Are you curious about what happens when you die? You’re not alone. Many people don’t know much about death, funerals, and cremation services in Langhorne, PA.
Here is information about the body as it goes through the final stages of life and onto the next.
The first thing that happens after a death is the body stops working. There are many ways the body can stop working, but it often includes loss of interest in eating a drinking, slowing of breath, and the eventual shut down of all the organs. Once the brain begins to shut down, the body may make involuntary movements and, when death has occurred, the bowels and bladder may evacuate.
Decomposition begins a few minutes after death with a process called autolysis, which is when enzymes destroy the cells and tissues in the body. The brain is usually the first organ to begin autolysis. After about 25 minutes, the body will enter pallor mortis, which is when it pales from lack of blood flow. Livor mortis, or the blood vessels collapsing and pooling, happens about an hour or two after death. Then the body moves into algor mortis, or cooling. It cools about 2 degrees every hour until it reaches the temperature of the air around it. Finally, the body enters rigor mortis, which is when it stiffens from muscle chemical changes.
After death, a medical professional will always check a body for signs of life before making a death pronouncement. These signs of life include pulse, breath, reflexes, and pupil dilation. If there are no signs of life, they will pronounce death. Next comes the death certificate. The local government or state will officially record the death and create the death certificate. The death certificate is completed by the doctor, certified by the state, and passed along to the next of kin. After death pronouncement, the family will be notified of the death by another loved one or a doctor, nurse, coroner, or police officer.
After receiving word of a death, its best for the bereaved begin preparing for the funeral or cremation right away. They should call the funeral home or cremation provider as they will help guide the bereaved through next steps. There’s also service planning. The deceased’s next of kin will make arrangements for a funeral service or memorial service. Oftentimes the deceased will have left instructions for such a service. In these cases, the next of skin should follow the instructions. If the deceased did not leave instructions, the funeral director or cremation provider will help guide the deceased through the planning process.
Burial or cremation come next. Depending on the deceased’s final wishes, the body will either be buried or cremated. After the cremation, the remains can be scattered, buried, placed in an urn, or a manner of other final dispositions.