funeral home in Oakland, CA

Break the Mold with a Traditional Funeral

These days, its more unique to have a traditional service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA than a modern service like a cremation, a celebration of life, or other casual, more “fun” services.

These shifts have made the traditional funeral home service more of a novelty. In fact, if you want to break the mold, you should consider having a traditional funeral. Here’s what you should include to make your lost loved one’s funeral traditional:

  • Prelude Music – The service is usually opened by an instrumental song, oftentimes piano or organ.
  • Scripture and Sermon – The officiant will read from the Bible, generally passages about life, death, and resurrection. The officiant will also usually give a short sermon based on some fact from the deceased’s life or on hope after loss.
  • Eulogy and Tributes – One of the deceased’s close family or friends will give a tribute speech, called a eulogy, to honor their life, who they were, their values, and their legacy. After, the officiant will give time for other service attendees to stand up and say a few words about the deceased. Sometimes these tributes are arranged ahead of time, and other times they are spur of the moment.
  • Welcome, Prayer, and Singing – The officiant, usually a priest or pastor, welcomes the guests and prays over them. After, the congregation sings one or two traditional hymns.
  • Flowers – Flowers were originally included in funeral services to mask the smell of the body decaying. Thanks to modern preservation, that’s no longer necessary. However, decorating funerals with flowers is now considered traditional, and it’s hard to find a service that doesn’t have any. The beauty and fragility of flowers conveys something of a picture of life and death. Plus, they are a wonderful way to decorate the space as mourners prepare to honor the life of the departed.
  • Food – Funerals also almost always include a reception following the service with food, drinks, and companionship. This is to meet the desire to gather together over a meal to comfort one another, reminisce, and share stories of sweet memories.
  • Music – Almost every funeral and modern service include music. Traditional funeral services are often held at church and will typically include hymns sung by the congregation. Sometimes they also include solo singing or tribute songs to honor the deceased.
  • Closing and Recessional – The officiant will give a closing remark, usually a prayer, benediction, or even another song. Then, the pallbearers will carry the casket to the hearse, upon which it will be taken to the cemetery for burial or the crematorium for cremation.
  • Burial – Traditional funerals oftentimes have the casket with the deceased inside displayed at the altar or front of the funeral home. They will also usually be followed by an internment service in which the casket is buried.

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We are here to help if you want more information about traditional funerals at Oakland, CA funeral homes. 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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Temporary Urns After Cremation Services

Temporary urns are small, unassuming containers usually made of cardboard or plastic. They’re designed to temporarily house cremated remains, generally with the remains inside the temporary urn in a plastic bag. Your lost loved one’s remains most likely won’t be returned to you in a decorative or permanent urn after their cremation service in Oakland, CA. Instead, you will pick them up or they will be delivered to you in a temporary urn. But what do you do with a temporary urn? And how do you transfer the remains into a permanent urn? Here are some tips for using a temporary urn.

You can keep your loved one’s remains however you see fit, whether in a temporary urn or some other receptible. Most standard temporary urns measure approximately 8.5″ x 6.5″ x 4.5″, though there are other some other sizes on the market. Most funeral homes and cremation providers will use temporary urns if you have not provided an alternative or if you have not purchased an urn from them because it is a bit more respectful to transport remains in a temporary urn rather than just in a plastic bag.

You can have the funeral home transfer the ashes for you. If you aren’t comfortable handling your lost loved one’s cremated remains, you can have your funeral home or cremation provider transfer the ashes into a permanent urn for you. Funeral homes are required by law to use the container of your choice, even if it is purchased from an outside source. You can have the urn delivered directly to the funeral home and skip the temporary urn completely, or drop the remains off with the permanent urn once it arrives.

If you want to keep your lost loved one’s cremated remains at home or in a columbarium, you will most likely want to transfer them into a permanent urn. You can easily transfer the remains yourself. To do so, open the temporary urn and remove the plastic bag with the cremains inside. Then, put the plastic bag into the permanent urn and close the lid or bottom panel. You do not have to take the remains out of the bag. You may use wood glue or caulk to seal the urn, but this is not required as long as the ashes remain in the plastic bag.

