cremation service in Oakland, CA

What Memorial Details Really Matter?

There are a lot of details that go into a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. However, not every detail matters as much as others. There are some aspects of funerals and memorials that guests don’t really care about at all, but there are some that they care about a lot.

In order to save you time and energy on planning your lost loved one’s service, here are the details that your guests actually care about. Use this list to help make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be!

To begin, people care about the flow. When it comes to any kind of even, even funerals and memorials, the “flow” refers to the way your guests move from moment to moment in the event. For example, from the service itself to the refreshments or burial. You don’t want to keep your guests waiting, so it’s important to optimize your flow by keeping your funeral director, celebrant, or any other person in charge appraised of your wishes and delays.

The location is also important. Do your best to choose a location that’s as accessible as possible, whether that means keeping it close to home to minimize travel or ensuring it has wheelchair ramps or close parking for differently abled guests. Also, don’t forget to consider the weather if the venue you choose has outdoor options. You don’t want your guests to sweat through their black clothing or freeze in cold weather.

Don’t forget to focus on the date and tie. Your guests want to be able to come to your lost loved one’s service! When choosing the date, be mindful of holidays. Even though getting days off from may make it easier for them to travel, many people may want to use holidays for vacations or standing family reunions. When choosing the time, try not to make the service too early or too late. Having the ceremony at 9am might make it hard to guests to be ready, but a service at 9pm is later than others might want to stay up. The food at the service one of the most important aspects, so you need to make sure your catering is the best it can be. That means not only delicious, but also hot, fresh, and well-presented. Don’t forget about options for people with dietary restrictions.

Do your very best to talk with or say hello to every one of your guests. It can be tough to accomplish, especially if you have a big service, but it’s important to make an effort so they feel appreciated for taking the time and energy to attend. Finally, focus on the service itself. The majority of funeral guests are at the event because they cared about the deceased. So, make sure the service honors and remembers the deceased in the best ways possible.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on planning or Oakland, CA cremation services? After all, you shouldn’t waste your precious funeral or memorial planning time working on details that your guest won’t care about or even remember.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Why Should You Preplan a Funeral?

While it’s never easy to think about your eventual passing, preplanning your funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is one of the best things you can do for your family, and for yourself. After all, losing a loved one is hard enough without having to plan, execute and pay for a funeral service.

Preplanning for your funeral can help both you and your loved ones in many different ways. The benefits of preplanning a funeral include:

  1. Creating a Meaningful Service: Memorial and funeral services are an important part of the grieving process, but your loved ones might miss out on the important benefits if they are too busy planning the event. Preplan so they don’t have to.
  2. Maintaining Self-Reliance: Taking charge of your memorial and funeral services allows you to maintain control and independence when you might otherwise lose them. This is good for your mental health at the end of your life and gives you more self-reliance.
  3. Easing Your Family’s Burden: Let your family know exactly what you want for your funeral so they don’t have to guess what to do after you’re gone, or spend time making painful decisions when they should be grieving with loved ones.
  4. Making Sure Your Wishes Are Met: Make sure you get the exact funeral or memorial service you want by taking care of the details and clearly laying them out for your friends and family. This way they won’t be able to argue or disagree.
  5. Financial Responsibility: You can plan for how to cover the funeral costs in advance to make it easier for your family’s bank accounts and stress levels. Look into funeral insurance or funeral trusts to help ensure financial ease for your cremation and service.

These are just a few of the ways preplanning your funeral can help both you and your family.

But how do you go about preplanning a funeral? The first step is to simply start making some choices. Think about what you want for your funeral, and be prepared to make choices such as:

  • Choose what to do with your remains, from burial and scattering to more non-traditional methods of body disposal like a biodegradable urn or water internment.
  • Pick out your service theme, like military, religious, or non-traditional.
  • Choose the funeral home.
  • Detail memorial or funeral specifications like preferred music, desired readings, special decorations and video displays.
  • Choose your final resting place. There are a ton of options, but the main ones include: a family plot or mausoleum, columbarium, or cremation urn.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Preplanning your funeral isn’t as hard or overwhelming as you would think once you get started, and it can only help you and your loved ones after your death. Deer Creek Funeral Service, a Oakland, CA funeral home, is here to help if you do need more assistance with preplanning. We have years of experience with preplanning and would be happy to help you however we can. Please stop by and visit us today for more information.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Cremation Vs. Hydro Cremation

Many funeral homes in Oakland, CA are now offering hydro cremation services. Do you know what hydro cremation services are or how they compare to standard cremations? Keep reading to learn more about hydro cremation to see if it’s the right choice for you and your family.

