funeral home in Oakland, CA

Tips for Serving as a Pallbearer

If you were asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral or service before a cremation service, you need these tips for serving as a pallbearer for guidance and inspiration. A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place.

Hopefully these tips will help you calm your nerves and make sure you are ready to take on this honor. To begin, follow all instructions. Always follow the instructions of the family, bereaved, and the funeral direction. This is true even if you’ve been a pallbearer before or have different ideas of how things should go. It’s not your time to shine, it’s your chance to be respectful and honor the deceased. Also, turn off your phone. It would be horrifying to have your phone ring during the service or, even worse, when you’re carrying the casket.

Unless the bereaved specify otherwise, men should wear dark, solid suits with white shirts and conservative ties, and women should wear dark pantsuits or dresses. You really don’t want to trip when carrying the casket. Be sure to wear sensible shoes that will help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and will be supportive when you lift the casket. Remember, being nervous is normal. It’s true that all eyes will be on you when you carry the casket, so it’s OK to be nervous. Just follow the instructions, breathe deeply, and you’ll be alright.

Turn off your phone completely or leave it in your car or at home. Being chosen as a pallbearer means that the bereaved trust you and care about you. It’s a privilege, so do your best to treat the honor with dignity and respect. This includes considering your attire. Pallbearers need to dress appropriately. Also, be prepared to lift. The main job of a pallbearer is to lift and carry the casket, so prepare yourself. Remember, it’s OK to turn it down if you’re asked to be a pallbearer by can’t physically do the job. Don’t forget to stay back and support the family. Don’t rush out as soon as the service is over. Hang around for a bit to offer support, comfort, and assistance to the family. Lastly, be on time. You need to arrive at the funeral home or service location at or even before the time specified. This way you can be as prepared as possible and not rushing or worried after a late arrival.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you need more guidance or assistance if when it comes to pallbearers or Oakland, CA funeral homes? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Between Death and Cremation Services

No matter how unsettling or uncomfortable it might be, it’s important to know what happens to a body after a death if you’re planning a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Here is a breakdown of what happens to a body after death, from death pronouncement to final decomposition.

The first step is death pronouncement. The death pronouncement is when the person is officially declared dead by a medical professional. It can be different from the actual time of death as sometimes doctors are not present when the person actually dies. Instead, the death pronouncement is given after the doctor examines the body and determines that death has occurred. Next comes body transportation to the funeral home. After a death, someone has to notify the funeral home or cremation provider and then have someone come to the place of death and transport it to the funeral home or cremation location.

There’s also the option to preserve the body. There are several ways bodies are preserved before a cremation service or funeral including refrigeration and embalming. Bodies are kept cold with ice, dry ice, air conditioning, or refrigerators. They can also be traditionally embalmed or eco-embalmed, which is a method that does not use formaldehyde.

Most people choose to have some kind of memorial event for their lost loved one. The most traditional events are viewings, visitations, and wakes. A viewing or wake is when the embalmed body is present, and a visitation may or may not have the body present. Viewings and wakes are also generally more religious than wakes. There are also traditional funerals, which are services in which the body is present in a casket. Funerals are also usually religious events held at funeral homes or churches. Families can also choose to less traditional and host a memorial. Memorials are services at which the body is not present, either because the body was cremated or because the body was already buried.

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Lastly, there’s the service and the final disposition. The body’s final disposition is where the body will be put to rest. Whether the body is buried or interned in a tomb or mausoleum, the service for final disposition is called a committal. When a body is cremated and placed in an urn or scattered, the ceremony is called a cremation ceremony or a scattering service. There are many different ways to put a body to rest, but the most common include burial and cremation. Bodies can be buried in the ground at a cemetery, above-ground in a mausoleum, entombment in a lawn crypt, or naturally buried in other locations. Final disposition options for after cremation include cremation with burial in a cemetery, above-ground burial in a columbarium, scattering of ashes, and inurnment with the urn kept at home. There are also alternative disposition methods such as alkaline hydrolysis, burial or scattering at sea, and body preservation.

