funeral home in Oakland, CA

Wake Catering

How do you choose the right type of food service for your loved one’s wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA? After all, what you serve and how you serve it have a big impact on your guest’s enjoyment, making food a big pressure point in any wake after a funeral service. How do you choose the right food?

Start by deciding how you want the food to be served. The most common options are plated, buffet, food stations, cocktail, and family style. The most traditional wake food style, plated dinners are when the guests are served individual, pre-portioned plates for each course. Generally, guests select their preferred main course dish from a list of options in advance the wake. There are many good things about plated dinners, such as that they limit food waste, and they have a fancier feel. However, plated dinners can cost more than other styles as they take more staff to make and serve. They also take more planning time as you have to carefully place each guest to make sure they get the food they ordered.

Buffets are usually popular for wakes with large numbers of guests or those that want to offer lots of different food options. Buffets are great as they cater to many different tastes and are generally cost effective. However, buffet lines can get very long, slowing down the evening. There are also food stations. Similar to buffets, food stations are placed all around the reception hall with different sections at each one. You can have a pasta, raw bar, carving, or dessert stations, or any other kind you can think of. People tend to enjoy the ability to mingle and select their own food, and the number of stations keep lines short. However, stations require a large space and lots of staff.

What about family style? Family style is a sit-down dinner in which waiters bring large portions of food to the table and guests serve themselves like they would at home. This allows people to select the food they want and the quantity they want, and also makes the dinner feel more social and less formal. However, you do need large tables to accommodate big serving platters, and family style can be expensive. You could also try cocktail style. Instead of a sit-down meal, you can have small, passed hot and cold items served on platters by waiters. This lends itself to small venues and more intimate wakes, but guests might be disappointed if they were expecting a big meal. Usually served on long tables, buffets offer up many food options for guests to self-select, from meat and fish to pastas, salads, and other sides.

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As an Oakland, CA funeral home, we have years of planning experience at your disposal and are honored to do whatever we can to help you. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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Grief Counseling After Cremation Services

Grief counseling is a specific form of therapy that helps you cope with the effects of a major loss after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. There are many different ways you can get help and support when you’re grieving after a loss and cremation service in Oakland, CA, grief counseling is just one of them. Though it comes in many different forms, it commonly involves taking through your feelings about and reactions to the loss of a loved one or any other grief-inducing event such as divorce, infertility, or an adoption falling through.

The main goal of grief counseling is to give you tools to help you deal with the emotional, spiritual, physical, and social effects of grief. The counselor will help you process what has happened, identify what you are experiencing, and provide strategies that help you cope in the healthiest way possible. As there are different kinds of grief counseling, there are different kinds of grief counselors including licensed or certified grief counselors. Licensed or certified grief counselors are mental health professionals who focus on treating individuals and families suffering from loss, whether that means a death or a divorce, loss of a job, or even the loss of a pet. Because grief comes in many different forms for many different people, there are lots of different kinds of grief counselors. Some work in group settings, others focus on private sessions. Some just listen, others give advice and actionable tools to help you move through the grieving process.

There is also pastoral counseling and support groups. Many people find comfort through their faith, making pastoral counseling an excellent choice for getting through grief. This type of counseling helps back up your faith and gives you guidance and support in grief through religious texts and concepts. Many people feel alone after the loss of a loved one. Support groups are excellent for making you feel less alone or if you’re uncomfortable talking to a professional in a one-on-one setting. In support groups, each member works in tandem with the others and gives instant validation from being around others who can understand on some level. Funeral homes, churches, hospitals, and community centers all usually offer support groups or recommendations.

You can also get grief counseling from professional therapists. “Therapist” refers to psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Though they have different titles, each of these professionals are educated and certified in helping with mental and emotional problems. However, their different titles do indicate different specialties. Psychiatrists can diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe medicine, while psychologists are trained in talk therapy, the study of behavior, and psychological testing and analysis and therefore cannot prescribe medicine. Counselors are trained to help individuals address specific problems involving behavior and mental and emotional well-being. You can find any of these professional therapists in locations such as mental health clinics, community centers, hospitals, online practices, military facilities, and schools.

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We are here to help if you have more questions on grief counseling or on Orange Park, FL cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

What Is Funeral Crowning?

