funeral home in Oakland, CA

This Shocking Grief is More Common Than You Think

Inhibitive grief is what happens when you don’t face the loss of a loved one after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. Though it seems shocking, inhibitive grief if very common and it can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues if its left unaddressed. Here is more about inhibitive grief, why it happens, and what you can do about it:

  • How does inhibitive grief happen? You might end up with inhibitive grief if you put your focus and energy into distractions instead of working through the loss and how it makes you feel.
  • How do you know you have inhibitive grief? People with inhibited grief often show very few outward signs of mourning, but instead begin to experience physical symptoms that are an outward manifestation of their pent-up emotions. Some of the symptoms of inhibitive grief are muscle tension, insomnia, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and digestive problems. These issues will only worsen if you continue to ignore your grieving.
  • What’s the difference between inhibitive and delayed grief? Inhibitive grief is when you ignore the loss because facing it is too painful or too hard. Delayed grief is when you don’t feel the pain of loss right away, often because you suffered another loss right before and are therefore distracted, such as when you lose and loved one and then your job. You might not feel the pain of losing your job right away because you’re already grieving the loss of your loved one.
  • Why does traumatic loss often lead to inhibitive grief? If you lose a loved one in a traumatic, sudden way, processing the loss might simply be too much for you. So, instead of talking about it, facing it, or otherwise accepting the loss, you push it away. But traumatic grief is hard enough without adding the pain of leaving it unresolved.
  • Why are some people more likely to experience inhibitive grief? In some families, it is a sign of weakness to cry or show emotions. If you grew up this way, you were trained to hold in your emotions and not feel the pain of loss. This will therefore make you more susceptible to inhibitive grief.
  • Can you have inhibitive grief over losses beyond death? Grief can happen after any kind of loss, whether that means a death, move, job loss, divorce, or any other event that causes change in your life.

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No matter how or why you’re experiencing inhibitive grief, you must remember that you are not alone. Grief is a universal emotion. We have all gone through grief at some point, even if we all do it differently. Moving forward from your grief is important so that you can begin to heal. You’ll never forget, but you can move forward, grow, and learn to live again. We are here to help if you want more information on types of grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

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Photo Memorials for After the Funeral Home

Memorials are such great ways for us to keep our lost loved ones in our hearts and minds after services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA. Photo memorials help keep the memory of your lost loved one alive. You most likely have hundreds if not thousands of photos of your lost loved one. These might depict good times, happy memories, major accomplishments, or just everyday moments.

No matter what the photos are of, they can go a long way in helping you capture and remember the spirit of that special person. Need some inspiration for photo memorials? Here are the best photo memorial ideas to help you find something that’s just right for keeping your loved one close.

  1. Photo Ornament – The holidays can be very hard after a loss. Keep your loved one close to you during the holiday season with a photo ornament. You can have one custom made or you can break out your craft supplies and make one yourself.
  2. Photo Lamp – Like the projection lamp you had in your childhood bedroom, photo memorial lamps have display pictures of your lost loved one while lighting them with a soft, warm glow. You can find lamps in different sizes and photo numbers to suit your needs.
  3. Projection Memorial Jewelry – There are pendants that have prints inside and, when you shine a light through, they project an image of your lost loved one. They are beautiful on their own, but this special secret makes them ideal photo memorials.
  4. Memorial Bookmark – If you or your lost loved one like reading, a memorial photo bookmark is a great choice. Order one or make one yourself and then, every time you sit down to read, you’ll be reminded of your happy memories and the light that was your loved one. You can also have them printed in large quantities to pass out at the remembrance service as well.
  5. Engraved Crystal Photo Print – You can order a piece of crystal enraged with a photo or image of your lost loved one. These crystals are stunning display items and help keep the memory of your loved one close. They also make great bereavement gifts for someone else who’s mourning a lost loved one.
  6. Custom Canvas Print – You can order a large canvas print of a photo of your lost loved one to display in your home. You can also customize the print with a verse, quote, poem or other piece of writing to make it that much more special.
  7. Online Photo Gallery – Most people keep their pictures digital these days. Making an online photo gallery of your lost loved one is not only easier because it doesn’t require any printing, but it’s also easier because everyone can quickly access the photos from their phones or computers. You can use a memorial website or use your loved one’s social media accounts.

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There are so many options available for remembrance items: jewelry, wall collages, albums, paintings, plaques, vases, and candles — the list is almost endless. Perhaps some of the best and easiest memorials, though, are photos. For more on photo memorials or Oakland, CA funeral homes, call or visit us today.