Do you want to learn more about the process or Oakland, CA cremation services?
Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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How to Prepare Your Home for a Wake After Funeral Home Services

While there are many places to host a wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, many bereaved prefer to have the gathering at their home. Whether this is because the deceased had a special connection to the house or because the bereaved want to keep the event intimate, a wake at home is a wonderful idea.

If you want to host a wake for your lost loved one at your home, you do need to spend time getting your home ready. Here are some tips for prepping your home for a wake:

  • Organize Cords – Cords hanging off the TV, tangled by the nightstand, or snaking around your desk look plain messy. Clear away and organize your cords by investing in some cheap cord organizers and power strips.
  • Update Your Furniture – A brand new couch is pricey, but reupholstering your existing couch just takes a few hours and some creativity. You can update other furniture, too, like chairs and tables with a new stain or coat of paint.
  • Change Dated Fixtures – Want to make your home look updated for the wake? Change out the fixtures. It’s incredible how much changing fixtures can change a room. Whether you’re updating frosted glass pendant lights or ripping out nasty old ceiling fans in lieu of more modern ones, spend the weekend changing your dated fixtures for a quick home update.
  • Deep Clean – The best way to prep your home for a wake is to do a deep clean. Start in the high traffic rooms like the kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces, but don’t forget the extra rooms like bedrooms, offices, and basements
  • Give Your Windows Love – Window treatments can get dirty if left unattended. A quick way to make your home feel like new again is to clean your treatments. You can even repaint or re-stain them if you want to add a new pop of color.
  • Add Greenery – Plants, flowers and other greenery always add life and color to a space. Worried about watering? Buy some fake plants.
  • Do Some Painting – Few things update a space more than a fresh coat of paint. You can totally change the color of a room for a super new look, or you can just give the existing color a refresh.
  • Clean Tile and Grout – Nothing makes a bathroom or kitchen seem older and dirtier than stained grout or tile. Buy a cheap tile and grout refreshing kit at your local hardware store or online and spend the afternoon scrubbing. It might take some elbow grease, but your kitchen and bathroom will look good as new.
  • Make Space for Your Pet – Your home should be free from pet clutter for the event. Take some time on your weekend to carve out a dedicated space for your pet and all his accessories.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. After all, sometimes it’s the smallest of changes in your home that make the biggest impacts when you want it to look nice for a wake.

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Getting Through Grief

Use these ideas to soothe your pain and grief after the loss of a loved one, such as seeking help from a professional. After all, the death of a loved one, their cremation services in Oakland, CA, and the subsequent grief will never be easy.

However, there are ways you can help ease the pain and help yourself heal. Speaking with a mental health professional like therapist or counselor can be very helpful and comforting in a time of loss and grief. If you’re unsure if you need to speak with a professional, take a moment to be honest with yourself and your situation. There is no shame in getting help.

You also need to take care of yourself. It’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside when you’re grieving. However, you shouldn’t add physical ailments on top of your mental pain. Take care of yourself by eating regularly and healthfully, getting plenty of rest, exercising when you can, sharing your feelings with others, and allowing yourself to cry. Be aware of clinical depression and watch out for complicated grief. It’s natural to feel depressed after a loss. In fact, many common symptoms of grief are the same as those of clinical depression. However, there is a difference between grief and clinical depression, and clinical depression does require professional help.

Be on the watch for signs of clinical depression like your sadness does not subside over time, you feel hopeless or even suicidal, as though life will never get back to normal, you’ve pulled further and further away from your friends and family, and no grief-coping strategies seem to have worked for you. Complicated grief is when you’re unable to move on after a loss. While grief does not have a fixed duration, it does generally ease with time. Complicated grief, however, involves prolonged and painful symptoms that prevent you from accepting the loss and living a normal life again.

If you feel you might have complicated grief, seek help from a professional.

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Don’t forget to seek support. Feeling of loneliness are very common after a loss. In fact, they’re natural. While its noble to make an effort to stand on your own during this difficult time, you don’t have to do it alone. In reality, its actually better to lean on others when you’re going through a loss. Try interacting with friends, family members, or other people in your community to remind yourself of the love, support, and positivity that surrounds you. If you can, fight the urged to isolate yourself. Even if you don’t want to talk about your grief, just spending time in silence with others can be helpful. If you’re not comfortable looking to friends or family for support, you can try a local support group.