Many cultures choose to view services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA as chance to celebrate the life of their lost loved one through unique traditions rather than viewing them as sad events in which they mourn the death of their loved one. One such happy, celebrating tradition is the crowning ceremony.

A crowning ceremony is a traditional part of an African American or Black Canadian homegoing ceremony in which, before the final viewing and benediction, a crown is presented by a family member or officiant and then placed on the deceased’s head inside the coffin. The crown used in a crowning ceremony is just what you’d imagine, a jeweled, bedazzled, or otherwise decorated ornament that is sometimes ordered special by the family or borrowed from the funeral home for the service.

The crown is often presented to a piece of music, sung along by the gathering or by a special choir, and is placed on the head of the deceased, proving they were a king or queen both in life and in death. Then the service continues according to the funeral program. The funeral crown holds specific significance thanks to symbolism in the Bible. Revelation 2:10 reads, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Though the “crown of life’ referenced in this passage is not a literal crown, it does represent the gift of eternal life for those who believe in God.

The crowning ceremony is derived from this passage and serves to symbolize this promise of eternal life through a physical crown. Though the crowning ceremony is a modern tradition, it does have roots in several ancient traditions from many different parts of the world. Throughout history there have been many cultural practices surrounding death that depict an idea of what happens in the afterlife, such as Egypt and Poland. Ancient Egyptians decorated their dead and the tombs with clothing, jewels, and everyday items as they believed the dead would take whatever they wore and whatever was buried with them into the afterlife. In the 1500s, Polish kings were buried with the Funeral Crown, known in Latin as Corona Funebris, until the next king died, and the crown was passed to him. The living kings wore different crowns.

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The most recent iteration of the crowning ceremony popped up very recently, as demonstrated in the viral video of “coffin dancers” carrying a casket in rhythmic step to an upbeat and celebratory song. While some people thought the video was disrespectful of the dead, it is, in actuality, just a different way of honoring the deceased than many Americans are used to. It’s simply a unique form of celebration for the dead, to stay joyful and positive for who they were in life.

We are here to help if you want to celebrate your lost loved one with a crowning ceremony or a more traditional service. Call or visit us today to learn more about our Oakland, CA funeral home services.

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What Does Grief Look Like After Cremation Services?

Grief can present itself in a variety of ways, from physical to emotional symptoms. What does “normal” grief look like after the loss of a loved one and a cremation service in Oakland, CA? How can you tell if what you are feeling is “normal” grief? When should you seek help? How long will you feel like this?

Grief often looks different in different people, meaning no two people will grieve exactly the same. There are many different physical signs of grief. Though grief isn’t a physical illness, it can often feel like one. Some people report that their hearts actually ache, while others are exhausted but can’t sleep or hungry but can’t eat.

And yet others still face a physical grief symptom called “broken heart syndrome,” which is a diagnosable disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack. Grief can also worsen existing health problems, causing increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, increased risk of blood clots, headaches, nausea, and even an increased number of colds or infections. While everyone will grieve at one time or another, grief can hit some people worse than others and necessitate professional intervention.

Feelings of hopelessness and despair are normal, but they shouldn’t be debilitating for long periods of time. Here are some signs you might benefit from counseling or sessions with a doctor, like if you’re no longer looking after your personal hygiene, are experiencing hallucinations, whether of your loved one or otherwise, or are feeling intense feelings of guilt. You should also see a doctor if you’re not able to complete your day-to-day activities, whether that means job, childcare, or school or have thoughts of suicide, the inability to sleep or sleep through the night, are not eating enough or properly, or are binge eating. There are also many emotional symptoms of grief. Grief is a serious stressor, linking physical and emotional symptoms and sparking the same nervous system response as a physical threat. Some research has shown that emotional pain, like the pain of a loss, can even trigger the same zones of the brain as physical pain. This is why you might supper emotional grief symptoms like fear, guilt, emptiness, sadness, anger, shame, shock, and depression.

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Remember, every grief journey is different. You might experience some, all, or even none of the symptoms as you mourn the loss of your loved one. These differences also apply to timeline. Some people might grieve for weeks and other people for years. There is no set timeline for dealing with a loss, so take all the time to need to mourn your loved one while still remembering to take care of yourself, too. Even if you’re not experiencing these specific grief symptoms, you might still benefit from counseling or a grief support group. There is no shame in getting help. After all, humans are social animals and therefore do best when we mourn, heal, and move on in a community.