To begin, hydro cremation, sometimes referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, is a water-based process that helps reduce bodily remains to dust and ash, like standard cremations. However, unlike cremations, hydro cremation uses water instead of fire.

The goal of any type body disposition method, whether it be cremation, burial or hydro cremation, is to break the body down into its most basic elements: bone and dust. The differences in body disposition methods begin in the speed in which the body breaks down and the method. For example, in a burial, the body is broken down by the microorganisms in the soil and this process can take around 25 years. In a standard cremation, the body is broken down by heat in a few hours. In hydro cremation, the body is broken down by a solution of water, sodium, and potassium hydroxide in just a few hours.

How does hydro cremation work? The body is put in a stainless-steel container in which the water, sodium, and potassium hydroxide are mixed together. The temperature in the container is then raised to help the mixture circulate over the body and reduce it to dust and bone. Really, hydro cremation is just an accelerated version of natural decomposition. Especially since, as the human body is made up of mostly water, it makes sense for us to be returned to water and be a part of the natural life cycle when we die.

There are many reasons why many people think that hydro cremation is a much better body disposition method than burial or standard cremation. One is that hydro cremation is much better for the environment than its counterparts and much more sustainable in the long run. Standard cremation often emits a ton of carbon, vaporized mercury and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but hydro cremation emits nothing. Because of these emissions, standard crematories require expensive abatement or filtration systems, but hydro cremation providers need none. Hydro cremation also has a low carbon footprint as its uses less fossil fuel and produces almost no greenhouse gases. In fact, hydro cremation’s carbon footprint is about one quarter that of standard cremation.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Hydro cremation is also thought to be much better for the environment than standard cremation or ground burial because it does not require the removal of implants like pacemakers, allows medical devices and implants to be recycled, does not burn caskets and therefore reduces the use of natural resources and the production of CO2, and is not contaminated by harmful bacteria or chemicals. Hydro cremation is also green because it does not create harmful by-products, but rather creates a solution of soaps, peptides, amino acids and sugar and it uses about 1/10th the energy of standard cremation

Do you want to learn more about hydro cremations? Deer Creek Funeral Service, an Oakland, CA funeral home, is here to help.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

The Steps for Arranging a Funeral

Death is and always will be hard, but the difficulty is often compounded by the difficulties that come with arranging a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. Learn more about this process of arranging a funeral so you can be better prepared when faced the loss of a loved one.

There are eight main steps that everyone must follow after a death to arrange a funeral:

  1. Report the Death – If the death is at a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, the officials there will know what to do and will make the report for you. If you are at home, or have no other options, call 911.
  2. Prepare to Work with a Funeral Director – You will need the assistance of a funeral director to complete the death certificate, transport and store the body. Take note if the deceased made pre-arrangements for his or her funeral or cremation and be prepared to relay these wishes to the director.
  3. Choose the Service – There are several service options you need to be prepared to choose from such as funerals, in which the service is held before the body is cremated or buried and the body is present, or memorials, in which the service is help after the body is buried or cremated and therefore not present.
  4. Make Cemetery Arrangements – If you choose to inter the remains after the funeral or cremation, you will need to make cemetery arrangements. Decide where the burial will take place, and if necessary, purchase a plot. If you’re unsure where to start, your funeral director or cremation assistant will most likely be affiliated with a cemetery and can help you find a plot. You could also check with your church, synagogue or other place of worship for further guidance.
  5. Plan the Funeral Service – Feel free to get creative when making memorial or funeral service arrangements to make the service personal and meaningful. Flowers, music, pre or post service events and other special touches help make the service personal for you and the deceased.
  6. Make Body Transportation Arrangements – You will need to make arrangements for the body to be transported from the place of death to the funeral home, and also to the cemetery if you choose burial, as well as inform the family and write a death notice.
  7. Make the Death Announcement – Personally inform all close family, friends and loved ones of the death, ideally over the phone or in person. If you’re nervous, take the time to write a script to help you make key points. Don’t forget to write and release a death notice to notify the rest of the friends, coworkers, associates etc.
  8. Stay Organized – You should make a list of what you need to accomplish before the service to help you stay organized and not forget anything important. This list could include your attire, personal items or collecting photos.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Looking for more guidance on arranging funerals? Deer Creek Funeral Service, an Oakland, CA funeral home, is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Celebrations of Life at Funeral Homes

Most people have been to a traditional funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, but celebrations of life are non-traditional services that, rather than mourning a loss, remember and celebrate a life well lived. They give attendees a chance to say goodbye by sharing stories and memories and then laughing and smiling about those stories rather than crying over them.

