Monthly Archives: January 2019

cremations in Hayward, CA

Cremation Basics

Though cremations in Hayward, CA are only recently becoming more popular, they’ve been around for thousands of years. But what is a cremation? And why should you choose one for your deceased loved one or your own passing?

The cremation process can be broken down to three main parts: body preparation, the actual cremation, and processing the ashes.

There are a lot of steps that need to take place before a body is cremated. First, a funeral director needs to obtain a cremation authorization document, usually signed by closest surviving family members. The funeral director then goes through a series of checks to ensure proper body identification. Next, the body is processed to remove any items that the family doesn’t want cremated with the body, or things that cannot be cremated with the body like jewelry and medical devices, especially pacemakers.

Once prepared, the body is put inside a cremation casket and checked again for proper identification. A metal identification tag that won’t burn or melt is also placed inside the cremation casket to ensure the remains end up with the right family after cremation.

Cremation chambers are usually heated with fire and built from fire resistant bricks and special masonry compound designed to stand up to extremely high temperatures. The cremation casket holding the body is placed directly into the cremation chamber. At the height of the process, the chamber reaches over 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. It usually takes 2 hours for a body to be reduced to bone fragments and ash, but the time can vary depending on factors such as the size of the body, type of cremation casket, or even the percentage of body fat to lean muscle.

After the incineration, the remains are left to cool inside the chamber for about 30 minutes. They are then processed and checked again for any remaining medical debris and identification. The cooled bone fragments go through a processor that grinds them down into fine ash. This final ash is what is returned to the family for funeral services or interment.

There are many different ways families deal with their loved one’s cremated remains. Some of these include:

  • Casting, or tossing the cremated remains into the wind.
  • Raking, a process in which the ashes are poured over loose earth and raked into the soil.
  • Trenching, or burying the ashes in a shallow grave. Sometimes performed on a beach so the ashes are eventually carried out to sea by the tide.
  • Aerial scattering, an expensive option, is when a professional pilot takes the ashes into the air and scatters them from the sky.
  • Water scattering, or simply scattering the ashes into a body of water.
  • Ringing, a ceremony in which a loved one places the ashes in ring around a tree or home.

Do you have more cremation questions? Deer Creek Funeral Service can help. Pay us a visit at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890 to learn more about our Hayward, CA cremation services.

Oakland, CA funeral home

Frequently Asked Questions About Burials

Whether you’re having a traditional Oakland, CA funeral home funeral, or doing something more original, you need to have all the necessary burial information. There is a lot more to burials than you would think, and learning as much as you can will help you be more prepared to make the necessary plans and decisions.

Use this list of frequently asked burial questions and their answers to get started on learning more about burials.

  1. Why is Burial Necessary in the First Place? While there are many disposition options besides burial, a burial is a wonderful way to remember the deceased in a constructive way. A big part of the human grief process is memorializing the dead, and a permanent burial place serves as a focal point remembering your lost loved one. A permanent resting place also gives the deceased a dignified ending while still allowing his or her memory to live on.
  2. Are There Laws About Burial Timelines? The short answer is no, there are no federal laws requiring a body to be buried within a specific amount of time. However, there are many steps that need to be taken before a burial can take place, so it’s a good idea to get started as soon as you’re able after a death so your loved one can have a dignified funeral service and burial.
  3. Is Ground Burial the Only Option? There are several options besides traditional ground burial. These include mausoleums, lawn crypts, and cremation internments like urns and columbarium.
  4. What Will Happen to My Loved One’s Grave in the Distant Future? Cemeteries are traditionally thought of as permanent, and the land designation is often in perpetuity. You can visit graves that are more than a hundred year old all over the country. It’s nice to think that your loved one’s grave will still be around and treasured by coming generations.
  5. Will My Cemetery Close When It Runs Out of Land? Cemeteries do run out of land, but they usually do not close when that happens. They generally remain open for family members to visit graves, and can even have guided tours of historic resting places.
  6. What Are Burial Vaults? And Do I Need One? Burial vaults are the outside container that holds a coffin or casket. Their primary function is to protect the casket and help maintain the grave’s integrity so the surface doesn’t sink in. Most active cemeteries do require burial vaults to keep the cemetery ground intact and safe.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is a funeral home in Oakland, CA that offers a range of burial, cremation and funeral services. If you have any more questions about burials, or would like to learn more about other aspects of funerals, please do reach out. You can stop by and visit us in person at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Funeral homes in Hayward, CA

Funeral Home Etiquette

Funeral homes in Hayward, CA are intimidating. For starters, it’s never easy to go through a loss. However, it can be even harder to know how to act in a funeral home. From how to dress and where to sit to what to say and everything in between, its hard to know exactly what the proper etiquette is, especially when it comes to being respectful of the proceedings and family members.