We are here to help if you want more information on grief or Oakland, CA cremation services. We are honored to do whatever we can for you in your time of loss or preplanning, so call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Concrete Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

One of the best ways to comfort and support someone going through a loss and a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is simply being there for them.

Here are some ways you can be there for someone suffering from a loss. For example, be as normal as possible. They might be sad, but they can still talk about the weather, share jokes, get hungry, need alone time, need to be pushed out of their shell at times, cheer on their sports team, care about politics or the environment or what’s going on in the gossip columns. Treating them normally will show them respect and love in a meaningful way.

Be available and be gentle. They might need help, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to talk to at odd times, so make yourself available and remind them often that you are available. Loss is not a good time for tough love, so be gentle with them. However, be careful not to go overboard and turn your gentleness into condescension. They are still the same person you’ve always known, so use your best judgement on how to interact with them.

To be there for someone, you oftentimes just need to physically be there for them. Try saying, “I’m coming over Thursday, what would be a good time?” It’s easy to want to say the right thing to someone who is grieving, but usually the best thing to do is just listen. If they’re not ready to talk, support them in silence. And don’t forget to let them cry. Crying is a natural and even important part of grieving. Let them cry, or even cry with them. It’s also important to not wait to be asked. Take some initiative and don’t wait for them to ask for help or company. Use your best judgement, but offer up assistance whenever you can. For example, mow their lawn, come over and make dinner, or just call to chat. Don’t try to understand and don’t judge. Even if you’ve been through a similar situation, they are unique and have a unique experience.

Don’t feel burdened to try to make sense of everything for them, or to completely understand what they are thinking and feeling. Grief looks different for everyone, so don’t put your idea of what they should be doing or saying on them. Instead, meet them and accept them where they are, wherever that may be. Similarly, be lenient for perceived offences or slights. For example, let it go if they don’t call you back right away.

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Finally, just ask them what they need. Sometimes, you just won’t know how best to support them unless you ask. They might not know themselves, or they’ll tell you exactly what they need.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about being there for someone in grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We have the expertise needed to help guide you through a time of loss. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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Facts About Cremains

What are cremains and what do they have to do with cremation services in Oakland, CA?

Cremains are the bone fragments left over after a body has gone through a cremation. The term “cremains” is a portmanteau, meaning it’s a blending of words to create a new, more succinct one. In this case, the word “cremains” is a blend of “cremated” and “remains.” While cremains are often called ashes, that’s technically incorrect as they are really a mixture of dry calcium phosphates with some various minor minerals such as salts of sodium and potassium or, in other words, dry bone particles. Since cremations occur at temperatures above 1600° F, any substance that would make true ash is incinerated. However, it makes sense that cremains are mistaken for ash because after the cremains are passed through a grinder, they do greatly resemble ash. The exact amount of cremains that remain after a body is cremated depends on the body’s size, weight, and body type as well as factors such as the crematoriums process and equipment. However, variation in the amount of cremains is very slight. That is why most cremation urns are generally about the same size, though you can find them in different dimensions by length, weight, and depth as well as by interior capacity.

There are many things you can do with cremains after they’ve been processed. Whether you’re planning ahead for your own final arrangements or need some help figuring out what to do after a loved one has been recently cremated, here are some ideas for what to do with cremains, like scattering. A popular option for cremains is to scatter them. Cremains can be scattered in a park, yard, or forest, at sea, in a special garden, or anywhere else. There’s also internment. Internment is a fancy word for being laid to rest. Internment of cremains can be either burial or placement in a columbarium niche. Some families choose to bury a loved one’s cremains in the family burial plot, while others bury the cremains at home in their yards. Columbaria are buildings or rooms with niches that store cremated remains. They can be indoors or out, and often include large numbers of cremation urns to save space.

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Don’t forget about cremation urns and decorations. While most cremation providers return the cremains to the family in a simple box or container, many choose to purchase a cremation urn to house the cremains permanently or before they’re interned. There are many different kinds of cremation urns in all different shapes, sizes, decorations, and even colors. A unique way to memorialize your lost loved one is to turn their cremains into some kind of decoration. Some people choose to mix the cremains into glass to create beautiful art, while others have the cremains mixed into metals or placed into lockets to make cremation jewelry.

