Author Archives: Michael Bernardo

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Writing Thank You Cards After the Funeral Home

The end of your loved one’s service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA isn’t the end of your funeral to-do list. You still have to send out thank you cards. How do you actually go about sending thank you cards? It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t that bad – especially if you follow these tips:

  1. Go Slow – You don’t have to write all the cards in one sitting. In fact, it’s better to write a few every day so you don’t get overwhelmed, make mistakes, or loose personalization.
  2. Keep it Personal – Try to make every card as personalized as you can. Write a tidbit about where their donation is going or how their thoughtful food was delicious. These personalized touches will make your guests feel appreciated.
  3. Start Tracking Early – It will be so hard to try and remember or determine who gave what or who brought what after the funeral. The sooner you start keeping track of flowers, food, or donations the better off you will be. If people send gifts early you can also be sneaky and write some thank you cards before the funeral itself. Just don’t send them till afterwards.
  4. Stay Organized – Make a list and stick to it! Keep track of who gave what and when so you can just follow your list when it’s time to say, “thank you.”
  5. Who should you send thank you cards to? – Besides the guests and anyone who sent a gift or made a donation, you should also thank vendors, officiants or speakers, attendants, your parents or whoever helped you organize the funeral. Some people also send thank you cards to the funeral director or cremation provider staff.
  6. Stationary – If you have it in your budget to buy personalized or custom stationary for the thank you cards, go for it. However, if you don’t have the extra cash, clean, pretty and simple cards or paper will do the trick.
  7. Get Some Help – Similarly, you don’t have to write the thank you cards all on your own. Get some help, whether it’s from a colleague, friend, or family member.
  8. Don’t Wait Too Long – Try to send out thank you cards as soon as you can after the funeral, but don’t stress yourself out too much. The proper window of time for thank you cards is one to two months after the service.

Sending out thank you cards might seem a bit outdated or unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s absolutely vital to thank the people that brought flowers, food, or otherwise supported you in your time of loss. giving gifts. Plus, thank you cards allow you to stay connected with people even after the funeral is over.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service, an Oakland, CA funeral home, is here to help with any other questions you may have about thank you notes, funeral services, or any other aspect of at-needs or pre-needs planning. We’re honored to do what we can to help in your time of loss.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Food for Memorials After Cremation Services

If you’re planning a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA, you might want to consider having a few healthy options on your menu. After all, many people are starting to enjoy staying healthy even in times of grief.

Remember, healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or bland. There are tons of food options out there that are just as lean as they are flavorful. Many of them are Mediterranean. Mediterranean food is known for bold flavors with plenty of nutritious benefits. Recipes from Spain, Italy, Greece and other similar locations are great options for healthy but still delicious food. Mediterranean food is most made of lighter meats like seafood and poultry as well as plenty of fresh vegetables, brown rice and whole grains. These particular blends help give the body essential nutrients as well as healthy fats that provide lasting energy. Looking for some inspiration?

Check out these Mediterranean memorial service food ideas, like Orzo Salad. Pasta salad is an event favorite, but orzo salad takes it to new levels of flavor while keeping things light. Orzo salad often has herbs, olives and vibrant cherry tomatoes with plenty of flavorful olive oil and maybe vinegar. What about Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki? This Greek dish is bold in taste but light in fat thanks to skewered and grilled lean pieces of chicken and a dip made from zesty green yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and savory herbs. Serve with pita bread for dipping. Finally, Kolokithokeftedes, hard to say but easy to eat, these zucchini fritters contain olive oil feta cheese and dill. They are crispy and light but are super simple to make and serve.

