+1246 429-8129
Eagle Hall Main Road | St. Michael | Barbados

Planning A Funeral January 24, 2019

Planning a Funeral

The trauma and sorrow of losing a loved one make it very challenging to engage in the analysis and decision-making of funeral arrangements. The many services that Downes & Wilson provides, facilitate what is really a very personal decision, an expression of your feelings, and your final tribute to the personality and taste of your loved one. The Family of Downes & Wilson Funeral Home is here to guide you through this process and make it less difficult. Feel free to contact us at any time by calling +1246 429-8129. Please note that in the event of the death of a loved one, the procedure will differ depending on where the person has died.

In The Event Of A Death In The Home

You should first notify the Doctor, the Police Department (Telephone # 211), and the Funeral Home that there is a death. You can contact us at Downes & Wilson Funeral Home at any time 24/7 with your emergency needs.

In The Event Of A Death At The Hospital When You Are Not Present

The hospital will call to inform you. You should then contact the Funeral Home letting them know:

  • Name and address of the deceased
  • Age
  • The Ward Number
  • The date of death
  • Your contact information including email address.

Always ensure that you walk with their Barbados Identification Card. This is needed for the release of the deceased to the Funeral Home.

Other essential documents

  • The National Insurance Card
  • The Birth Certificate
  • Marriage certificate of the deceased (where applicable) These documents are needed when making the claim for the Funeral Grant or Survivor’s Benefit.

The following information is needed for the Registration Department to process the Death Certificate:


  • Full Name of Deceased
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Date of Death – Day/Month/ Year
  • Place of Death
  • Sex – Male/Female
  • Rank or Profession
  • Country of Birth
  • Name of Informant – (name of the person to sign the card for the Registration Department)
  • Address of Informant
  • Proposed date of Burial – Day/Month/ Year
  • The proposed place of Burial – Cemetery
  • National Registration Number

The information given above is then typed on to a Notice of Death card which is sent to the Registration Department for processing.

In addition, you will want to:

  • Find someone to help answer sympathetic phone calls, cards, and letters, as well as to greet friends and relatives when they call.
  • Decide an appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made (church, charity, etc.)
  • Prepare a list of distant persons to be notified by letter or printed notice and decide which to send.
  • Locate the will and notify lawyer and executor
  • Check carefully all life and casualty insurance and death benefits including National Insurance, credit union, fraternal, and military.
  • Access the National Insurance Funeral Grant of Bds$2,120.00 and Survivor’s Benefits
  • Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some carry insurance clauses that cancel balances upon death.
  • Notify utilities and landlord and tell the post office where to send mail (if the deceased was living alone).


When writing out an Obituary here is a checklist to ensure to make mention of close family members, friends, and close affiliations, etc…

  • Son/Daughter of
  • Husband/Wife of
  • Widower/Widow
  • Father/Mother of
  • Step-father/mother of
  • Grand-father/mother of
  • Great-grand-father/mother of
  • Brother/Sister of
  • Uncle/Aunt of
  • Great uncle/aunt of
  • Nephew/Niece of
  • Cousin of
  • Father/Mother-in-law of
  • Brother/Sister-in-law of
  • God-father/mother of
  • Relative of
  • Friend of

You may also want to include information such as the names of workplaces, educational institutions, or titles of relatives, fraternities, and organizations of which the deceased was a member.

Please note that the CBC radio ad allows a maximum of 40 names and 10 addresses only for the obituary; however you may use any amount of names for the Nation Newspaper Obituary.

Personalizing an Obituary

Embellishments may be used in the obituary before the relation e.g. devoted mother of, beloved husband of, etc. The common list includes beloved, cherished, devoted, loving, and dear.

Funeral Arrangements

Some of the costs you will incur are:

  • The basic cost of casket chosen & casket spray
  • Transfer to funeral home
  • Transportation to and from the funeral*
  • Mortuary services
  • Hymn sheets
  • Grave and Church fees
  • Obituary – newspaper, and radio
  • Professional services
  • Condolence books
  • Wreaths
  • Death certificates

*We offer at least one complimentary car

The Order Of Service

The Order of Service is the order in which the Funeral Service will run. This is prepared by the Church with input from the relatives; it is then faxed, emailed, or brought to the Funeral Home.

The Funeral Home uses the Order of Service to prepare the memorial hymn-sheet. The Order of Service includes the hymns/songs, tributes, pallbearers, ushers, photos, and any personal notes from the family.

Dressing Your Loved One

Clothing must include:

  • Dress (with sleeves)
  • Suit & inside shirt
  • Boxers/panties
  • Vest/petticoat (if worn)
  • Bra
  • Socks/stockings
  • Dentures (if worn)
  • Accessories such as earrings, necklaces, tie, etc.
  • Wig (if preferred)
  • Preferred lip-stick (if desired)