funeral home in Oakland, CA

What is Absent Grief?

Absent grief is when someone shows little to no signs of normal grief, such as crying, lethargy, missing the deceased, or anger. What happens if you can’t grieve the loss of a loved one? What do you do if you feel like your emotions are frozen in place? Losing a loved one and going through their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is one of the hardest parts of life. Working through your grief over the loss is one of the best ways to heal from it, but if you can’t grieve, you might have absent grief.

 

Symptoms of absent grief include no signs or symptoms of grieving whatsoever, irritability, forgetting about the loss, not feeling connected to the loss, and denial. Though absent grief is very common, many people don’t know much about it. Here are some fast facts about absent grief to provide guidance and context. Absent grief can have physical symptoms. Holding in your feelings of loss can take a toll on the body, leading to heart palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, or eating disorders. Death isn’t the only event that can cause absent grief. Other life events besides death can cause absent grief, including divorce, job loss, regret, or loss of a romantic relationship or a friendship.

 

Anticipatory grief can lead to absent grief. Anticipatory grief is when someone grieves a loss before its actually happened. Oftentimes, if you grieve before a death, you won’t feel as much pain after the death. You can move on from absent grief. Once you accept the loss you can work through your pain and grief to move forward with your life. If you need help doing so, don’t be ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

 

Absent grief isn’t just denial. The “denial” stage of grief is when you try and deny the death happened. Most people face denial in the first few hours or days after a loss. But denial becomes absent grief when the denial continues on much longer. Some might feel like they have absent grief if they aren’t grieving, but it might simply be that they just weren’t that close to the deceased. If that’s the case, it’s OK. You don’t have to demonstrate deep grief over someone you weren’t close to.

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Grief is often unexpected. Grief looks and feels different for everyone, so it’s often tough to pinpoint when someone is experiencing absent grief. Check in with yourself or the grieving person to see how you or they are feeling. Avoiding grief isn’t obvious. There are many ways people that experience absent grief try to avoid grieving. For example, they can focus on taking care of others, lose themselves in drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, or dive into work in order to distract themselves.

 

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to assist if you have more questions on absent grief, dealing with a loss, or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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What Happens if You Can’t Pay for a Funeral Home Service?

Funerals and memorials don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but they do cost money. What do you do if you can’t afford a funeral home service in Oakland, CA? Here are answers to common questions surrounding paying for funerals and cremation services:

  1. Are there free cremations or burials? If you cannot afford a burial or cremation, you can sign a form with the county coroner’s office and the state will bury or cremate the body for you. This will be at no cost, but you won’t have any say in where or how.
  2. How do you pay for a funeral with little or no money? There are many ways to cover funeral expenses, including low-cost options and fund raising.
  3. Is body donation free? Donating a body to research does result in a no-cost cremation. You can donate your body to science through institutions like medical laboratories, medical schools, and local hospitals.
  4. What happens if you refuse to pay for a funeral? The funeral home is not obligated to take custody of a body. If a family does not or will not pay, the funeral home does not have to accept the body. If the funeral home already has custody of the body and the family refuses to pay, the funeral home will pause all funeral services and planning, store the body in the cooler, and charge the family a storage fee for every day the body is there. The funeral home as the right to refuse services and can transfer the body to the state at any time, but they cannot hold a body hostage in order to get payment.
  5. Do you have to have a funeral? You’re not required to have a funeral. So, if you can’t afford one, you don’t have to worry. You’re more than welcome to select a direct burial or direct cremation option (the most affordable final disposition services) in order to save money. But if you want to have a funeral or service, there are ways to do so without spending too much money.
  6. Are there government bodies that help with funeral costs? There are several government organizations that can help with final disposition and funeral costs including Social Security, State Department of Health, Veteran’s Affairs, and even FEMA if the deceased died in a natural disaster.
  7. Can you get a funeral loan? Anyone can apply for a funeral loan to get help paying for funeral expenses. They are generally available through credit unions, banks, and online lenders.
  8. Who pays for the funeral if the deceased has no money? If there isn’t any money in the deceased’s estate, the next-of-kin traditionally pays for funeral expenses. If the next-of-kin aren’t able or don’t want to pay, there won’t be a funeral.

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Paying for an Oakland, CA funeral home service can be worrying, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time now to preplan for your eventual passing, including how your loved ones will pay for your services. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you would like to learn more about preplanning or dealing with a recent loss.

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All About the Five Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief are a well-known blueprint that helps people understand how they grief and offers guidance on how to get through a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Keep reading to learn more about the stages and how they might be able to help you.