We are here to help if you would like to learn more about cremains, internment, or Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Make a Memorial in Your Home

Losing a loved one leaves behind more than just memories. You’re also left with photos, clothing, trinkets, letters and more – so use these items to create a memorial space in your home! It’s important to honor your loved one in whatever way feels best to you after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

It’s important to honor your lost loved one in whatever way feels best to you. We Here are some tips for creating a lovely and respectful memorial space in your home to honor your lost loved one. To begin, choose a space. The number of keepsakes and decorations you want to use in your memorial should help determine what kind of space you need to use. If you want to use a lot of special items and decorations, consider using an entire room or some kind of walk-in closet at the memorial space, such as an unused room, grown child’s room, old office area, or an empty pantry. You can also choose a smaller area like a shelf, bookshelf, fireplace mantle, or other unobtrusive yet visible location in your home like an end table or coffee table, corner shelf, wall in a bedroom, or entire bookshelf.

What about cremation urns? If your lost loved one was cremated and you want to keep their remains in your home, you have a unique opportunity to display and honor the cremation urn. Create a special memorial space for your loved one centered around the urn containing the cremated remains. You can accomplish this by simply decorating the urn in some way, such as an engraved photo, inscription, or an urn with a photo frame. You can also use the urn as the centerpiece for the memorial and fill the space around the urn with photos, keepsakes, candles, and other items. Don’t forget that your memorial space should be beautiful. Decorate it with lovely items like candles, pictures, artwork, flowers, greenery, or other items that both add ambiance to the space and reflect your lost loved one’s personality and style.

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Pictures are some of the best ways to honor and remember your lost loved one. And photos are a great place to start when creating your memorial area as a good picture can serve as the space’s central focus. Try restoring an old photograph, getting a new frame for an old picture, or using an antique frame for a new picture. You can also make a collage or use a double frame to display lots of different photos. Your lost loved one accomplished a lot in their life, so honor those accomplishments by displaying memorabilia or awards in the memorial space. Include items from military service, university degrees or doctoral certificates, awards such as plaques and trophies, and more. You can also add items that represent religious beliefs, church activity, volunteer service, club memberships, their favorite books, or other hobbies.

Do you want more tips on creating a memorial space or more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us today for more information on our services.

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Concrete Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

You want to be helpful to someone who is grieving after a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA, but how? You don’t want your attempts at being helpful to be a burden on them in their time of loss. You most likely want to be helpful in a concrete way.

Here are some meaningful ways you can show up for someone in grief and be genuinely helpful, like helping them rest. There’s a lot do to when someone dies, from planning the service to dealing with end-of-life legalities. Help out by taking things off their plate so they can really rest. Try taking over hosting responsibilities for out-of-town funeral guests, performing household chores, or doing some childcare for an afternoon. Yard work is an excellent way you can help out, as everyone needs their grass cut at some point. From making lists to actually doing the shopping, running errands takes a lot of physical and mental work. Taking errands off their plate would be very helpful in their time of grief.

Keep reaching out and ask what they need. Grief doesn’t end after the funeral or cremation. Even after you’ve attended the service, said your condolences, brought a meal, and run some errands, keep reaching out. They’ll always appreciate the support. Sometimes the best way to provide exactly the help they need is to ask them what they need. Be specific, saying something like, “I’m free on Wednesday, what can I help you with?” or “Can I bring over dinner on Thursday night?” The simple act of going somewhere when in grief can be overwhelming. You can also offer to drive them places or simply go with them wherever they need to go so they’re not alone. Homecooked meals are genuinely comforting, but cooking takes time and energy – both of which are tough to come by in grief. Cook at their house while keeping them company or bring over an easily heated, freezer-friendly dish like a casserole, soup, or lasagna. You can also include a little treat in your meal delivery, such as a pie, cookies, a book, or even a pair of cozy socks

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Don’t forget to be flexible. What they need might vary from day to day. Yesterday, they might have wanted to be left alone, but today they might need a shoulder to cry on and an ear to hear their pain. Be flexible and willing to provide what they need as each moment passes. What about gifting them a massage? Physical touch like massages can be very helpful when someone is grieving. Gift them a massage gift certificate so they can rest, relax, and have some time alone.

Do you want more tips on supporting someone in grief or more information on Oakland, CA cremation services? We are here to help and are honored to assist in any way we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Please call or visit us today to learn more about our services.