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Beautiful Bereavement Gifts for Grieving Mother

Bereavement gifts are great for showing your support in a personal, unique, and meaningful way. But, as losing a child is a specific type of grief, you can’t give a mother any old bereavement gift. How can you support and comfort a mom after her child’s passing and cremation service in Oakland, CA beyond kind words or prayers?

There are no perfect words or gifts that will soothe the pain of losing a child. However, any gesture of support and love will make a grieving mother feel less alone in her loss. Here are beautiful bereavement gifts for mothers to inspire you:

  1. Molly Bear – These stuffed animals are ideal for mothers who lost babies as they are ordered to match the exact weight of the infant at the time of their death. Perhaps snuggling with the teddy bear will offer her some comfort.
  2. Personalized Ornament – Make or order an ornament personalized with the child’s name or picture so she can honor her lost child every year during the holidays.
  3. Personalized Necklace – Many mothers find comfort in wearing a reminder of their lost child every day. Necklaces make this easily accomplishable. Get her a personalized necklace engraved with a memento of the child, such as their footprint, their name, or their picture.
  4. Food – It’s hard to cook or even order takeout after losing a child. The gift of a hot meal or a frozen dinner for later will always be appreciated by grieving mothers.
  5. Memory Box – After losing a child, there are so many precious items she will want to hold onto and cherish. Give her a memory box to keep these items in so she can look at them and keep them safe for years to come.
  6. Memorial Candle – Many bereaved light candles in honor of their lost loved ones. You can give her a personalized candle to light in remembrance of her child. Personalize it with the child’s photo, name, birthdate, or a comforting quote about loss.
  7. Name in the Sand – Some businesses will build personalized sand artwork in the memory of a lost child and then send a photo of the work to the mother as a token of the act. This is a great gift for the loss of a young child who loved the beach or playing in the sand.
  8. Memorial Quilt – What will she do with all of her little one’s clothing? You can take some of the items and stitch them into a memorial quilt or you can have them sent off so a professional makes the quilt for you. Functional gifts such as these are both beautiful and useful.
  9. Gift Certificate – Perhaps she isn’t ready to go out for a meal, massage, or other act of self-care. Buy her a gift certificate now so she can enjoy it when she’s ready. This will also help show her support after the initial flood of support subsides.

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Losing a child never be easy, so it’s natural to want to comfort mothers in their time of grief.

Do you want more ideas or information on Oakland, CA cremation services? Call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

What You Should Avoid Saying at a Funeral Home

At some point, you will have to offer condolences to someone, so it’s better to come up with a plan now for what to say than to get stuck with the same old, dry phrase that doesn’t mean as much as it should. Telling someone, “I am sorry for your loss,” after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA can feel empty. This is because it’s said so often. But what else is there to say?

Here are condolence phrases you can use to offer meaningful comfort and support to someone after they lose a loved one, like “What a wonderful life your XX lived!” The deceased did live a wonderful life. This phrase opens the door for the bereaved to bring up favorite memories of their lost loved one, which helps them process the loss and heal. There’s also “I am so sorry to learn about XX’s passing.” The person you’re comforting loved the deceased dearly. They were important. By mentioning their lost loved one’s name, you’re making your comment much more personal and meaningful.

What about “No words I can offer will make this hurt go away, but I am here for you at this devastating time”? While you’ve gone through losses of your own, you don’t “know” how the deceased feels as you’ve never lost that specific person with that specific relationship in that specific way. Its ok to acknowledge that, and balance that acknowledgement with a promise of ongoing support. “Even though we can’t be together during this difficult time, I am holding you close in my heart” is another good saying. It’s not always possible to make it to a funeral or a memorial service. When sending attendance regrets, you can use this phrase to express that you are still thinking of the bereaved. You can also make it more personal by sending a bereavement gift, a card, or giving them a call.

You can say “Someone as special as XX won’t ever fade from our hearts and memories.” It’s easy for the bereaved to feel that everyone will forget their lost loved one now that they’re gone. This phrase will help them know that you will not forget the deceased and that their legacy will live on. Another good phrase is “My heart breaks with you at the loss of your XX.” The bereaved was someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, aunt, or any other important part of someone’s life. Acknowledging the relationship the bereaved had with the deceased makes your comment more personal.

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It’s important to note that there is nothing technically wrong with saying “I’m sorry for your loss.” There are just more personal, meaningful ways to convey the same sentiment. Don’t worry about it if that’s what you choose to say, if you’ve said it in the past, or if it slips out in the moment. It’s not a hurtful or offensive phrase, and the sentiment is still there despite its overuse. You want to say something to the grieving person that means a little more than this much-repeated phrase.