Do you have more questions about grief or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Remember, just as no two people will grieve the same way, not all of these tips will help everyone with their grief. Do what works for you and what makes you feel healthy, happy, and that you’re moving towards healing.

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Hosting a Wake this Summer?

Summer wakes can be truly beautiful and meaningful, summer wakes after services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA are very popular, with everything from gorgeous weather and bright sunshine to vibrant flowers. However, the summer also comes with variables that can quickly turn a wonderful wake into a disaster, like thunderstorms, heatwaves, and lots and lots of bugs.

Here are some tips for planning a summer wake that will help you enjoy all the benefits of the season without fear of any of the pitfalls. To begin, make a back-up plan. If you still want to have your wake service, scattering event or other kind of meaningful moment to honor the deceased outdoors, you definitely need a back-up plan in case of rain or other problematic weather. Think about where you can have the ceremony if you have to move things inside or get creative with other solutions like umbrellas or fans.

What about serving cooling refreshments or skipping the soup course? Most wakes these days start in the heat of the day, so your guests will want something to cool them down when they arrive and during the service itself. Try serving cooling welcome refreshments right when the guests arrive so they stay comfortable and cool for the service and into the reception. Many people choose to serve food at the reception following a lost loved one’s wake. While a warm bowl of soup might be delicious, it doesn’t really work with the summer season or the summer heat.

Instead, opt for more summer-friendly dishes like salads, fresh fruit, or a cooling gazpacho. You could also host the wake indoors. Indoor wakes are always a safe bet, but especially so in the summer. You don’t have to worry about pesky bugs swarming the food, heavy rain turning the greeting line into a mud put, or an unexpected heat wave sending your guests in search of air conditioning. You can also give out helpful handouts. Think about helpful favors or handouts you can hand out to your guests to help them beat the heat, like fans or koozies to keep drinks cold.

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You can even order programs that list the agenda for the wake service that double as fans. You can still enjoy parts of the wake outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful season, but having the reception inside will save you a lot of headaches and worry. One of the best parts of summertime is the abundance of bright, colorful flowers and rich greenery. Summer is the perfect time to go overboard with florals, especially when you’re bringing the outdoor feel indoors for an indoor reception after an outdoor wake service. You can also ask your florist about what’s locally in season for to save some money on the centerpieces, flowers for scattering, or other florals you may want for the wake.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be, or if you want more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

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Do You Have Cumulative Grief?

Everyone will experience grief at one time or another, generally after the loss of a loved one and a cremation service in Oakland, CA. However, sometimes people experience losses one right after another can lead to what is called “cumulative grief.”

Cumulative grief can occur when someone experiences more than one loss in a short period of time, causing the pain of each loss to compound each other into oftentimes overwhelming grief. The symptoms of cumulative grief include numbness, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, feeling overwhelmed, avoiding processing the losses, and processing one loss but not being able to process any others.

Here are fast facts about cumulative grief to help you understand this phenomenon and how you can get through it. To begin, all grief, even cumulative grief, takes time to work through. Don’t try and rush through the feelings even if it hurts as this may just leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t try to avoid the feelings, either, as they will continue to build up and cause more pain in the long run.

Remember, it’s not shameful to seek help, especially since cumulative grief can affect your physical health. Finding professional help, like a therapist or counselor, can go a long way towards easing you through cumulative grief. Grief can devastate you emotionally, mentally, and physically. In fact, it can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of blood clots, and even alter the heart muscle to mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. Age increases the risk of cumulative grief. As people get into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, they oftentimes find themselves experiencing more frequent loss of friends, family members, and other loved ones. Substance abuse can also increase the risk for cumulative grief.

People that use drugs or alcohol to numb grief oftentimes don’t fully feel their losses, putting them at greater risk for cumulative grief when they stop using the drugs or alcohol. Multiple loses can also heighten feelings. The simple nature of cumulative grief is that it’s hard. How could feeling the pain of multiple losses not be? As tough as feeling the heightened emotions all at once, it’s better than ignoring the feelings until they become too much to bear.

