First Steps

What Now? Your loved one has passed away:

Natural or Unexpected

When the passing was not expected, the RCMP can be called. They will come to the home to ensure nothing is suspicious. Then they will contact the Chief Medical Examiners Office to determine if they want the deceased brought to them for ‘autopsy’. Possibly the family doctor will say it is not necessary. After the Medical Examiner has cleared the scene, the Funeral Home (or removal company who works for the Medical Examiner's Office), is called in to remove the deceased. They will either take the body to the Medical Examiner's Office in Calgary or to the local funeral home.


If the deceased was in a doctor's care and the death was expected there is no need to call 9-1-1. The funeral home can be called to come in and removed the deceased from the home, taking them to the funeral home. The family doctor cared for the deceased will sign a “medical” that states the cause of the death.


When someone passes while in hospital, the doctor will sign a "medical" stating the cause of death. The family or the hospital can call the funeral home to advise of the passing. When the body is ready for release, the hospital will call to let the funeral home know.


When there is a sudden passing, the doctor may call for a more complete examination, which may include a autopsy. Then the body would be moved to Calgary. This lengthens the process by a few days, but the reason for the death maybe made more clear. Alternatively, if the deceased had a medical history, the doctor might sign the "medical" immediately. In that case the funeral home can be contacted for pickup.

The doctor will be informed of the person’s passing, and they will sign a "medical" stating the cause of death. The funeral home will be called by the family or the care centre staff, for the removal of the deceased, to the funeral home.

The police will be on scene. When they have gathered all the investigative information, the Medical Examiner's Office is called for permission to remove the body. Then a removal company or the funeral home is called to transport the deceased to the Medical Examiners Office in Calgary. When the body is released, the Medical Examiner’s Office contacts the deceased's family and advises them to contact the funeral home to pick up the body.

We'll Help You Through the First Steps

Contact us, to tell us that your loved one has passed away and where they are. We will contact the facility where the deceased is, to see if a “medical” form is completed by a doctor. Or, if the deceased is in your home, we will make sure the proper people have been notified. When all the legal requirements are satisfied we will pick up your loved one.

We will set up a time for your family to meet with us to make arrangements. We can meet at your home if you prefer.

We'll ask you for life information, obituary and photo.

During arrangements, we'll discuss information needed for the Registration of Death, and sign paperwork for the government agencies and paperwork for cremation, if you decide on that option.

Then we'll discuss your thoughts on funeral, memorial, or celebration of life services and choose a service date.

We'll help you select a casket that best suits your loved one and fits your family’s budget. We look at casket sprays, as well.

For burials we'll help you order a plot at a cemetery. If there is a surviving spouse who wants to rest beside the deceased then a second plot will be need to be reserved.

Regardless of your circumstances we'll be there for you every step of the way.

Our family is committed to caring for your family regardless of race or religion. We provide attentive, compassionate service from the first phone call until long after the funeral is over.

We will help you plan a service, assist you with the many choices and provide support for you and your loved ones in your time of grief. We know every family is unique, and we strive to help you make each service a personal tribute.

Visit our Rocky Mountain House Funeral Home website.

Sylvan Lake Funeral Home is owned and operated by Flinn Funeral Services Ltd

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