Do you want more information on conveying sympathy or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Bereavement Gift Ideas

Picking out a gift for someone going through a loss can be another wonderful way to show someone just how deeply you care after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. Sympathy cards, phone calls, texts, and visits are all well and good, but sometimes you want to do a little more.

Traditionally, bereavement gifts are often home cooked meals, flowers, or other practical items. But these days, bereavement can be so much more, from journals and jewelry to plants, home décor, and more. Here are some bereavement gift ideas to help inspire you:

  1. Photo Book – Like a scrapbook but made digitally, photo books are bound, printed photos of the deceased. Choose your favorite pictures of the deceased and have them printed through a photo book company to give to the bereaved.
  2. Engraved Glassware – Many people like to do toasts in honor of those they’ve lost. An engraved glass, whether beer mug, wine glass, highball, or water glass, makes a great bereavement gift as it gives the bereaved a special way to make those memorial toasts.
  3. Grief Journal – Grief journals make great bereavement gifts as they provide the bereaved a place to write down their thoughts, feelings, memories, or anything else they want. Grief journaling has been around for a very long time, and was around long before it had an official name or designation as it can be very helpful in processing loss and the feelings that come with it.
  4. Picture Frame – Photos are a great way to help remember and honor the deceased, making picture frames to hold photos of the deceased great bereavement gifts. Look for a special frame that might signify something unique about the deceased. For example, if they loved to golf, get a golf-themed frame.
  5. Memorial Trees – You can buy a tree to plant in honor of the deceased. Memorial trees not only provide the bereaved with a place to visit when they want to remember their lost loved one, but they also help make the world a greener, better place.
  6. Candle Holder – Many people like to light candles in remembrance of lost loved ones. Buying a candle holder as a bereavement gift gives your friend a special candle holder they can use to honor their lost loved one, especially if you get in engraved with a special message or picture of the deceased.
  7. Positive Thoughts Jar – A positive thoughts jar is a jar filled with slips of paper on which positive thoughts are written. You can order one online or make your own with a mason jar and printer paper. These little notes can help remind the bereaved that even when days seem dark and bleak, there is still so much beauty and joy in life to experience.

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A tasteful memorial gift can go a long way in expressing your support and love for a grieving friend in their time of need.  We are here to help if you want more information on bereavement gifts or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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Things You Never Thought to Do With Cremains

Deciding what to do with what’s left of your loved one can often feel overwhelming, especially if your loved one didn’t leave specific instructions for what they want done with their remains. What should you do with your loved one’s ashes after their cremation service in Oakland, CA? People don’t always know what to do with cremated remains, and that’s OK. The good news is that there are almost countless things you can do with cremation ashes, or cremains.

From scattering at sea to works of art, here are beautiful things you can do with ashes to help honor the memory of your lost loved one:

  1. Candle Urns – Candle urns are like standard cremation urns except that they have a place to put a candle on top, making them double as a candle holder and an urn. This allows you to light a candle in your loved one’s memory whenever you want.
  2. Scattering at Sea – Scattering ashes at sea is exactly what it sounds like: scattering the cremated remains of your lost loved one in the ocean or another large body of water. According to US law, all scattering must occur at least three nautical miles – about 3.5 miles – from shore.
  3. Balloon Release – You can have your loved one’s cremains placed in a helium balloon, so they float up into the sky. Most balloons will get about 5 miles into the atmosphere, upon which the low temperature will cause the balloon to pop and the ashes to scatter on the wind.
  4. Wall-Mounted Urns – Wall-mounted urns, or plaque urns, allow you to hang your lost loved one’s cremains on your wall like a work of art. The wall-mounted urn holds cremated remains discreetly and securely.
  5. Cemetery Burial – You can bury your loved one’s cremains at a cemetery. Ash burials can be at the foot of a casket, in an urn plot, in an urn garden, or in a columbarium niche.
  6. Handwriting Pendant – You can purchase a pendant engraved with your lost loved one’s handwriting and keep their cremains inside. This will keep them close to you and help you remember their writing.
  7. Biodegradable Urn – A biodegradable urn is a great way to lay your loved one to rest and to do right by the planet. These urns are made from plant fibers and recycled paper so they degrade over time, returning the ashes to the earth.
  8. Flower Urn Vase – Don’t want your loved one’s urn to look like and urn? Try a flower urn vase, which is an urn that holds ashes as well as flowers so you can keep your loved one close and beautiful with fresh plants.