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You can also keep the temporary urn. Your lost loved one’s cremated remains will be just fine in a temporary urn. You don’t need to buy a fancy urn if you don’t want to or if you don’t have the funds. While temporary urns aren’t ideal for displaying ashes, they are great for burying or scattering. Most cemeteries will require a burial vault, so you can just keep the remains in the temporary urn and put both inside the burial vault. If you plan to scatter your lost loved one’s cremains, you can keep them in the temporary urn until you do so. You can also place the temporary urn with the cremated remains inside a permanent urn as there are many urn options that are designed to be large enough for this purpose.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about urns or Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today.

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Collecting Cremated Remains From Funeral Homes

If your loved one is cremated after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA you will have to collect their cremated remains. But how? Where? And from who?

This information about collecting cremains after a cremation or funeral home service is here to help guide you:

  • Who can collect cremains? The deceased’s next of kin or a person designated by the next of kin are the only ones allowed to collect cremains. If you are the next of kin and can’t collect them for some reason, you can designate someone else to collect them for you by contacting the provider and providing their information and your permission for them to pick the cremains up.
  • What are the steps for picking up cremains? Usually, the funeral director or cremation provider will call you to set up an appointment to collect the cremains. When you arrive, they director will show you the urn and cremation certificate, you will show your ID, and then you can take the cremains home. It’s always a good idea to bring someone with you when you pick up cremated remains as it can be a very emotional experience. Also, the exact process for picking up cremains may vary from provider to provider, so be sure to speak with your director.
  • Can funeral home dispose of ashes? Funeral homes and cremation providers can dispose of ashes if they are unclaimed or the next of kin requests that service. Some have crypts or burial spaces for unclaimed ashes, and most will keep a record of what they do with the remains in case the family wants to know in the future.
  • How long will a cremation provider or funeral home hold ashes? The exact length of time a funeral home or cremation provider will hold ashes varies from provider to provider and even from state to state. In some cases, it can be 60 days up to 4 years. If you need the funeral home to hold onto the cremated remains for you, just ask. Most funeral homes can accommodate you. However, high-volume funeral homes won’t always be able to hold onto cremains as they don’t have extra space. When the time limit passes, the provider can dispose of the ashes as they see fit.
  • What happens to unclaimed cremated remains? Sadly, some cremains do go unclaimed. The most common reason is because the next of kin wanted the cremains shipped to them, but they never provided a shipping address or a payment method for the shipping costs. In these instances, the cremation provider will try and contact the next of kin, but if they do not receive a response, they will stop calling as it’s the responsibility of the next of kin to retrieve the cremains.

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We are here to help if you have any other questions about cremated remains or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Please 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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What Happens When You Die?

Many people don’t know much about death, funerals, and cremation services in Oakland, CA. Are you wondering what happens when you die? Here is information about the body as it goes through the final stages of life and onto the next.

The first thing that happens after a death is the body stops working. There are many ways the body can stop working, but it often includes loss of interest in eating a drinking, slowing of breath, and the eventual shut down of all the organs. Once the brain begins to shut down, the body may make involuntary movements and, when death has occurred, the bowels and bladder may evacuate. Decomposition begins a few minutes after death with a process called autolysis, which is when enzymes destroy the cells and tissues in the body. The brain is usually the first organ to begin autolysis. After about 25 minutes, the body will enter pallor mortis, which is when it pales from lack of blood flow. Livor mortis, or the blood vessels collapsing and pooling, happens about an hour or two after death. Then the body moves into Algor mortis, or cooling. It cools about 2 degrees every hour until it reaches the temperature of the air around it. Finally, the body enters rigor mortis, which is when it stiffens from muscle chemical changes.

After death, a medical professional will always check a body for signs of life before making a death pronouncement. These signs of life include pulse, breath, reflexes, and pupil dilation. If there are no signs of life, they will pronounce death. Next comes the death certificate. The local government or state will officially record the death and create the death certificate. The death certificate is completed by the doctor, certified by the state, and passed along to the next of kin. After death pronouncement, the family will be notified of the death by another loved one or a doctor, nurse, coroner, or police officer. After receiving word of a death, its best for the bereaved begin preparing for the funeral or cremation right away. They should call the funeral home or cremation provider as they will help guide the bereaved through next steps.

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Burial or cremation come next. Depending on the deceased’s final wishes, the body will either be buried or cremated. After the cremation, the remains can be scattered, buried, placed in an urn, or a manner of other final dispositions. There’s also service planning. The deceased’s next of kin will make arrangements for a funeral service or memorial service. Oftentimes the deceased will have left instructions for such a service. In these cases, the next of skin should follow the instructions. If the deceased did not leave instructions, the funeral director or cremation provider will help guide the deceased through the planning process.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about what happens after a death or Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today for more information about what we can do for you.