 

Grief doesn’t come all at once or all in the same way, it often moves through stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychologist, first developed these five stages in 1969 to help illustrate that fact that, while every human experience grief differently, almost everyone moves through one or many of these five stages at some point in the grieving process. Some people might move through all, others just one, and more still might experience only a few.

 

While it’s not a comprehensive guideline, the 5 stages of grief do help, comfort, and basic understanding of how we experience grief and how that experience changes over time. The order of the five stages isn’t necessarily important, as people might experience them in varying orders and intensities, even moving back and forth between them.

 

Denial is when you don’t want to believe or an unable to believe that your loved one has died. The “this can’t be happening to me” reaction is very normal, and is usually the first reaction after a loss. Denial can also come in the form of telling people you’re fine even though you’re not because you’re denying your true feelings of grief. Anger generally sets in when you realize you can’t deny or fight the loss any longer. You might become angry at the people around you, taking your anger out on doctors and nurses who “failed” your loved one or on yourself for making a mistake that might have led to or worsened the situation. Some even direct their anger toward God or a higher power.

 

Bargaining is when you deny the truth by trying to change it. It might manifest as trying to get the doctors to bring in another expert or try a new treatment, or as pleading with God or a higher power for more time or a different outcome. Like the name sounds, depression is when you feel hopeless or that you can’t go on because of the loss. You might feel overwhelmed, alone, and lost.

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The final stage, acceptance is where you come to terms with the fact that your loved one is or is going to be gone. The grief and pain don’t go away in this stage, but you do accept and feel those feelings. When you reach the fifth stage of grief, you begin to plan on how you will move on with your life.

 

The five stages of grief are a helpful tool for anyone dealing with a loss or a service at an Oakland, CA funeral home. Do you need help with your needs in this time of loss? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here. Call or visit us today.

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Cremation Services Vs. Burial in Oakland, CA

While traditional burial is still very popular for many reasons, there are many who prefer cremation services in Oakland, CA. In fact, some might argue that cremation is quickly becoming the standard for final disposition. But why? To better understand cremation’s popularity and to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you, here are some of the benefits of cremation over burial:

  • Choosing the Service Time – With traditional burial, you’re pretty much limited to the standard service timeline of a few days to a week after the death. This can feel like a ticking clock that only adds to the stress of a death. However, cremation allows for much more flexibility when it comes to scheduling a service, providing you with the time and ability to plan a service that works with your needs.
  • Saving Land – The world’s population is only growing, but the world itself is not. This makes land a very valuable resource that, in some people’s view, shouldn’t be used for burials. Cremation is a wonderful solution to this issue as it does not take up any land at all.
  • Choosing the Final Resting Place – A burial means that your lost loved one’s final resting place will be a cemetery. Cremation, on the other hand, allows for a low more flexibility when choosing a final resting place. From an urn kept at home or in a columbarium to scattering at sea or in a special location, your loved one’s final resting place can be almost anything with cremation.
  • Keep Loved Ones Near – Cremation also allows you to make cremation jewelry so you can always keep your lost loved one close to you. Cremation jewelry can be one of two things: one, a jewelry item made with some kind of container that holds a small portion of the cremains or two, a jewelry item that was made with some of the remains infused with the metal.
  • Portability – Since cremation reduces remains into the smallest possible components, the process makes remains incredibly portable. This means that, unlike with burial, cremation allows you to bring your lost loved one with you if you so choose, whether that means on a hike for you to scatter them in a favorite spot or even when you go on vacation, so they’ll be always near you.
  • No Embalming – Embalming is almost always required for burial, but many embalming techniques use a chemical called formaldehyde that’s very bad for the environment. Cremation allows you to skip embalming entirely, which helps the planet in the long run.
  • Cost – In many cases, a full-service funeral with a cremation can cost about half as much as a full-service funeral with a traditional burial. Direct cremations and cremations with memorial services can bring that total cost down even further.

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Remember, there is nothing wrong with burial and it’s still a wonderful final disposition method if it’s what you want.

These are just a few of the many benefits of cremation over traditional burial. Do you want to learn more about Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Tips for Decorating a Gravesite

A wonderful way to recognize your lost loved one’s passing and celebrate their life is to personalize their graveside with decorations after a funeral home service in Oakland, CA.