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What one person decides to do with their own or their loved one’s ashes may seem strange to another, but in the end, it is a personal thing. You may find some of the options odd, and that’s ok. You might also find the perfect “final resting place” idea for yourself or your loved one.

We are here to help with any and all of your Oakland, CA cremation service questions, no matter what you decide to do with your lost loved one’s ashes. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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How to Bring Cremated Remains to the Funeral Home

It is a terrible thing to lose a loved one, but hopefully these tips will help soothe your mind during your time of loss. Whether you are honoring a final wish to scatter the ashes somewhere sentimental or take the ashes back home with you to your funeral home in Oakland, CA, traveling with cremains can be stressful. You want to ensure that nothing happens to the ashes, and you want to be sure you’re following any laws or regulations around transporting cremated remains.

If you’re traveling long distances with cremated remains, you might be a bit worried. Whether your lost loved one cremated somewhere far away, you’re bringing your lost loved one’s cremates remains somewhere far away after their cremation, or your lost loved one wanted to their cremains to be scattered in an exotic location, you should consider driving.

Driving gives you the most control over how your lost loved one’s ashes are handled during transit. While there are some factors you cannot control, such as the quality of the roads or other drivers, traveling by car is a good way to calm your nerves while transporting cremains. When traveling with cremains by car, you need to make sure they are in a sturdy, unbreakable container. If you’ve purchased a glass urn or an urn made from another delicate material, do not put the cremains in it until you’ve made it to your final destination. Instead, keep them in a cardboard, wood, cloth, or plastic container so they won’t spill if knocked over on a bump road or if you get in a fender bender. You can also get an heirloom urn that houses an internal container with the ashes inside. This double layering will ensure there is no damage to the urn during travel. Put the urn or other container inside another holder of some kind to keep the urn steady on the road. You can use a carry-on case, like you would use if going on a short plane trip. Put the case inside, place it in your trunk or backseat, and hit the road.

Do you need to fly?

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Flying with an urn is more complicated than driving with an urn. First, you should always bring the cremains on the plane with you. Do not check them in a bag as some airlines will not accept checked cremated remains and you can never be sure the bag will not get lost or damaged alone the way. Carrying the ashes on the plane with you is the best way to make sure they’re safe and secure. Second, you need to be sure the urn is TSA complaint so it will pass a security screening. The only acceptable urns you can carry on a plane, by TSA standards, are made from wood, non-lead ceramic, glass, or plastic.

Use these tips to safely travel with cremated remains by car or by plane to help calm your nerves during your time of grief. Call or visit us today for more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes.

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Are Funeral Pyres Cremation Services?

Funeral pyres are simply a pile of wood on the ground or on a stone base on which a body is burned. You might have seen a movie or a TV show in which people burn the body of a loved one after they die – this is a funeral pyre. But funeral pyres are not the same as cremation services in Oakland, CA.

Why? Though funeral pyres have a long history and are integral parts of some cultures, they are not common or even legal in most of the modern Western world. However, their history is fascinating! Throughout history, funeral pyres have been used all over the world to cremate bodies. Thanks to the work of anthropologists and sociologists, we know the history of funeral pyres in some parts of the world, such as:

  1. India, Nepal, and Other Hindu Countries – Funeral pyres are an essential part of a Hindu funeral, which is why they are still used today in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. In the Hindu religion, cremation on a funeral pyre is part of the sacred ceremony called, “antyesti,” which translates to “last sacrifice.” They believe the body is build form the five elements (water, fire, air, water, and earth), so burning the body releases the elements back into the earth. Once the ashes are cooled, they are placed in the nearest body of water.
  2. Ireland – During the Bronze Age, about 600 years ago, people living in what is now Ireland would use funeral pyres to cremate their dead. We know this because a cremation site with a funeral pyre and remnants of burned ash, oak, and fruitwood trees was found near Templenoe.
  3. Italy – In ancient Rome, the deceased were burned in funeral pyres outside of the city. Once burned, the remains were buried in a special tomb called a bustum. Other bereaved would keep some of the remains in ornamental containers, not unlike modern cremation urns. In ancient Rome, funeral pyres were considered a sign of wealth, so poor people would often be burned on someone else’s pyre.
  4. Poland – Polish people used funeral pyres to cremate their dead in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Modern scientists have discovered these ancient Polish people built their pyres from local wood, meaning the specific type of wood was most likely not significant but rather convenient.
  5. Norway, Sweden, and Other Nordic Countries – The Vikings are well known for using funeral pyres to burn their dead. In fact, most people think of Viking funerals when thinking of pyres. However, contrary to popular belief, dead Vikings were not burnt in their longboats out at sea. Scholars do believe that a respected Viking warrior could have his cremated remains buried inside his longboat, but the pyres are thought to have been completed on land.