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Living Memorials After Funeral Home Services

Living memorials are just what they sound like: a memorial that is also a living thing, like a tree or a plant. They are all about shifting the focus away from death and loss and onto celebrating a life well lived and how the memory of that life will go in in the lives of friends and family. A living memorial might be one of the best ways to honor a lost loved one after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA by celebrating their life.

There are several types of living memorials to help inspire your celebration of your loved one’s life, like keepsake seeds. If you’re hosting a memorial or a funeral for your lost loved one, you can send attendees home with keepsake seed packets and instructions to plant the seeds in memory of the deceased. This way, your loved one’s memory will live on in many plants spread out with those that loved him or her most. You can give seeds of your loved one’s favorite flower or choose a simple plant that’s easy to care for.

What about bird feeder memorials? While bird feeders themselves aren’t living, they do bring around lots of lovely, living birds to honor your lost loved one. A beautiful bird feeder feeds and nourishes local birds with a food source and brings you a sense of joy and comfort every time you look out your window and remember your lost loved one. There are also memorial trees from cremains or memorial trees. If you choose to cremate your lost loved one, you can plant a memorial tree from their ashes. This incorporates their cremains into the tree growing process so, in a way, your loved one will live on in the tree. You can purchase a memorial tree planting kit that has all the tools and instructions you need to plant a tree from your loved one’s ashes.

Planting a tree in honor of a lost loved one is a wonderful way to celebrate their life and give back the community and the planet. If your loved one is buried far away or if you scattered their remains, a memorial tree is also a great place for you to visit, grieve, and remember. When choosing the type of tree and the location, be sure to do research into local weather and regulations regarding planting. There are also lots of organizations that will plant a memorial tree for you. Many will also send you a certificate showing where the tree was planted. Living wreaths are another option. Living wreaths are just like standard wreaths except that they are made from living plants and will therefore last longer than dried wreaths. Wreaths like these can be displayed by hanging or in a saucer or plate on a table or counter for a long-lasting living memorial wreath.

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Do you you want to learn more about living memorials or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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Inspiration for Keeping Cremains at Home

Many people choose to keep their lost loved one’s cremains at home after a cremation service in Oakland, CA because they want to keep their lost loved one close even in death. They might also choose to keep cremains at home in order to honor and preserve the memory of their lost loved one’s life.

But how do you keep cremains at home? You can try memorial shelves or keeping them in a closet. You can purchase a shelf with a hidden compartment for the cremains so you can keep them out and about in a non-obvious way. Many people choose to display photos or keepsakes of the deceased on the memorial shelf. Many people choose to keep their loved one’s cremains on a shelf in a closet as it may be simply too painful to display them in a prominent place as a reminder of the loss.

There are also memorial plants and teddy bear urns. Use the cremains as fertilizer for a tree or other plant that you can keep in your home. This is a wonderful way to keep the memory of your lost loved one alive and growing for years to come. Teddy bear urns are soft teddy bears with compartments inside to house cremated remains. Many people choose teddy bear urns if they’d like to cuddle the cremains as a way of soothing themselves and mourning the loss of their loved one.

What about glass art? Many artisans will infuse cremains into glass and then use that glass to create art. From sculptures to paperweights, the small amount of cremains is forever housed between layers of melted glass and different colors of your choosing. You can also keep their cremains in a cremation urn. There are many urns to choose from, from large and ornate to small and minimalist. There are also urns in almost every price point, making it easy for you to find one that works with your budget.

You can also make cremation jewelry or cremation paintings. Cremation jewelry uses small amounts of the cremains and turns them into a precious gem you can wear as jewelry. Another type of cremation jewelry features a small compartment in a locket, bracelet, or other jewelry item in which you can keep a small portion of the cremains so they’re always close to you. An artist can mix gels, oils, acrylics, or watercolors with your loved one’s cremated remains and produce a beautiful work of art. The art can be a portrait of your lost loved one or a simple painting of something that symbolizes their life or has some significance to you and their memory.

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Do you have more questions or want more tips? We are here to help if you want more tips on keeping cremains at home or need 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 preplanning.

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Is It Legal To Keep Cremated Remains At Home?