Keeping your lost loved one’s grave beautiful can also go a long way towards helping you work through your grief and loss. But how do you decorate or personalize a gravesite? While every cemetery will most likely have their own unique rules and guidelines for what can and cannot be left on gravesites, there are common items that you should always avoid using in gravesite décor, like glass can break and cause injuries. You should also avoid unsecured or lightweight décor.

If the decorations won’t stay put, they could end up all over the cemetery, which is disrespectful to other mourners and causes extra work for the staff. Don’t forget to skip mylar or latex balloons as well as fences. These materials are very dangerous for animals. Instead, try blowing bubbles, leaving garden spinners, or using biodegradable materials. Don’t put up a fence or blocker of some kind around the grave as it will prevent the employees from performing maintenance.

Use these tips to help guide you as you decorate your lost loved one’s gravesite and honor their memory. But remember, at the end of the day, whatever décor you choose should be focused on the deceased and their life.

  • Keep It Well Lit and Visible – Small items left on gravesites are often accidentally stepped on or destroyed by the cemetery caretakers. Make sure your items are either big enough to attract attention or well-lit.
  • Consider Faith and Culture – Another great way to find gravesite decoration inspiration is to look to the deceased’s faith and culture. Honor their heritage and beliefs with décor, and be sure not to leave something that would be offensive to their faith.
  • Check Cemetery Rules – Most cemeteries have guidelines for what can and cannot be left on graves. Be sure to check with your cemetery before leaving any decorations.
  • Consider the Weather – You want to avoid leaving something that will spoil in the hot sun during the summer, or something that will freeze and break during the cold winter. Think about the season and the weather when choosing your décor.
  • Think About the Season – A great place to start with gravesite décor is with the season. For example, create a Christmas or Hannukah decoration around the holidays or set up a pumpkin-inspired scene in the fall.
  • Choose Durable or Permanent Decorations – Don’t leave anything on the grave that will become dirty or damaged if left outside in the elements. Instead, opt for materials that are tough in the face of wind, rain, sun, heat, or cold.
  • Come Back and Check – If you choose to leave décor on your lost loved one’s gravesite, be sure to come back and check on it regularly. Replace worn out or damaged decorations so the grave doesn’t become an eyesore.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on decorating gravesites or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Prolonged Grief and Cremation Services

There are many different kinds of grief that people can experience after a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA, including prolonged grief. Prolonged grief is when you continue to feel overwhelming or debilitating feelings of sadness and mourning over a loss that happened several months or years in the past. This kind of grief is very common when you lose a very close loved one, like a child or a spouse, and is sometimes referred to as Prolonged Grief Disorder because of its devastating effects on health, mental state, and overall wellness.

Here are some fast facts on prolonged grief to help you better understand the condition and its impact on someone going through a loss:

  • The symptoms of PGD vary – The symptoms of prolonged grief include difficulty accepting the loss, irritability, loss of trust in others or oneself, and numbness to emotion as well as extreme anger or bitterness, loss of self-identity or self-worth, loss of purpose or direction, debilitating or unreasonable fear of more loss, overreactions to minor losses or issues, and fixation on the loss.
  • You can recover from PGD – While you may never “heal” from a loss, you can recover from prolonged grief disorder and be able to cope with the loss while living your life. The best ways to recover from the condition is to seek professional help, join a support group, and put an emphasis on your own personal stress and grief management.
  • Counseling goes a long way – One of the best ways to get through PGD is by seeking professional help early and often. Talking through your grief can help you accept it, which in turn can help you move forward in life. There is no shame in seeking help for any kind of mental distress, including grief.
  • Some people are more likely to experience PGD than others – Some people are predisposed to prolonged grief, such as parents who have lost a child, women, people who have lost someone suddenly or violently, and those that are already suffering from other hardships like divorce or depression.
  • Time doesn’t necessarily heal – The old adage “time heals all wounds” might be true for some, but it isn’t true for all people or all grief. In fact, for most people, grief over a loss is never fully “healed,” but rather it just becomes a part of life that they carry with them.
  • Prolonged Grief Disorder is a real diagnosis – Prolonged Grief Disorder, or PGD, is a real diagnosis recognized by the World Health Organization and most mental health professionals. It’s defined through symptoms, their severity, and their length. In fact, PGD is well on its way to being classified as a mental disorder. It has been suggested for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the DSM.
  • Prolonged grief isn’t just about death – People who have suffered other kinds of losses besides death can suffer from PGD. These losses can include loss of a job, divorce, or even loss of a dream.

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Do you want to learn more about grief, loss, or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us today. After all, loss is never easy, but with the right support, you can get through prolonged grief.

