Medical Matters

Funeral Home – Information

Not easy by any means, but it’s going to happen to everyone.

Last week I decided to stop by my favorite French pastry shop and pick up a big assortment of pastries to take with me to a “meeting”.  I arrived to the location about 30 minutes before the appointed time so that I could chat with the owners. When I gave them the pastries they said “Wow! No one EVER brings us presents! Thank you so much!”

I was at Celis Funeral Home (Funeraria Celis) so you can well understand why they don’t receive gifts.  No one wants to go there.  Many people look the other way when they drive by.  Most would like to pretend the place doesn’t exist. But they do exist and thank goodness that they do. These folks go above and beyond in their service, in their compassion, in their knowledge and in their honesty when it comes to making any and all arrangements for someone who has passed away. From the initial phone call to the final papers, the staff is there to assist. Most of the time, the surviving family are in a robot-like mode, thinking they do know what is going on but in reality they are in a fugue-like state.  That is why oftentimes I will accompany them.

What is needed by the authorities and by the funeral home from the family? The deceased’s passport and the passport/ID of the person making the arrangements (spouse, family member). The decision of whether the deceased will be cremated or buried (or the body sent “home”).  Payment of course.

Celis will ask many questions in order to fill out and obtain the Mexican death certificate including items such as the deceased’s parent’s names, place of birth, occupation.  For same sex couples, in the past it was difficult for the surviving partner to be able to make these decisions and pick up the remains but now, thankfully, with a copy of the marriage certificate all of this can be done by the surviving partner.

At the funeral home, the paperwork will be done and then, the family member will be taken by Celis to the Registrar’s office (in the main plaza) where the official death certificate is made.  If the body is to be sent “home”, Celis coordinates with the receiving mortuary for transport (by plane) of the body.

Of course, situations vary (if it is a crime scene or not a death from natural causes) but in general, the process itself is made as simple as possible by Celis. The appropriate consular agent is contacted as well.  There are some very questionable funeral homes in the area.  Since 1975, Celis has provided the care and quality that must be demanded in a funeral home.

This sort of sounds like a commercial for Celis and I guess it is in a way. I am so proud of the people that I work with and their professionalism that I like to brag about them.  Though I do not work with them every day, especially lately, I have spent a significant amount of time there with them.  It is sort of weird when I go for a visit, sitting next to a bunch of coffins in the window and chatting about everyday things.  But that is what you do with friends and people you work with. Please let me know if you have specific questions about what is involved when a death occurs here.

Here’s to a bright week!

Pamela Thompson on Email
HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta is a multi-faceted, independent, resource network that is here for your TOTAL health and well-being. We offer English-speaking assistance to help find a physician, hospital and/or diagnostic service for any healthcare needs. As well, we are here to answer any health-related questions that you might have in relation to the Puerto Vallarta area.