There are many options for what you can do with a loved one’s cremated remains after a cremation service in Oakland, CA, from scattering and burying them to interring them in a columbarium, burying them in a grave, or turning them into a piece of art. You can also keep cremated remains at home!

There is nothing weird, harmful, or unsafe about keeping cremated remains in your home. Cremated ashes are clean and sanitary. The process of cremation has eliminated any potential contamination. What’s more, cremains are kept secure in a bag, making it very difficult for someone to tamper with them or spill them. You might also wonder if its legal to keep cremains at home. It is not illegal to keep cremated remains in a house. There are also no laws against scattering or burying cremains on your personal property.

If you don’t want the deceased’s cremains, you can either have someone else bury them, scatter them, or otherwise inter them or you can leave them at the crematory or funeral home for them to dispose of. Are you wondering how long ashes can be kept after cremation? Cremated remains are sterile and static, meaning they don’t have any bacteria and will not decompose. This is because the high heat used to cremate the body is hot enough to kill bacteria and rapidly break down any substances that would decompose naturally over time. Therefore, you can keep cremated remains as long as you’d like. What about if the funeral home will dispose of the ashes for you? Some funeral homes and crematories will dispose of cremated remains for you, but you must give them clear instructions as to what you want done with the remains.

It is not bad luck to keep cremains at home. It’s easy to understand why some people might think it’s bad luck to keep cremated remains in their house, but it’s not. Certain religions or belief systems might discourage keeping cremains in a home, but that doesn’t mean its unlucky. Others might feel keeping cremains at home will bring in a bad energy, but still others find it makes them feel better to have their loved one close. It all depends on personal preferences and beliefs. If you’re worried about religion and keeping cremains at home, the Bible neither advocates nor condemns the act of cremation or keeping your loved one’s cremated remains in your home. The closest thing to keeping cremains at home that the Bible mentions is the story of King Saul’s men burning his son’s bodies to cleanse them and respect their memories.

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Yes, it is legal to keep cremated remains at home. Do you have more questions? We are here to help if you want to learn more about keeping cremated remains at home or about Oakland, CA cremation services. Give us a call or pay us a visit for more information on our services and what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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All About The Timelines of Funeral Homes

How long is the time between death and a funeral home service in Oakland, CA? What about between death and a cremation service? Many people have lots of “how long” or timeline questions when it comes to death, cremation services, and funerals. Luckily, we have the answers.

Whether you’re preplanning for your own passing or dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, this information about timeline from time of death to the service and internment is here to help:

  1. How long after death does the funeral home pick up the body? The exact time it takes for a funeral home or cremation provider to pick up a body depends on a few factors. For example, you must have a doctor or nurse pronounce the body dead and, after the body is released, provide paperwork. Also, some funeral homes are flexible and will allow you more time to say goodbye if you prefer.
  2. How long does cremation take? The cremation takes around three hours, but the processing of the remains can also take two to three more hours. If the cremation takes place early enough in the day, you can get the cremated remains back the same day. But, generally, you will get cremains back one to three days after the cremation is complete. As each provider’s schedule is different, be sure to talk to your cremation provider for a specific timeline.
  3. How long after a funeral is the body cremated? – A cremation can happen immediately after a funeral or up to two weeks later, depending on the funeral home or cremation provider’s availability and if the body is embalmed.
  4. How long is the time between death and cremation? – There are many factors that determine the amount of time between death and cremation. In general, most states have a waiting period before a cremation can occur. If you’re using a national cremation provider, it could take anywhere from 10 to 15 days. If you work with a local facility, it could take between two and three days. The biggest determining factor is how quickly you get a death certificate signed by a doctor, as you can’t get a cremation until you have a signed death certificate.
  5. How long can a dead body be kept at home? It is illegal to keep a dead body at home in almost every state, though the exact amount of time varies from state to state. Be sure to check your local laws to ensure you’re not breaking them. However, most states will allow you to keep a body a home until the cremation.
  6. How long is the time between death and a funeral service? The time between death and a funeral service depends on religion, preference, and embalming. Some religions dictate that a funeral must take place as soon as a day or two after the death, but in other cases the bereaved might have to wait a week or longer for family to come in from out of town. If the body is embalmed, the funeral can be up to two weeks after the death.

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We are here to help if you want to learn more about Oakland, CA funeral homes and the different timelines surrounding a death.

