The Funeral

Funerals following a suicide are never easy for surviving family and friends.  As most funerals will usually take place within 2-3 weeks of the death, you will still be in a state of shock and emotionally raw and fragile. However funerals are an important part of saying goodbye and coming to terms with the finality of death. Many find comfort and strength from the support of friends and family attending the service.

The funeral you choose will depend on your faith, personal beliefs and culture. You may wish to have a private burial or cremation and at a later date hold a memorial service or a ceremony to place or scatter the person’s ashes.

In the past, when suicide was considered a sin and a crime, many churches refused to hold funeral services for suicide victims and would not allow burials on consecrated ground. Thankfully attitudes have changed and no church in Bermuda will refuse to hold a funeral or burial service for a suicide. Most churches are open to include whatever music, readings and speeches you wish, within the parameters of their order of service.

Funeral planning can be overwhelming, although some find the process gives them something to focus on. It’s a good idea to ask a friend or family member to help you arrange the funeral – many will be anxious to be useful and it can help relieve some of the stress. The funeral home you choose will also guide you through the process and help arrange the service.

The funeral cannot take place until the autopsy (if requested) is completed and the body is released to the undertaker who will also obtain copies of the death certificate from the Registry General for the family. You can order additional copies of the death certificate directly from the Registry General for a fee. For more details and fees, visit the Registry General website.

If you are able to make the funeral service a celebration of the person’s life, it can help shift the focus away from the manner of death and, in a small way, begin the healing process. But there are no rules here – you do not need to “be strong” or “brave”. You do not have to speak at the service if you do not want to.


Costs

The cost of a funeral can be a worry, especially in the case of a sudden and unexpected death. The cost will vary depending on your budget but funeral homes can advise on options regarding caskets and other associated expenses. If finances are a concern, don’t be afraid to “shop around” – get a friend to help compare prices for funeral homes and services such as florists, musicians, or printers.

If you are on Financial Assistance, Government will pay $3,000 towards funeral costs. Call the Department of Financial Assistance on 297-7600 for more information.



USEFUL ADDRESSES

Registry General
30 Parliament Street
Hamiltion HM 12
Bermuda
(441) 297-7708


Funeral homes

Alpha Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
51 York Street, St. George’s
Phone: 297-1306

Amis Memorial Chapel
8 Khyber Pass, Warwick
Phone: 236-0155
www.amismemorial.com

Amis Cremation Service
64 Waller's Point Road, St. David's
Phone: 236-0155
  www.amismemorial.com


Augustus & Sons Funeral Home
15 Brunswick Street, Hamilton
Phone: 292-5251
  www.augustusfuneralhome.bm

Bulley-Graham-Rawlins Funeral Home
32 Mount Hill, Pembroke
Phone: 292-3320
www.bulley-graham.bm

Pearman Funeral Home
128 Somerset Road, Somerset
Phone: 234-0422
  www.pearmanfuneralhome.com