Use this guide to help you navigate funeral home etiquette.

  • Attire – Funeral homes are serious places, and your attire should be as well. Unless otherwise noted or dictated by culture, keep your clothing conservative and in darker colors.
  • Seating – The first two rows of seats are oftentimes reserved for the close friends and family, but other than that the seating plans are usually open. Try and remain seated throughout the service, unless dictated by the MC. This same basic rule applies to a graveside service, as the chairs right by the grave are typically reserved for family.
  • Distractions – Turn off your phone. If you don’t want to turn if off completely, at least put it on silent or Do Not Disturb for the duration of the service. If you must take a call, do step outside as looking down at your phone or checking messages inside the funeral home is disrespectful. Along those same lines, people often do not bring children to funeral homes for fear they will be a distraction or disruption. Use your best judgment with your child, but toddlers and babies should generally stay at home with a sitter.
  • Religion – Funeral homes can be religious places during services, and this may make some people uncomfortable. If the ceremony has religious aspects that do not match your own or make you uncomfortable, simply remain silent and respectfully engaged. Remember, you are there to honor the deceased not make a religious statement.
  • Communication – There might not be many chances for you to speak with the family of the deceased at the funeral home, but if you do have an opportunity be sure to take it. All you need to do is express sympathy for their loss. If you knew the deceased well and feel it’s appropriate, you may say something more personal about the deceased. However, keep it short and simple as the family most likely has lots of other guests to attend to.

Do keep in mind that the above are general guidelines and do not necessarily apply to every funeral home experience. Use your best judgment, and always try and follow the family’s lead when it comes to etiquette. When in doubt, lean in towards the conservative side.

Do you have more questions about Hayward, CA funeral home etiquette or services? Deer Creek Funeral Service can help. Pay us a visit at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890 for more information about funeral homes, or what we can do for you.

cremations in Walnut Creek, CA

Cremation History

Though cremations in Walnut Creek, CA have become more popular in recent years, they aren’t a new fad. Historians believe that humans started burning their dead as early as 3000 B.C, as they have discovered pottery shards and urns that service as evidence.

Cremation became more and more popular around Europe and what we now call the Middle East until Homer’s time, around 800 B.C, when it became the most common disposition method. This rise in cremation is assumed to be because of the growing number of dead from both war and disease.

By 395 A.D, cremation and the when the Roman Empire were at their peaks. In fact, ancient Romans stored cremated remains in decorated urns like we do today. However, the early Christians still practiced traditional Jewish body disposition, and therefore disapproved of cremation. This proved to be ancient cremation’s downfall, because when Constantine made Christianity the official Roman religion in 400 A.D, the practice almost disappeared in favor of the traditional Jewish burial.

Cremation drifted out of history until around 1873 when an Italian professor displayed his new cremation chamber model at the Vienna Exposition. His new invention jump-started the cremation revolution on both sides of the Atlantic.

The first modern cremation chamber in the United States was built in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1876 by Dr. Julius LeMoyne, with the second not far behind in Lancaster, PA in 1884. Soon, crematories were being built all across the US, and by the year 1900 there were 20 in operation.

The practice took off even more when, in 1913, Dr. Hugo Erichsen started the Cremation Association of America as a way to spread to word about this modern way of safely and hygienically disposing of bodies. The foundation was originally made up of doctors with concerns about the spread of diseases from whole-body burials to living humans.

This belief and the foundation continued to foster cremation popularity until the 1920s when it was proven that whole body burials, when done properly were just as safe for the public’s health. After that discovery, the Cremation Association of America switched gears and began promoting cremation not as a health choice but as a personal choice. The foundation changed its name to Cremation Association of North America (CANA), in 1975, and is still around today.

Cremation has been becoming more and more popular since the 1980s in America and around the world. This rise is due to a number of factors such as cost, environmental concerns, creativity, religion and more. While traditional burial is still the most commonly seen disposition method, studies show that might not always be the case. According to CANA, there were over 2,100 crematories in use in the US in 2009 performing over 9,000 cremations a year, and the number is still going up.

Deer Creek Funeral Service, located at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, continues the cremation tradition with Walnut Creek, CA cremations. Give us a call at (510) 317-7890 to learn more.