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Even More About Embalming

Do you want to learn every more about embalming and what it has to do with services at funeral home in Oakland, CA? We are here to help!

As a recap, embalming is preserving human remains to slow decomposition, generally performed to make the body presentable for a funeral or service. Embalming is also often used to keep bodies preserved for medical purposes in anatomical laboratories or schools.

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about embalming. To begin, do bodies have to be embalmed? Though it’s quite common, embalming is rarely necessary. It is not required when the body is cremated, though most funeral homes do require embalming for viewings or open casket funeral services. Do you have to embalm the body for an open casket funeral? Most states do not have laws that require embalming before a public viewing or an open casket funeral, though most funeral homes will not allow a viewing if the body is not embalmed. What happens if a body is not embalmed? Bodies that are not embalmed will decompose at their normal rate, depending on the cause of death, weight of deceased, temperature, moisture levels, and other factors. If the body is not embalmed, you will need to hold the service, burial, or cremation as soon as possible after the death.

How long does embalming take? The entire embalming process takes an average of two hours, but it can take longer if the deceased was in an accident or had an autopsy, as this requires additional steps to make the body presentable for a service. What are your options for internment of an embalmed body? Once a body is embalmed, you can bury it or cremate it as you prefer. You cannot, however, bury it with a natural burial because the embalming chemicals could leak into the ground and harm the environment.

What about how long an embalmed body lasts? Embalming does not stop decomposition; it just slows it down. Though the rate of decomposition varies depending on temperature, moisture levels, and other variables, an embalmed body will last inside a casket for many years. However, the goal of embalming is to make the body look as good as possible for the funeral, usually about a week after the process. If you plan on having an open-casket funeral, you should not leave the embalmed body out for more than a week.

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Are organs removed during embalming? The organs are left inside the body cavity during the embalming process. However, the embalmer does drain all of the blood from the body and replaces with embalming fluid. They then flush the blood and other waste down a drain and into the sewage system, at which point it goes through the local wastewater treatment process. Finally, can you cremate an embalmed body? Yes! Embalming does not impact the cremation process.

Do you have more questions about embalming or Oakland, CA funeral homes? We are here to help in any way we can during your time of loss. Call or visit us today for more information on our services.

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How to Save Money on a Memorial

What do you do if you don’t have a big budget for a memorial after cremation services in Oakland, CA? Memorials after cremations can be expensive. And for most people, that’s just fine. Memorials are a big deal and oftentimes the memories of your lost loved one and meaningful moments honoring their life are worth the expense. But for some, it’s important to save money on a memorial so they can spend it on other things that are equally important. And that’s OK, too.

However, working within a small memorial budget can be hard, especially for people who have big dreams of what they want their lost loved one’s service to look like. If you’re worried about the cost of a memorial, maybe it’s time to cut back on the budget. Think about it this way – you won’t be stressed about bills or money, and you’ll actually be able to soak in the time spent honoring and remembering your loved one. Not sure how to decrease your budget to save you money?

Here are some tips for cutting down your memorial budget.

First, DIY as much as possible. While there are some aspects of a memorial you don’t want to DIY, like preparing the body, there are tons of things you can. For example, make your centerpieces, create your own floral arrangements, design your own programs, or ask friend and family to help with set up and tear down. There’s also the option of DIYing the food at the reception following the service if you want to go with a more casual vibe and your venue allows.

What about skipping stationary? The cost of paper death announcements and memorial invitations really adds up. Luckily, there are tons of digital platforms that will send these out for free. If you’re set on having paper invitations, consider mixing them with a digital RSVP system. You can also cut things like day-of programs, and menu cards as they always get thrown out anyway. Instead, try big chalkboard signs that can give the same information for way less than half the cost. You can also make cuts to the guest list. This is the simplest way to save money on a memorial. Think about it like this: a 300-person memorial reception will automatically be twice as expensive as a 150-person reception.

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Pare down your guest list to just people you really know and really love, and you’ll see your budget go way down. However, don’t skimp on the venue. The one thing you shouldn’t try and scrimp on? The memorial home. The memorial home has such a massive impact on the entire day, so don’t try and cut back there. Instead, use these tips for other ways to save money.

We are here to help if you want more memorial or funeral planning tips. As an Oakland, CA cremation service provider, we have the expertise needed to make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be, no matter what your budget. Call or visit us today to learn more.