Since celebrations of life aren’t rooted in long traditions, they can be whatever the bereaved and the deceased want. The best thing about celebrations of life? They have no rules at all. They can be whatever you want them to be! Unless, of course, the deceased left specific instructions for their service.

But if there are no rules, how do you go about planning one? Where do you start? Here are some tips to help you plan a celebration of life. Start with the guest list. Who do you want to invite? Keep the guest list small if you want an intimate celebration or open it up to the whole community if you want a large celebration. Once you have a rough idea of how many people are going to attend you can start to choose a location. Some celebrations of life are held at traditional places like churches, funeral homes, and banquet halls, but others are held at much more unique locales.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box: campfires in the woods, dinners at restaurants, services in a field, or even just a backyard barbeque. Next, think about the service itself. You also need to do some planning for how you will honor and celebrate your lost loved one. Generally, celebrations of life have some kind of officiant or MC that leads the group in memories, speaks about the life of the deceased, and ushers the ceremony along.

However, you can also have a more informal ceremony without a specific leader. If you go this route, consider passing out programs so guests know what to expect, where to be, and what to do. What about activities? A celebration of life can be full of a range of activities to help remember and honor the deceased. Some common activities are scrapbooks or memory boards, reading the deceased’s favorite literature or listening to their favorite music, watching memorial tribute videos, and eating the deceased’s favorite foods. Remember, a celebration of life is a celebration. As such, it should be uplifting and fun. Don’t shy away from good fun, drinks, and even decorations like balloons and streamers. They are interesting, unique and heartwarming ways to celebrate lives.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on planning celebrations of life or on Oakland, CA funeral homes. We are honored to do to however we can in your time of loss and celebration of a life well lived. Call or visit us today. After all, while there’s nothing wrong about being comforted in tradition, there is something to be said for going a different route: a celebration of life.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Rituals for After Cremation Services

Rituals go a long way towards easing grief after a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA. But how do you perform a ritual? What do they even look like?

A ritual is defined “a repeated pattern of behavior performed at specified times”, and it often includes the use of symbols, rites and actions.” They offer benefits like creating community, providing space to grieve, giving a sense of control and many, many more. They can also be almost anything.

Want some inspiration? Use this list of rituals:

  • Start a Grief Journal – Grief journals are so simple and yet so powerful. Creating ritual of writing in your grief journal at a certain time of day or for a certain length of time can go a long way towards providing comfort, familiarity, support and routine in the turbulent time of loss. If you don’t know what to write, try with letters to your lost loved one, what you did that day, or even just how you feel in that day or moment. There is no right or wrong way to journal.
  • Share Memories – Create a memorial website or use the deceased’s social media to share memories of the deceased and have other people share theirs as well. This gives everyone a space to grieve and heal together.
  • Carry on Existing Rituals – Maybe your lost loved one had rituals of their own, from eating in a certain restaurant on a certain day or just regularly watching a TV show. Carry on these rituals to feel connected to the deceased.
  • Memory Boxes – Gather photos, clothing, and other mementos of the deceased’s life and place them all in a box. You can even include poems, quotes or other writings or art that remind you of your lost loved one. Once made, you can revisit the box at certain times of year.
  • Try Meditation – Guided grief meditations are an easy way to jump into a new ritual. There are tons of options on YouTube, Spotify, and other libraries. If you want to try meditating in person, try a local yoga or meditation studio. Meditation can provide calm, peace and comfort in the weeks following a loss.
  • Host Gatherings at the Deceased’s Favorite Place – Whether it’s a park, workplace, restaurant or dream destination, hosting a gathering at the deceased’s favorite place will help you remember their passions and create familiarity.
  • Plant a Tree or Garden – Living things are comforting, and the act of planting and caring for them is very ritualistic. Every time you water the plant or garden you can remember your lost loved one.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about grief rituals or Oakland, CA cremation services. These are just a few of the many, many different rituals you can perform after you lose a loved one. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do a ritual or even a right or wrong ritual to try. Do whatever makes you feel supported and grounded in your time of loss. Call or visit us today.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Rituals Vs. Traditional Religion

Services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA and, in fact, the entire funeral service industry are built on traditions. Most of these traditions originated in religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, or another belief system.

