While some religions require a quick burial, and before refrigeration it was required for health reasons, today you can take the time you need to be with the deceased and family and then work with your Funeral Director and Celebrant to create the perfect farewell. If that takes 2-3 weeks, that is fine. Keep in mind that mortuary services, where your loved one will rest until burial or cremation, cost $AUD55 per night, so there is a budget impact.
You have a wide choice of locations where funerals can be held to provide your loved one an authentic farewell in a location that is meaningful to their memory and restorative for family and friends. The beauty of many of these locations is you can take the time for the funeral service and then hold a beautiful wake in the same location. An example is the burial of a man who loved to surf, having his funeral service held in a surf club with guests writing messages on a surfboard.
Here is a summary of the legislation from NSW Dept of Health, that makes it very clear that only one body can be cremated at a time, so the remains you receive are only of your loved one:
The simple answer is you get a death certificate from a doctor or the coroner, and then have the body moved into the care of your selected Funeral Director until the cremation or burial. But don't feel rushed, it is perfectly fine for family and friends to spend time with their loved one after their death and before they are moved.
It really helps if there are instructions in place on preferences for burial or cremation and elements of the funeral services, so have the conversation.
Your Funeral Director/Celebrant can help you through the process (I am available 24x7).
Here is a bit more information for different scenarios:
There is no rush to remove your loved one as most hospitals have a morgue, so feel free to spend time with them saying good-bye. Once you have given the hospital permission by signing an Authority to Collect, your loved one will be released into the care of your selected Funeral Director.
The nursing home staff will organise a Doctor to complete the Death Certificate and the paperwork for either a burial or cremation. Providing the nursing home with a nominated Funeral Director's details, in advance, will make it easier for staff to notify your Funeral Director of choice and have your loved one moved into care until the funeral service. This normally happens within four hours as most nursing homes don't have a mortuary.
You can be with your loved one after death to say farewell either in the nursing home, or after they come into the Funeral Directors care.
If your loved one wishes to die at home, then ensure you let your doctor know this in advance. Once they do pass away, call your doctor and they will attend and issue the death certificate. Once the doctor issues the relevant paperwork, then your Funeral Director will organise your loved one to be taken into care. If you can't get hold of your doctor, then call 000 which will normally result in the Police and the Coroner being called and they will help you out from there.
There is no rush for your loved one to be taken away. It is fine to take your time to say goodbye.
If your loved one passes unexpectedly or through self harm, then you will need to call 000, as the case will automatically go to the Coroner and the Police will need to come and take statements.
Your loved one will be taken by the Coroner to the closest Coroners Morgue. Once the Coroner gives permission, your loved one will be transferred into the care of your nominated Funeral Director. The Coroners process can take up to two weeks, depending on how busy the Coroners are. The Coroner will assign you a Case Worker to assist you through the process.
If you wish you can see your loved one at the Coroners or wait till they come into the care of your Funeral Director.