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Grief is also cyclical. Grief, especially cumulative grief, is cyclical, meaning that one day you might feel better, but then the next you start to feel terrible again. This doesn’t mean you’re regressing or not making progress, it’s just part of the grief experience. This cyclical nature also means that you can make room for joy and happiness within your grief journey. After all, being happy does not negate the love you had for your lost loved one. Finally, cumulative grief isn’t just about death. While death is the most common cause of cumulative grief, it can also be caused by other losses like a change in friends, loss of identity, job loss, or a loss in future dreams or goals.

Do you want to learn more about grief or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Visiting Someone Who Is Dying

Death is something we will all face eventually. But what should you do if you have a friend or close relative who’s dying? While it’s hard, it’s incredibly important to visit them so you can show your love and support before your friend’s passing and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

But what should you say? How can you get through the tangle of emotions that comes with such a visit? There is a lot of awkwardness that comes from talking about death, but it may be helpful to remember that your friend or loved one might feel just as awkward about the subject. Here are some tips for what to say. To begin, just listen. Sometimes it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do say. They might just need someone to listen to them, hold their hand, and be their shoulder to cry on. After all, what they are going through is scary and overwhelming. Just being there to sit with them and let them express how they are feeling can be more than enough comfort. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Face the elephant in the room head on and ask questions about how they’re doing. They may not want to answer them, and that OK, but just having you be there to ask the questions is often comfort enough. Always let them decide how much they feel like sharing. Finally, be honest. Always be honest about your own feelings and experience. Feeling nervous, sad, or scared? Say so. Human connection is so important, and the best way to connect is through honesty. Also, don’t wait. You never know which conversation or visit might be your last, so don’t wait too long to make your visit and be sure you remain as heartfelt and loving as you can.

Don’t you want your friends and loved ones by your side when your time comes? The answer is probably yes, so you need to extend that same grace to your friends and loved ones as they pass. Also, friendship and family means being there to support a person through the good times and the bad. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable, but image how scared or uncertain they are.

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Remember, this is the moment they need you the most. It’s understandable and even normal to feel uneasy or anxious about visiting with someone who’s dying. Most people have never been in that kind of situation before and therefore lack the experience and knowledge to know what to say or do. People also don’t know what to say or do because death and terminal illnesses are somewhat taboo subjects in our society and are therefore often not really talked about or dealt with.

Do you want more information on death or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Use These Tips to Buy a Casket

Buying a casket can be and expensive since caskets are big-ticket items, come in many different sizes and materials, and have a wide range of features. Though it’s not common, many people do choose to buy a casket for their loved one for a service before a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Need some help shopping for a casket?

These tips are here to help! To begin, consider your lost loved one’s wishes. If your lost loved one left behind instructions or preferences as to the type of casket they want, follow those instructions. Not only will this help honor your lost loved one, but it will also make your job that much easier. If they didn’t leave any instructions, think about their tastes and personality to help narrow down your choices. You should also shop early and set a budget. Buying a casket is hard even without adding the additional stress of making the purchase when you have high emotions, are under a time constraint, and are feeling vulnerable after a loss. The best way to combat this issue is to shop as early as you can, whether that means picking a casket before you pass to make the choice easy for your family or moving the task of buying a casket to the top of your funeral to-do list. Caskets can vary widely in price, from a few hundred or thousand dollars to tens of thousands.

All these options can be very overwhelming, so it’s best to start shopping with a set budget in mind. What’s more, you don’t want to overspend and put extra stress on yourself during your time of loss. Another tip is to enlist help. You don’t have to shop for a casket alone. In fact, it’s often best to have a shopping companion along to help you make the decision and offer additional support. Also, having someone along to help might also make it easier for you to stick to your budget and request samples or information on lower-priced options. And finally, its’ almost always helpful to talk over the pros and cons of your various options with someone else. Beyond that, you need to know your rights.

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Finally, take your time and know your rights. While you don’t have all the time in the world to choose a casket, you do have the time to take a step back, breathe, and center yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Oftentimes just taking a quick break can make all the difference. Consumers of funeral home and cremation products have certain rights under federal law. These laws are intended to help protect you from being pressured into buying products you don’t want or need simply because you’re going through a loss. For example, the Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide you with transparent pricing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You need to have all the information before you can make a good decision.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more information on buying a casket or Oakland, CA cremation services. We’re happy to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss or of preplanning, so call or visit us today.

