Whether you received a phone call in the early hours of the morning or shared your loved one’s final moments, your initial reaction to their passing is most likely waves of emotion. It doesn’t seem to matter how prepared we are–this loss can leave us feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. We are here to help.
The first phone calls you will make after your loved one’s passing is dependent upon circumstances and where they passed away.
When a loved one passes away at a facility such as a Hospice, Hospital, or an Assisted Living, etc., they will assist you with notifying the proper authority's as well as the mortuary you have chosen.
If they passed away under hospice care at a residence you will need to contact a Hospice Representative. They will assist your family with the proper procedures to follow and help you contact the mortuary.
If your loved one passed away at a residence and is not under Hospice or supervised care you will need to contact your local non-emergency personnel to determine if further action is necessary before they can be brought into Messinger’s care. They will let you know when to notify the mortuary
If you’ve been notified by the authorities of your loved ones passing and they have been taken into the care of the Medical Examiner your first call will be directly to the Mortuary.
If you’re unsure of what to do, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Within a Few Days
You should inform close friends and relatives of your loved one’s passing. This can be a difficult process; it may be helpful to reach out to a trusted family member or friend to help you with this.
Scheduling an appointment to meet with one of our licensed Funeral Directors to begin the arrangement process.
It is also helpful to begin reviewing your loved one’s preplanned wishes. If your loved one didn't preplan any funeral arrangements, you can start by considering some of the larger choices you will need to make, such as:
- Burial or cremation
- Type of casket or urn
- For a burial, this final resting place can be inground or a niche in an indoor or outdoor mausoleum
- For a cremation, choosing a location for their final resting place this can be done through inground burial, placement at a mausoleum, ossuary, or scattering by land, air, or sea.
- Service types, such as a funeral, graveside, memorial, celebration of life, etc.
- Religious rituals
This is just a starting point, it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right now. We want to make this process as easy and meaningful as possible, so please contact us with any questions or for more information about your service options.
When We Meet
When you meet with one of our licensed funeral directors to begin planning services, we'll show you our general price list to give you a basic idea of our service costs. Then, we’ll talk with you about your loved one to get a better understanding on how to honor their life.
Our staff will use this information to help you create a personalized, meaningful service to celebrate your loved one. You can share your service preferences and ideas, stories about your loved one, their passions, and any other insights into your loved one’s life.
This meeting may also include:
- Completing documentation to register the AZ State Death Certificiate
- Scheduling the services and events, including the date, time, and location
- Selecting a casket, urn, and any other products
- Choosing pallbearers
- Arranging transportation for the day of services
We want to make this process as simple and stress-free as possible. Below is a link to a fillable/printable Vital Registration Worksheet, this form is required to be filled out by the state of Arizona. This information is then entered onto the Death Certificate. If you are unable to or would rather fill this form out in person during our meeting please bring the following information about your loved one:
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Full legal name and home address
- Social security number
- Father's name
- Mother's name including maiden name
- Highest level of education
- Occupation prior to retirement
- Veteran's discharge papers (DD-214), if applicable
- Information about the burial location, if applicable
- Clergy name and phone number, if applicable
- Insurance policy information if using to pay for funeral expenses
- A recent photograph of your loved one and any clothing you want used when dressing them for the service