Having good food at your lost loved one’s service is essential for success, but it can be hard to satisfy the array of preferences, dietary needs and tastes that your guests will have. So, be sure to provide both vegetarian and vegan options as these diets are very popular these days. You need to make sure that your vegan and vegetarian guests will be just as happy and satiated as your more carnivorous guests. Don’t forget about cleanup. Try and keep some of the food to handheld and easily consumed to prevent spilling and extra dishes. Also, remember, pasta sauce can quickly ruin a dress and an evening. Also, take some time to think about how the drinks will pair with the food. For example, don’t serve fish and only red wine, or sweet sangria with super sweet cake. Offer a range of items. After all, not everyone likes the same things so you need to be sure that there will be something everyone can enjoy.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on what to do in your time of loss. We’re an Oakland, CA cremation service provider and are here to do whatever we can to assist you and your loved ones in your time of loss. Give us a call or visit us today.

funeral home services in Oakland, CA

Florists and Wakes

As most wakes held after funeral home services in Oakland, CA could benefit from some lovely fresh flowers, you should use these tips to make sure you choose a good florist for your loved one’s service.

Choosing a florist is a big part of planning a service, and it can be a tricky thing to do as there are a lot of things you have to consider when looking for florists sure that you’re happy with the flowers you get to honor your lost loved one.

Look online at Pinterest, check out photos of other services, and talk with funeral directors to come up with a general idea of what you want your flowers to look like. This way you can show potential florists your inspiration photos to see if they will be able to give you what you want. Don’t forget to think about budget or to do some research. Flowers don’t come cheap, so it’s important that you have a good idea of your budget before you begin talking with florists. This way you can eliminate options quickly if they are out of your price range, so you don’t get you heart broken by loving flowers that are too expensive.

You also need to start looking as soon as you can. It’s never too early to start checking out florists. The more time you give yourself for your search the less frantic your search will be. Plus, these days, florists can book up very early. Start early to make sure you have plenty of time to do research, get inspiration, interview different options, and make sure the one you pick is still available. You can’t choose a florist until you know what you want. Take some time to research the different florists in your area. Look at websites, check out Instagram pages, and read as many reviews as you can get your hands on. Don’t forget to check out pricing, too. This way you can quickly check options off your list if they don’t immediately gel with your budget or if they have lots of negative reviews.

You can also ask your funeral home and other vendors about different florists as many vendors work with one another often and can offer valuable insight into who is reliable, who does good work and who will be a good fit. Finally, make some calls. While research is important, it’s not the only way you should decide on a florist. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to chat with various options or, better yet, get in the car and go visit them and their shop to see some work in person. Your florist will be a big part of your lost loved one’s service, so you want to make sure you have complementing personalities and work types. That can only be determined with an interview.

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Do you need more guidance on florists or Oakland, CA funeral homes or florists? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We’re happy to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss. Use these tips to find a great florist for your lost loved one’s service, but, most of all, take your time and don’t feel like you have to go with the first florist you meet. It’s a big decision.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Choosing a Caterer for a Memorial

If you don’t choose an event center with catering for a memorial with food after your loved one’s cremation service in Oakland, CA, you will have to choose an outside caterer. This might be overwhelming, but these tips are here to help.

The first step in choosing a caterer is deciding what kind of catering you want. There are three main categories: full service, drop and go, and drop off with service.

  1. Full-service catering is the highest tier of catering options as the caterer will take care of every step of the food service, leaving you free to simply remember your lost loved one in the company of your guests. Full-service catering takes care of everything including dinnerware rentals, staffing, setting the tables, serving, bussing the tables, and organizing the food. Full-service catering can be plated or buffet service, but no matter which kind the caterer will take care of the food whether that means staging the plates for plated or keeping the buffet trays stocked during service. Some buffet full-service caterers will also staff the buffet line to keep people moving, help with serving, and control portions.
  2. Drop and go catering is the exact opposite of full-service. Much more affordable, this kind of catering is perfect for those looking to save some money on their lost loved one’s service. Restaurants and caterers will do drop and go service as all it requires on their part is to make the food and then drop it off at the venue. That means that everything else, from set up and tear down to utensils, service, and stocking is up to you. While you will save money on this type of catering, there are some issues to be on the lookout for. For example, it’s important to make sure that the food is delivered early enough for you to have time to set it out before service. Many people also forget how much stuff it takes to serve food: serving platters, trays, serving forks, serving spoons, hot boxes, refrigeration, and more. If you choose to go with drop and go catering, just be prepared. Give yourself enough time to set up, make a list of everything you will need, and maybe nominate a friend or two to help you keep the buffet stocked and clean up.
  3. The final option is drop off with service. Most catering companies and restaurants that offer drop off catering will also have service additions you can add on to their basic plans. These additions could include things you will need for serving like trays and utensils, or it could even be staffers to help set up, serve and tear down. Think about what kind of help you want from your caterer and ask them to give you a quote with those specific tasks added on.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