But with religion on a downslide, what will take the place of these traditions? How can those suffering from a loss find richness and meaning in death? Rituals might be the answer.

A ritual is defined “a repeated pattern of behavior performed at specified times”, and it often includes the use of symbols, rites and actions.” Rituals have long been used in both religious and general cultural situations. Take, for example, Día De Los Muertos, visiting a lost loved one at a cemetery, or performing Last Rites on someone who is dying.

All of these rituals fit the definition, but they also offer lots of benefits for those that perform them. Rituals are powerful because they offer a wide range of benefits. Specifically, they give us space to process a loss. In a grief study performed by Harvard University, researched discovered that it wasn’t just traditional rituals that helped people going through a loss.

They also learned that personal rituals played a large role in helping with grief. These personal rituals might seem useless or silly to the outside word, but to the mourner they had immense meaning and healing power. Little acts from washing a car to going for a walk have the bereaved space to emotionally process the loss. Though they reported feeling sad during the ritual itself, they mostly reported feeling better and lighter afterwards.

Rituals give us a feeling of control. We don’t have much control over life or death, but rituals help us feel like we have control, which can go a long way towards comforting us. In that same Harvard study, the participants that performed a ritual reported feeling that ““things were in check’ and less likely to feel ‘helpless’, ‘powerless’, and ‘out of control’.”

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Rituals also bring people together. As said by expert Tracey Wallace from Eterneva, “Mourning rituals and ceremonies are meant to bring people together, to take the hands of those mourning the loss and lead them astray from isolation”.  People often feel along after losing a loved one, but rituals can help them feel connected to other people and part of a community. As The Conversation wrote, “Using familiar words and actions in an unfamiliar situation can help us find our way through it”. During a grief study done by Harvard, the scientists discovered that people who experienced little or no grief symptoms within one month of losing someone they loved all performed rituals. The experts believe that the rituals helped with the grief symptoms because they gave the bereaved a chance to mourn the loss, celebrate the life, and process their grief.

Remember, rituals have incredible power for healing after a loss. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about common rituals or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Memorial Ornaments for Your Tree

Memorial ornaments can be a small way to hold your loved one close even though they’re no longer in this world. They can help you celebrate the holiday season after losing a loved one and going through their cremation service in Oakland, CA. But what is a memorial ornament?

They can be anything you want, really. But if you need inspiration, try any of these simple do-it-yourself ornament options. Take, for example, a photo frame ornament. Most craft stores sell small wooden or plastic picture frame ornaments. Buy one of these premade frames and decorate it as you please. Then, place a photo of your lost loved one inside the frame and hang it on the tree. If you have multiple loved ones to remember, you can try making a remembrance wreath with photo ornaments for each person strung or glued together.

What about memory chains? Cut out strips of paper, like colored construction paper, and write down special messages, memories, or thoughts about your lost loved one. You can even write down jokes, silly stories, qualities you loved about them, or something they taught you. Next, glue the strips together to make a paper chain and hang the chain on your tree. Your lost loved one doesn’t need their jewelry anymore, so why not use it to make an ornament? You can pace earrings, beads and other small jewelry items into clear glass or plastic balls for easy display, or you can turn necklaces and bracelets into sparkling tree trimming.

You can make scroll ornaments. Write down your thoughts, memories, feelings and hopes about your loved one into a piece of paper. Then, make a scroll by attaching two rods to each end of the paper and rolling it up. Tie the scroll with a ribbon and hang it from the tree. You can continue to add messages and thoughts as the years go by. If your loved one loved the outdoors, make a DIY ornament using items from nature. You can glue decorations like ribbons, jingle bells, pompoms, and sequins to pinecones, leaves, or any other outdoor item. This is also a perfect craft to do with kids!

