educate yourself about funerals

What Do I Do Now?

Someone has died at home, what do I do first?

If the death is not expected call 911 immediately. Let the operator know somebody has passed away and they will arrange for the police, and emergency personnel, to arrive. The police will usually place a call to a coroner who investigates the cause of death further. If the coroner requests an autopsy, the body will be transferred by a funeral home to a hospital (usually Owen Sound or London) where the autopsy will take place. If autopsy is not required, the body will be taken directly to the funeral home.

After an autopsy, and once the coroner is comfortable with the circumstances around the death, the body will be released to a funeral home. From there, the funeral home can arrange to pick up the deceased and proceed with funeral arrangements.

Discussions between family and funeral director can begin at any time after the death. However, arrangements are not usually finalized until the body is released by the hospital.

If the death is expected you should call your palliative care/hospice worker, or hospital, if a representative was not present. Do not call 911, the paramedics are obliged to try and resuscitate your loved one.

Once your loved one has been pronounced as deceased by a health care provider please contact us for the transfer of your family member to the funeral home. Our funeral home staff will ask some basic questions such as: What is the name of the deceased? Where is that person's body now? Has a health care provider been present at the place of death? Who is calling - your relationship to the deceased, address and phone number? A time will then be set up whereby Nathan and staff will pick up your loved one.

What happens if someone dies after typical work day hours, on a weekend or holiday?

Rhody Family Funeral Home has someone available to take your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time!

Can we have some personal time before the body is removed?

Most certainly! Take your time. We only proceed with our tasks when you, the family, are ready.

Even when your loved one is at our funeral home you can spend some additional quiet time with your family and loved one. Just let Nathan know your wishes.

Can we help care for our loved one once they have died?

Of course! To care for the deceased upon death is an honour and privilege, a deeply profound and emotionally intense experience for everyone involved. It is a continuation of your relationship with them and gives a real sense of the fulfillment of your responsibility. This can allow for a deeper feeling of gratitude and respect, as well as a further acknowledgement of the reality of death.

Here is one family’s recollection of doing so, “It left us with a sense of having shared in something so extraordinarily special and emotionally rewarding that in the following weeks and months we were able to look back at the experience and benefit from the real feelings of comfort that the memory of it brought to us.”

What happens if someone dies while away from home or on vacation?

First and foremost, call us! Nathan will then walk you through all the options available to you and your family. We have numerous contacts available to us, both within and beyond our borders, to help us reduce your stress. Remember, we are as close as a phone call away.


50 or so Detailed Things to do When a Death Occurs

When a death occurs, the order in which things need to be done often depends on where the death occurred. One thing needs to be remembered: you are in a heightened emotional state. Bring a family member(s) or friend with you when you come to the funeral home, someone who can offer you the support and guidance you may need. Even if a death is anticipated, no amount of preparation can fully prepare you.
Planning a funeral ceremony can be overwhelming. Dozens of decisions have to be made and most people are simply not aware of what needs to be done. Nor do most understand the significance of each decision or the many options available to them. Below is a partial list of the decisions and tasks family members can typically be faced with.


  • relatives
  • friends
  • funeral home
  • clergy
  • lawyer

Accurate information of:

  • date and place of birth
  • parents’ full names and maiden names (and birth places)
  • social insurance number
  • career
  • spouse’s social insurance number, if living
  • spouse’s birth date, if living
  • relatives’ names

Location of:

  • birth certificate
  • marriage license
  • will

Funding of Services:

Is funding a concern? If so, please talk to us so that we can let you know all of your options. Please don’t make this a big concern until you talk further to us.

Choice of:

  • burial or cremation
  • casket or urn
  • open or closed casket
  • cemetery or memorial location
  • cemetery plot, vault or mausoleum

Location, date, time & agenda of:

  • private family viewing
  • special children’s visitation
  • visitation
  • funeral/memorial
  • post funeral gathering and menu (reception)

Choice of:

  • memorial and/or prayer cards
  • type of ceremony (religious, fraternal, secular or other)
  • clergy or celebrant involvement
  • charity to receive memorial gifts
  • death notice wording
  • musician(s)
  • flowers
  • pictures and other memorabilia
  • pallbearers/flowerbearers
  • person(s) to deliver eulogy
  • clothing, undergarments, shoes
  • jewellery
  • final placement of jewellery<
  • ceremony bulletins (programs)
  • special readings, scripture passages
  • music
  • transportation
  • out of town guest arrangements
  • thank you cards
  • keepsake selection











accommodations in the chesley area

Our Testimonials

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

Back to Top