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While open air cremation or burning a body on a funeral pyre is not legal in the United States, you can find first-rate Oakland, CA cremation services with us. To learn more about your options, give us a call or pay us a visit today.

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What About Natural Burials?

Natural burials after funeral home services in Oakland, CA are becoming common as people want to do their part for the planet. But what is a natural burial? What do they have to do with funeral homes?

Natural burials are burials that do not use chemicals to preserve the body, reduce the use of unnecessary products, and lay the body to rest in a way that does not damage or negatively impact the environment. The term “natural burial” also refers to the actual process of burying a body, including opening and closing the plot and how the plot is memorialized. Generally speaking, a natural burial means the body is not embalmed and is buried in a simple, biodegradable casket or shroud in a hold dug by hand and finished with a natural marker or no marker at all.

Can you choose a natural burial after cremation services? The point of natural burial is to avoid putting unnatural materials or substances into the earth. In that context, scattering or trenching cremated remains can be considered a natural burial.

What about costs and laws? Since natural burials do not include accessories like embalming, heavy caskets, and headstones, they tend to be more affordable than traditional burial. The natural burial feel generally includes the burial plot, interment fees, and a shroud or environmentally safe casket. Natural burials are legal in all 50 states. Some states, however, have restrictions. For example, in Indiana, you must perform a natural burial in an established ceremony or apply for a home burial permit. Contact your local burial providers to learn more about options in your area. If you’re considering a natural burial at home, be sure to check that local zoning laws allow for home burials.

Natural burials have a few key differences from traditional burials. Unlike natural burial, traditional burial allows for embalming, caskets made from metal or wood, headstones, burial vaults, and grave liners. They also have differences from green burials. Though natural burial and green burial are similar, they are not the same thing. A green burial refers to both the burial process and where the body is laid to rest, meaning it must take place at a green cemetery that does not use pesticides or bury embalmed bodies. A natural burial, on the other hand, can happen at a traditional cemetery. People can choose a natural burial for themselves or their loved ones because its environmentally friendly, often less expensive than traditional internment, and they find comfort in returning the body to nature.

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Its also important to note that stone is not used in natural burials. Though stone is a natural material, the processes used to mine, create, and transport vaults, liners, headstones, and other stone burial accessories are not natural. Therefore, stone, marble, concrete, and other similar materials are not used in natural burials.

We are here to help if you have more questions about natural burials or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We are happy to do whatever we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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How Does Grief Progress Over Time?

How long will you be grieving after a cremation service in Oakland, CA? Unfortunately, there is no set time frame for when you will feel better, move through a stage, or come to accept the loss of your loved one as each person, each relationship, and even each death is different. However, knowing what others have gone through and understanding that their experiences are similar to your own can help you feel normal, which is soothing.

Being aware of grief models can help you understand the emotions you may be feeling. To provide comfort, here is a general grief timeline. For some, grief begins before the death. Anticipatory grief is a feeling of loss you may experience before your loved one dies. For example, you might begin to think about their loss and feel the pain of that loss when you find out a loved one has a terminal illness. After the death, many people experience shock immediately that lasts for hours or even days.

Everyone experiences shock differently. Some people may cry or laugh while others might feel completely numb. Every reaction is normal. A funeral or memorial service is often when you say goodbye in a formal, final manner. This can be a very important part of the healing process, and reactions can vary from one extreme to the other. You might cry throughout the service or sit stoically.

Some people say that grief is often harder after the service. This makes sense. Once the service is over, friends go home and return to their lives, leaving you alone with your feelings and your new reality. This is the time to self-reflect and allow yourself to feel your emotions. You can work on your to-do list, but be gentle with yourself. What about months or years down the line? Your grief will lessen over time. The exact amount of time depends on the person, as no two people will grieve the same. But you will start to feel better. Months after the loss, many people begin to question the death as they’ve processed it more. This is common. You will never be “finished” grieving the loss of a loved one. Even years down the line, there will still be moments when the pang of loss hits you like it did in the early days. However, these moments will become few and far between as the years pass.

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Your grief might be like a shadow, always there but not fully visible or tangible. Despite the popular saying, time doesn’t “heal” the wound. But it does soften the blow. As the years go by, the sharpness of your grief will ease, and you’ll be able to think back to happy memories with a bittersweet smile.

Being familiar with a common grief timeline can help comfort you in your time of loss. We are happy to do whatever we can for you in your time of loss if you want to learn more about grief after Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today.