You can also make fabric ornaments. Use your loved one’s favorite tie, shirt or other piece of clothing to make an ornament. Just trace whatever pattern you choose twice onto the material, cut out the shapes, sew or glue them together, and stuff the middle with cotton balls. Don’t forget to add a ribbon or hook to the top so you can hang it on the tree. You can also add embellishments like buttons, glitter, or stitching, or add a short note on the back to explain why the ornament is important for future generations.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more memorial ornament tips or want more information on Oakland, CA cremation services. Remember, any of these ornaments would make a lovely addition to your Christmas tree this holiday season. They would also make wonderful gifts to those who are suffering the loss of a loved one.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Funeral Home Services in a Pandemic

An important part of the mourning process after someone dies is having a service of some kind after a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. This tradition has been going on for thousands of years because services allow the bereaved to gather together and support one another in their grief by remembering their lost loved one. But now we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

With safety guidelines asking people to stay apart from one another, how can the bereaved gather to mourn their loss? Graduation ceremonies, weddings, birthday parties and other big events can be postponed, but funerals and memorials are different. How can you have a memorial or funeral during a pandemic?

Unfortunately, some traditions will need to be let go, at least for now. Comforting the bereaved through hugging, handshakes or other physical touch isn’t possible right now. The same goes for sharing a meal after the service with a large group of people and traveling long distances for the service. However, there are ways that the majority of other traditions can take place while keeping the bereaved and staff safe.

For example, look into virtual services. Though many people won’t be able to be at the service in person, they can still attend virtually. Most funeral homes are equipped with video streaming and recording technology to give online guests a comprehensive experience all from their computers, phones, laptops or tablets. Loved ones near and far can celebrate the deceased safely in these trying times through live virtual services or by viewing recorded services. There are also small services. Small families are able to host small, intimate services for their lost loved one in person as most states have a 10-person gathering limit.

While it’s not the best option, the bereaved do have the ability to postpone a memorial service until its safe for everyone to attend. Cremation allows the family to postpone since the body will be preserved in its ash-like state. If you choose to have funeral, you can host a small one and then have a large memorial service when it’s safe to do so.

You also need to take safety into account when planning. It’s important to keep people safe while planning a service. To do this, it’s best to limit planning appointments to two people in person, though others can be present on the phone or via video call. You can also plan the service entirely remote through video calls, screen shots, emails, and phone calls.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

It is possible to have services for your lost loved one even in the time of COVID-19. While it might be different than you imagined, it will still be beautiful, respectful and meaningful.

Are you looking for a funeral home that has the capabilities to help you plan a service that’s safe and meaningful? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Our staff is well-trained and has the experience necessary for a customized and unique celebration that can be held at any time preferred by the family. Call us today to learn more about services in the time of COVID-19 or about Oakland, CA funeral homes.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

What Are Care Packages?

From dealing with the emotions and stress of the loss to planning the details that go with a service. Losing a loved one and going through their cremation service in Oakland, CA is hard. If this seems to be the case with someone you know that’s going through a loss, you should think about sending them a care package.

But what is a care package? A care package is a package filled with some of the thing necessary to fill basic needs that might not be met in a time of loss. Care packages can include food, toiletries, grief resources and other personal touches that will help ease the bereaved’s burden and make managing their loss a bit easier.

What should you include in a care package? Anything that you think would help the bereaved or ease their pain is a valid idea. Use what you know about them and their preferences to help you decide what to include as you know them best. If you need some ideas, try thoughtful messages. Don’t forget to include a note with a thoughtful message of support and love.

You can also go beyond necessities into thoughtful and comforting gifts. Candles, slippers, bath bombs, cozy blankets, and teas are always welcome. If they have children don’t forget to add coloring books or stuffed animals. You can also include food. Cooking and grocery shopping might be the last thing on the bereaved’s mind, so sending food is a big help. Stick to non-perishable foods that can be easily snacked on like canned goods, granola bars, cereal or oatmeal, or make easily reheated meals like casseroles and soups.

Lastly, the bereaved might not have time to run to the pharmacy or drug store for basic toiletry needs. So, send a care package with anything you might replace in a bathroom including tissues, toilet paper, shampoos and conditioners, lip balm, toothpaste or soap. It’s important to note that you don’t have to feel like you need to buy and send a care package all on your own. You can always go in on one with family members or friends to share the costs and help the bereaved feel more supported by more people.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

But why should you send a care package? For starters, sending someone a care package shows you care and makes them feel supported in their time of loss. Also, a care package allows the bereaved to spend as much time alone as they need too but still helps them feel connected to others. Finally, a care package is an actual effort to help. So often people offer assistance to the bereaved at the service but don’t follow through. Actually, sending a care package proves that the bereaved are supported and cared for in their difficult time.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about care packages or Oakland, CA cremation services. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you. Remember, a little care package can go a long way.