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What Do You Know About Caskets?

What do you know about caskets? If you’re planning a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, you will most likely need to choose a casket for your lost loved one. But where do you start? The best place to begin is learning about the most common types of caskets, casket features, and casket materials.

To begin, there are wood caskets. Generally, wood caskets are made from solid hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, and pecan. Much like furniture made from harder woods is more expensive, the harder the casket wood the more expensive the casket will be. Other woods such as pine, poplar, and willow are generally the most affordable, and the least expensive wood casket option is wood veneer, pressed wood, and cloth-covered fiberboard.

There are also metal caskets. The most common metals used to make caskets are bronze, copper, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Bronze and copper are the most durable as they will not rust over time, but they do tend to cost. Stainless steel and carbon caskets come in different thicknesses, each with their own price point. Metal caskets are usually more durable than wood, which is why they’re often marketed as “protective.” Though they do come with a rubber gasket to seal the casket, they do not slow down the decomposition process.

You also need to consider the size of the casket before you commit to choosing one. A standard casket is generally 84 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. While the length of a casket is rarely an issue – as most bodies comfortably fit within the standard size – you may need to look at an “oversized” casket that have an extra width of 31 inches. What about features? Caskets come with two basic types of lids: half couch and full couch. Half Couch refers to a two-piece lid that’s usually partially opened (from the deceased’s waist up) for a viewing. Full Couch refers to a one-piece lid extending the length of the casket.

Don’t forget to think about additional features like lining, memory drawers, and casket corners. Casket interiors, or linings, come in a variety of materials. The most common are crepe, velvet, satin, linen, and velour. Memory drawers are special compartments built into the casket that hold small personal items you wish to bury with the deceased. These are special attachments to the outside of the casket that help denote the deceased’s life in some way, like a golfing or fishing symbol.

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Finally, cremation caskets are used to support the body while its being cremated and therefore need to be combustible and cannot have any metal parts. In fact, unless you would like a casket because you have a funeral before the cremation, you don’t have to have a true casket at all. You can choose a cremation container, or simple box, in which to cremate the body.

There are a lot of different caskets out there, all in different materials, shapes, sizes, and price points, so it can be hard to get started on choosing one for your lost loved one. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about caskets or Oakland, CA funeral homes.

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Preplanning and Your Loved Ones

Though it’s impossible to be completely prepared for the death of a loved one, you can be somewhat prepared by having a plan. Even though talking about death is never easy, these conversations are essential. It never will be easy to talk to your loved ones about their after-life plans for cremation services in Oakland, CA. When you’re ready to have the discussion, you can use these questions to help guide you and make sure you get the information you need.

To begin, ask if they have a will. According to a study done in 2020 by Trust & Will, only 32% of all adults have a will or living trust, and only 36% of adults with children under 18. Wills are vital documents that make sure a person’s last wishes are followed in the event of their death. Create a will with your loved ones, or make sure that that have one of their own, and keep it in a safe but accessible place.

You should also have a discussion about how they would like to be celebrated. Perhaps the most important part of the after-life discussion is how your loved ones would like to be remembered and celebrated. Do they want to be buried or cremated? Have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death.

Don’t forget to ask about Powers of Attorney or Health Care Powers of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a document that gives a designated person the power to make legal decisions for another person if they become unable to make them for themselves. A Health Care Power of Attorney does the same, but for medical decisions instead of legal ones. These documents can be essential if your loved one is getting older or suffering from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

You also need to ask about financial information. Financial institutions are strict about giving people access to other people’s accounts, even if they are a spouse or close relative. That’s why it’s important for your loved ones to have their financial information written down and that you know where its kept. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities, and personal property. Finally, ask about who will take care of their pets and what you should do with their online accounts. Most people love their pets like children and will therefore have specific wishes as to how they should be cared for upon their death.

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Make sure these wishes are written down in a safe place. Some people choose to keep their online presence as a digital memorial upon their death, while others would prefer that their digital presence is removed. Either way, make sure you have a list of their online accounts and passwords so you’re able to carry out their wishes when they pass.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you have more questions about preplanning, or would you like more information on Oakland, CA cremation services? Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.