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Inspiration for Decorating a Your Lost Loved One’s Gravesite

Looking for a great way to celebrate your lost loved one’s life, honor their passing, and ease your feelings of loss? Decorating their gravesite after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is a great place to start.

But do you know where to start when it comes to decorating a gravesite? Here are some fun, uplifting, and unique gravesite decoration ideas to inspire you for your loved one’s final resting place:

  1. Fresh Flowers – Even a simple, fresh bouquet that you leave once a week mean a lot. Plus, they give you a chance to visit the gravesite often.
  2. Preserved FlowersKeep the flowers on your lost loved one’s grave fresh forever by preserving them. Order a custom preserved bouquet in resin, or purchase a paperweight orb with flowers inside.
  3. Floral Saddle – A cemetery saddle is a flower arrangement resting on a metal “saddle.” It has legs so it can balance on top of the headstone.
  4. Solar Flowers – Solar flowers are fake flowers that light up at night after charging throughout the day in the sun.
  5. Personalized Flower Vase – Instead of a standard vase, invest in a personalized one that features a special message to your loved one, an etching, or any kind of meaningful inscription.
  6. Memorial Candles – Flameless battery or solar powered candles are just as beautiful as real candles, but are much safer and longer-lasting.
  7. Personalized Photo Lantern – You can order custom lanterns that are printed with a photo of your lost loved one. Place a flameless candle inside the lantern and leave it on the grave to light up at night.
  8. Candle Figurines – Buy a candle figurine that holds any candles you choose and represents a meaningful image, like an angel, animal, or symbol. You can even repurpose an old jar or mason jar by filling it with candles or twinkle lights.
  9. Personalized Flag – Place a flag in the ground near the gravesite with a personalized photo, message, or image. Add dates to make it even more personal.
  10. Memorial Benches – If the cemetery allows, place a memorial bench near the gravesite so you always have a place to sit and remember fond days when visiting.
  11. Homemade Tributes – Nothing is more meaningful than a homemade tribute like handwritten notes, paintings, drawings, or even typed up poems or memories.
  12. Memorial Stones – Stones have been used in memorialization for centuries. There are even examples in the Bible. Paint a stone yourself or order one online.
  13. American Flag – If your lost loved one was a veteran, plant an American flag or the flag of their armed forces division.
  14. Grave Blankets – Grave blankets are painted with grass, foliage, or flowers so they can make the grave green and lovely even in the winter months when it’s too cold for fresh plants.

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These are just a few of the many ways you can decorate your lost loved one’s gravesite. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more inspiration or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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The Basics of Embalming

Embalming is the preservation of human remains to slow decomposition and disinfect the body. The process is thought of as both an art and a science as it requires great skill and experience. Bodies are usually embalmed so they’re suitable for a viewing before a cremation or funeral service. They are also used to preserve bodies for medical purposes, whether for a laboratory or a medical school. Whether you’re having a cremation or a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, it’s helpful to be aware of the basics of embalming.

There are two main kinds of embalming, arterial and cavity, but both are usually used in the standard embalming process. Arterial embalming involves removing the blood from the veins and replacing it with the embalming solution. In other words, the blood is flushed out of the veins and arteries by the fluid. Cavity embalming is when the internal fluids are removed with tools called trocars and aspirators. While each embalming expert might have his or her own preferred technique, here are the general steps of the embalming process.

The first step is to wash and disinfect the body. The embalmer will also massage the arms and legs to ease rigor mortis and perform any necessary shaving. Next, it’s time to set the features. The embalmer sets the body’s features by closing the eyes and positioning the mouth. The eyes are often held shut by plastic caps and the mouth is usually wired or sewn shut. The next step is to inject the embalming fluids and cavity embalming. An incision is made in the right common carotid artery and the right jugular vein in order to pump about two gallons of a formaldehyde solution through the body.

As the solution is injected, it pushes the blood out of the veins and into a drain attached to the jugular. Bodily fluids and remaining gas are removed from the internal organs, like the bladder, intestines, and stomach, by a suction hose and a trocar. A trocar is an instrument with a three-sided point attached to a tube for removing fluids. After the fluids are removed, the embalmer injects embalming fluid to preserve the body and help it hold its shape. Finally, the embalmer then closes up any incisions made in the embalming process, gives the body a bath, and then dresses it. After about 24 hours, he will return to seal the incisions with a bonding adhesive to prevent leaks, apply makeup, and fix the hair.