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Tips for Coping with Grief

While grief after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA looks different for everyone, there are helpful tips that can help you cope with your loss. If you process your grief, you can look forward to healing in your own time.

You’ll still always miss your loved one, you can look forward to a healthy, productive, and meaningful life if you allow yourself to grieve fully and openly. Here are helpful tips to help you cope with your grief and emerge stronger on the other side.

To begin, take care of yourself. Put yourself and self-care first and you grieve. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and have quiet time or reach out to loved ones or friends for support when needed, binge watch that TV show, or whatever else you can do to help yourself feel better. Memorials like headstones are wonderful for grief as they provide a concrete place where you can go to remember and honor your lost loved one. You can set up a traditional memorial like a headstone, or you can create something more unique like a bird feeder, memory jar, painting, engraved heirloom, or even just a scrapbook filled photos and memories. It can also be very helpful to write down the thoughts and feelings you have as you grieve. A journal is a space, private space in which you can freely express yourself.

Don’t be afraid to accept the changes in your life and try something new. Your life will change because of your loss, and resisting these changes will only make them harder. Take steps to make sure these adjustments are positive and healthy, like taking time for yourself and moving slowly. Consider trying a new hobby or pastime to remind yourself there is always the possibility for happiness and fulfillment even after a loss. You can try traveling, taking a class in a new skill, or even getting a new pet. You also need to prepare for and accept the symptoms of grief. When we grieve, our brains release hormones and chemicals that cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms throughout the body. Be prepared for symptoms like brain fog, pain, or anxiety, and accept them as they come so they will leave when they’re ready.

You also should exercise! Physical activity is wonderful for reducing the symptoms of grief. Take time to move your body in whatever way feels good, whether that means going for a walk, taking an exercise class, or even just dancing around your living room to your favorite music. Try honoring old traditions. While trying new things is great for grief, so is honoring and remembering the old traditions you had with your lost loved one. Considering doing some of the things you used to do together, whether alone or with another loved one or a friend. Facing the loss and your grief is incredibly difficult, but it must be done. Ignoring your grief and its associated feelings will not make them go away but will instead make them harder to deal with down the road.

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We are here to help if you want more information on grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit today to learn more.

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Final Disposition and Cremation Services in Oakland, CA

Do you know what final disposition is? It is what happens to a body after death, including after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Keep reading to learn more about final disposition and the various methods used for after cremation services.

To begin, there are many nontraditional final disposition methods available, from water cremation and body donation to body preservation and more. You are welcome to explore these nontraditional methods to see if they would work for you or your lost loved one.

Ground burial at a cemetery is the most traditional disposition method in the United States. In this method, the body is kept intact, generally embalmed, placed in a casket, and then buried in a cemetery. While there are many options available for cemetery burial, cemeteries are becoming crowded. You can also bury remains above ground. Above ground burial in a mausoleum is when the body is entombed above the ground in some kind of crypt or sarcophagus. These above-ground burial types are rarer than most other final disposition options, due to limited space and far greater cost. A lawn crypt is a vault that is partially underground and holds one or more caskets, usually a family or husband and wife pair. They generally have a few steps down to enter and can often be completely covered with grass.

After cremation, there is natural burial and cremation with ash burial. A natural burial is similar to ground burial except that the body is not embalmed or placed in a traditional casket. Instead, the body is placed in the earth with a few simple wrappings to ease natural biodegradation. The whole point of natural burial is to return the body to the earth in a simple, clean way. In a cremation with ash burial, the body is cremated and the cremated remains, or ashes, are placed in a cremation urn. The cremation urn is then buried in a cemetery plot inside a cremation urn vault to protect the cemetery grounds.

You can also choose final disposition methods like cremation with inurnment. You can place cremated remains inside cremation urns and then house the urn inside a, above-ground permanent resting place called a columbarium. The columbarium houses urns in niches that are either in a freestanding structure on the cemetery grounds or an outdoor wall with niches that you can visit anytime. If you don’t want to bury or house cremated remains, you can also scatter them. The most traditional scattering method is scattering the ashes in a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean. You can also scatter the ashes in a location special to you or the deceased, such as a favorite park or landmark. Don’t forget about housing cremated remains at home, whether on display or somewhere private.

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Do you want to learn more about final disposition or Oakland, CA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on our services or what we can do for you in your time of loss.