts about grief for bereaved families.

2) Give yourself permission to grief - to feel the pain and accept the reality of your loss.

3)Be patient with the process - it takes time. In many aspects of your life, you may expect immediate results, but remember that grief is difficult. Take time and be patient with yourself.

4)Get plenty of rest - your body needs it while it is recovering from emotional stress.

5)Treat yourself occasionally - you're worth it! Things that add beauty to your life will comfort and encourage you. Activities like massage therapy or yoga can work wonders!

6)Find people with whom you can share your loss - many new bereaved people find it a great deal of support and encouragement from bereavement support groups. You may find it helpful to talk with your doctor, clergy person, funeral director or a counselor.

7) Take time to reflect and reassess your life - ask yourself things such as what did you gain from the relationship you had?, how long will that relationship sustain and guide you now?, how has the experience changed you? The greatest tribute you can pay to your loved ones is that you learned and experienced personal growth from them. This ongoing influence in your life will help you carry on.

8) Draw on the resources of your faith - let whatever helps you make sense out of life sustain you at this time. The journey through grief is a spiritual one. Allow your spirituality to become a focus of your life. Listen to the words and the music of your spirituality. Let them give you courage and hope for your journey.

For more information on living through grief or to be put in contact with grief councilors in the Brockville area, please contact Barclay Funeral Home at (613) 342-2792.

Funeral Costs

Preferences and tastes vary, as do financial circumstances. The cost of a funeral will depend on the extent of services provided by the funeral director and upon the options selected. Funeral services are available in many different forms and therefore the costs will vary according to the family's wishes.

For a detailed explanation of funeral costs and details, please contact Barclay Funeral Home at (613) 342-2792.

Body/Organ Donations

An individual may not give both organs and the body for transplant and research purposes. Body donations go to a medical school of anatomy where they are used by medical students for anatomical study and dissection. There may be a cost to the deceased person's estate when donating a body to a medical school.

Those considering organ or body donation should advise family members. At time of death, unexpected requests may cause confusion and strife among distraught family members.

For further information speak to the funeral director or contact:

The Chief Coroner of Ontario
26 Grenville Street Toronto, On
M7A 2G9
(416) 314-4000

Organ Donation Ontario (ODO)
250 Dundas Street West Suite 406
Toronto, On
M5T 2Z5
(416) 351-7328 or 800 263-2833

Funeral Etiquette

The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. The type of service conducted for the deceased is specified by the family. Funeral directors are trained to help families arrange the type of service they desire. A brief overview of all that is involved with funeral services is as follows:

Private Service - this is a service by invitation only and may be held at place of worship, a funeral home or a family home.

Memorial Service - a memorial service is a service without the body present. It can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

Pallbearers - pallbearers are men or women who carry the casket before and/or after the funeral service. Friends, relatives or business associates may be asked to serve as pallbearers.

Honorary Pallbearers - if the deceased were active in political, business, religious or civic circles, it may be appropriate for the family to ask close associates of the deceased to serve as honorary pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers don not actively carry the casket, they may follow immediately behind the casket before and / or after the funeral service.

Eulogy - the eulogy is a brief speech that offers praise and celebrates the life of the person who has died. A eulogy may be delivered by a member of the family, clergy, a close friend or a business associate of the deceased.

Funeral Procession / Cortege - when the funeral ceremony and the cemetery/crematorium services are both within the local area, friends and relatives may accompany the family to the cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy

Flowers - The presence of flowers can bring a sense of comfort. Flowers add beauty during the period of the funeral. When placed in the funeral home or place of worship, they add warmth to the visitation and to the service. The value of flowers can remain for days or weeks. They can be further enjoyed in someone's home, at place of worship or in an institution to which they were taken from after the service. The family can then share in the beauty of the flowers, which were part of the funeral service.

Memorial Donations - Memorial donations to a specific cause or charity can be just as appreciated as flowers. There are a large number of charities available and your Funeral Director can give an explanation of each. If made to a charitable institution, some donations may be tax deductible.

Mass Cards - The offering of prayers is a valued expression of sympathy to a Catholic family. A card indicating that a Mass was arranged for the deceased person can be obtained from any Catholic parish. It is possible to obtain Mass cards at the funeral home. A Mass offering card or envelope is provided to the family as an indication of understanding, faith and compassion.

Proper Acknowledgments - Floral gifts, memorial donations, and spiritual offerings should be acknowledged.

Spiritual Advisor - an informal personal note or suitable thank-you card is best. A gratuity or honorarium is also appropriate. The funeral director can offer advice.

Pallbearers - an informal personal note or suitable thank you cards is best.

Letters - an informal reply is desirable.

Sympathy Cards - do not require acknowledgment

Personal gestures, like sending flowers or supplying food, should be acknowledged with a simple personal note. There may be other people who were of special help at the time of the funeral such as doctor, nurse, hospital staff; people associated with a place of worship or club, or the funeral home staff. A thank-you is a gracious gesture and is always appreciated by the recipient.

Sympathy Expressions
When a person calls at the funeral home, sympathy can be expressed by clasping hands, an embrace, or a simple statement of condolence, like:

"I'm sorry"
"My sympathy to you and your family"
"It was good to know John"
"Jane was a fine person and a friend of mine. She will be sadly missed"

The family member may say the following in return:

"Thanks for coming"
"John talked about you often"
"I didn't realize that so many people cared"
"Come see me when you can"

Encourage the bereaved to express their feelings and thoughts, but don't overwhelm them.

Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)

The Canadian Pension Plan provides a survivor pension which is payable to the estate, the surviving spouse and the dependent children of a deceased CPP contributor.

The deceased must have contributed one third (1/3) of the years since 1966 or since age 18 and a minimum of 3 years contribution.

There are 3 types of SURVIVOR PENSION.

1) Death Benefit - a lump sum payment is paid to the estate of a deceased contributor

2) Surviving Spouse's Pension - a monthly pension is paid to the surviving spouse of a deceased contributor.

3) Orphan's Benefits - flat rate monthly benefits are provided for the dependent child(ren) of a deceased contributor

Making Application - you should apply for these benefits as soon as possible after the contributor's death. Failure to apply within a year of death could result in lost benefits.

The executor, or a representative of the estate, the surviving spouse, the next of kin, or the person responsible for the funeral expenses may apply. Documents that may be required when applying for benefits:

1) Birth Certificates and Social Insurance Numbers for these persons: - the deceased contributor - the surviving spouse - any dependent children

2) Marriage Certificates

3) Proof of full-time attendance at school or university for those children between 18 and 25 years of age

A copy of the funeral contract or receipt for the funeral expenses indicating who has assumed responsibility for the funeral costs.

Brief History of funeral Service

Throughout history, in all ages and cultures, the disposition of the dead is a solemn act requiring ceremonial observation. Out of a sense of loss, grief mystery or terror, people developed patterns of conduct for their behavior during the death cycle. From these patterns, funeral customs were developed.

Evidence of earth burial dates back to the Paleolithic (Old Stone) era., approximately 600,000 to 700,000 years ago.

The ancient Egyptians had highly developed beliefs and practices. Although they were not the first to embalm, they seem to be the first to set aside a class of priestly functionaries for whom embalming was a solemn and prescribed duty.

Many of the funeral beliefs and practices observed in Canada today are rooted in Judeo-Christian traditions. Although early Judeo-Christian burials were simple, gradually the Western World developed ceremonies surrounding the funeral. Medieval Europe witnessed great funeral pageantry. By the 17th and 18th centuries, the English 'undertaker' was becoming a recognized profession.

For further information on funeral services please contact Barclay Funeral Home at (613) 342-2792.