Monthly Archives: April 2023

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.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

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.