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Embalming is frequently required by state law or funeral home regulations. Some states legally require refrigeration or embalming if a body is not cremated or buried within a certain period of time after a death, while other states leave the requirements up to the funeral homes. While the exact laws and regulations vary, best practices are to bury or cremate a body within a few days of death or embalm it.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you have more questions on embalming or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We’re happy to offer our expertise and compassionate services. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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All About Grief: Abbreviated Grief

Whether you’re planning a funeral or a cremation service in Oakland, CA, you should be aware of the different kinds of grief and how to handle them.

Did you know there are different kinds of grief? For example, one kind is abbreviated grief.

Abbreviated grief, like the name signifies, is mourning that doesn’t last a long time. Though its short, or abbreviated, this kind of grief isn’t any less real than other kinds. Abbreviated grief is most common when there isn’t a close relationship with the deceased or when there’s an immediate replacement of the deceased. For example, it can occur when a widower remarries quickly after the death of his spouse, or when a distant relative dies.

It can also occur after a terminal illness because of a phenomenon called anticipatory grief, which is when you do part of your grieving before the person actually dies so you don’t grief as long after a death.

Here are some fast facts about abbreviated grief to help you better understand and cope with your own loss.

To begin, children often feel abbreviated grief. Its normal for children to feel abbreviated grief depending on their age and relationship with the deceased. Also, abbreviated grief is grief. While this kind of grief may not seem real or standard, it’s still very real and does happen often. Plus, everyone grieves differently. Though abbreviated grief is short you still need to remember to take care of yourself. Eat, sleep, and exercise if you can, as keeping your body healthy will make it easier for you to feel better. Also, feeling your grief is always best. While it may be very tempting to numb your grief and pain with drugs, food, alcohol, or distractions like work, it’s always best to feel your feelings. It might be uncomfortable or painful, but you won’t be able to properly heal if you don’t allow yourself to truly grieve.

Abbreviated grief can affect your health. No matter how short or long, grief has been shown to affect health by causes issues like increased blood pressure, poor sleep, physical aches and pains, trouble concentrating, and even heart palpitations. There is no shame in seeking help for physical grief manifestations.

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It’s important to note that you don’t need to lose a loved one to grieve. People can experience abbreviated grief, and other kinds of grief, after a loss that isn’t a death. These can include divorce, loss of a friendship, job loss, or learning you can’t have kids. Finally, don’t feel pressure to prolong your grief or feel guilty over the length of your grief.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about grieving or about Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning. Remember, everyone grieves in their own unique way and in their own unique timeframe. Don’t compare your grief to someone else’s or judge another person for the way they mourn, even if you or they are dealing with abbreviated grief.

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How to Make a Last Wishes Document

Your last wishes are your requests for what you want done after you die, generally regarding funeral or memorial arrangements and final disposition, and a last wishes document is how you can tell your loved ones what you want done after you die, from a cremation service to a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Everyone dies eventually, so, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it’s a good idea to be as prepared for the eventuality as possible. It’s always best to tell your loved ones about these wishes in addition to writing them down. That way you can make sure they understand what you want, and they can ask any questions they may have.

Here are some common last wishes questions and their answers to give you more information on these important documents. To begin, what should you include in a last wishes document? Your last wishes can include anything you want, including funeral or cremation preferences and plans, body disposition preferences, obituary information, messages to your loved ones, requests for your final days, and personal information like where your will is. Some people also choose to include what they want for the time leading up to their death as well, like who they want to see, if they want to pass at home or at a care facility, or even what they want their surroundings to be like in a last wishes document.

How do you make a last wishes document? You don’t need to do anything fancy to write down your last wishes. The document should include your name, the details you want your loved ones to know, and who you want to tell them to. It can be a few sentences or several pages, typed and printed, or just written down in a notebook. Just be sure it’s kept in a safe place and that the people it addresses know about it and where it is. Are last wishes the same as a will? Last wishes are not wills. Wills are legal documents that deal with your estate, belonging, or finances, while last wishes are non-legal documents that deal with the funeral or service arrangements. It also does not make sense to include your last wishes in your will as the will is generally read after the funeral, thereby making your last wishes useless. Finally, are last wishes legally binding? Last wishes documents are not legally binding, but most family members or loved ones at least feel morally obligated to see your wishes done.

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Is a last wishes document the same as an advance directive? Advanced directives are legal documents that details someone’s wishes when they are terminally ill. Last wishes are not legally binding and deal more with how you would like to be remembered, what you would like to say to your loved ones, and other practical things.

It’s always best to be prepared. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about last wishes or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of preplanning or of loss.