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When Death Occurs


The overwhelming feelings of despair, disbelief, shock, and numbness caused by the passing of a loved one cannot be conveyed by mere words. Even when the death is expected, the pain that loss brings can still be devastating. In truth, no one is completely prepared for the death of someone close to their heart.

During this difficult time, there are decisions to be made immediately, arrangements to be coordinated, and a lot of things to be considered for your loved one’s final farewell. We understand how this may feel overwhelming, especially with the grief you’re feeling over the loss. Please know that we are here to help and support you. 

On this page, we’ve put together helpful information to guide you through this process.

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If your loved one passes away while under the care of a facility — such as a nursing home or a hospital — staff from the facility will contact you and notify appropriate authorities themselves.

If the passing occurs while under the direct care of Hospice - it is necessary to contact the hospice nurse before you call the funeral home. The nurse must come to the place of passing and will fill out a pronouncement form to allow the O'Donnell Funeral Home to bring your loved one into our care. 

If the death occurred in the workplace or at home, you will need to get in touch with the emergency personnel - Dial 911 - and speak to the police department and fire rescue, emergency medical personnel. Once this has taken place and all of the proper steps have been followed. let the police know that O'Donnell's will be helping you. - Share with them our phone number - 978-774-6600 and we will take care of everything for you. 

In the event that no one was present at the time of death, you will need to contact the police before moving the deceased to another location.

CALL THE FUNERAL HOME -  978-774-6600 / 978-744-2350  -

Our caring funeral directors can assist you with your funeral arrangements. We will collect information from you in order to facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility and into our care. You would also be asked if the deceased has made pre-arrangements and whether or not you’d like for him/her to be embalmed. While of course you can ask any questions you have in your mind during this call, note that once you visit the funeral home, we can discuss the arrangements in greater detail.

During this call, you’ll also be informed about the things that you need to bring with you like the clothes your deceased loved one will use for the burial. Feel free to call us whenever you feel the need to. Remember that we are here to listen to you, help you, and guide you during this difficult and trying time.


On your first meeting with us, we will discuss the arrangements for your loved one’s burial or cremation. You will be shown a list of our packages and services so you can decide what fits with your family’s wishes and budget. You will be asked whether you’d prefer burial or cremation arrangements and optionally you would select a casket, schedule a time and date for the services, decide on the location of the burial, draft an obituary notice, arrange for vehicle services, and select pallbearers, as well as many additional options and choices. If a celebration of life is the fitting tribute you have in mind, we will help create it with you. Hand in hand. 

We would also use this opportunity to inquire about your loved one for us to have a better understanding of the person the services will honor. It will be extremely helpful if you can bring some memorabilia — photos, videos, treasured items, letters — that would give us a clearer picture on how you envision paying tribute to your loved one.


A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including other vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician. In case your loved one died due to an accident, the medical examiner may prepare the form. We will take care of this for you and help in filing for this legal document with the state. Certified copies of the death certificate can also be purchased at the same time. These certified copies are very important when gaining access to bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, claiming for benefits due to the family (like the Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims), and transferring or selling ownership of properties as well as for probate.

These are just some of the services we provide in helping after the experiencing the loss of a loved one. 

We will help you  - So not to worry!  - it would be our honor to do so. 

Let us help guide you

Contact Us

O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations DANVERS
167 Maple St.
| Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: 1-978-774-6600
| Directions
O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations SALEM
84 Washington Square
| Salem, MA 01970
Tel: 1-978-744-2350
| Directions

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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