There is a lot to think about, decide, and plan when you lose a loved one. Want to learn more? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to offer whatever assistance we can. Use these tips and our Oakland, CA cremation services to help make your time of loss and grief a little easier.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Making Charitable Donations in Lieu of Flowers

A wonderful, meaningful way honor the memory of a lost loved one after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is to make a charitable donation on their behalf. But making arrangements to make such a donation can be tough in a time of grief and loss. That’s where these tips come in:

  • First, learn how to choose a charity. There are so many charities out there, and so many causes that are well deserving of your donated funds. How to you choose which one you want to donate to in memory of your lost loved one? A good place to start is with causes that the deceased cared a lot about or causes that affected them personally. Did they love animals and commit to helping them in their lifetime? Consider donating to your local animal shelter. Were they suffering from a terminal illness or specialized condition? Look into charities that support other people that are dealing with the same.
  • Next look into the charities. Unfortunately, not every charitable organization is reputable. That’s why is important to compare and evaluate the different options to make sure your money will be put to good use. Online charity registries like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch assess various organizations and charities to help you make an informed choice about your donation. When researching, take a look at the organization’s financial health, accountability, transparency, and results.
  • Then you have to make the donation. There are several possible avenues you can take when making a donation in memory of a lost loved one. While it is very convenient to make a donation online with a credit card, it’s better to make the donation with a personal check to make sure there is a physical record of the gift so the deceased’s immediate family can be notified. Try to avoid giving cash to the bereaved as then they will have to deal with the donation arrangements. When sending in the donation, make sure it includes the name and address of the deceased, the name and address of a close living family member, and your name.
  • It’s important that you don’t forget to follow up with the family. While organizations will usually notify the bereaved when a donation is made in their deceased family member’s honor, it’s still a good idea for you to notify the family yourself. Include the information in a sympathy card or when you call them on the phone to express your condolences. Keep in mind that it is considered appropriate to arrange your donation within 10 days of a funeral or other service.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Do you want people to leave money to charities after you’re gone? Include it in your preplanning arrangements. Make sure to notate the wish in your Will or other preplanning documents.

Do you want more information on making donations in lieu of flowers? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today if you want to learn more about making a charitable donation in someone’s memory, preplanning, or Oakland, CA funeral homes.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Sending Grief Care Packages in the Pandemic

While normal, everyday activities are tough because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s made supporting people after a death a cremation service in Oakland, CA incredibly difficult. How can you comfort or support someone when you can’t see them in person or give them a hug?

One way to help make a loss a little easier for someone grieving is to create a grief care package. While there are normal care packages that are great when there isn’t a pandemic, a care package in the time of COVID-19 is a bit different, from what it includes to the delivery:

  • Soothing Items – These days, comforting items like candles, weighted blankets, pajamas, and essential oils have become necessities for everyone dealing with the stress of the pandemic. They’re especially helpful for people that are going through a loss. Create a care package with some of these comforting gifts or have them mailed to the bereaved via Amazon or another delivery service.
  • Food – Grocery shopping and cooking are tough during a loss, but these tasks are made even tougher because of the pandemic. Include some prepared, frozen foods in your care package so the bereaved don’t have to worry about risking exposure in a grocery store or taking the energy to cook. You can also send them a gift card for Instacart or another grocery delivery service so they can choose their own food and still stay safe from illness or place an Instacart order on their behalf and have it delivered to their home, so you and they are safe.
  • Customary Gifts – The traditional gifts like flowers, candy, books and sympathy cards still signal that you care and are thinking of the bereaved. Take into consideration the person to whom you are sending the grief care package as not everyone likes chocolate or has need for a new book
  • Supportive Gifts – Another traditional care package for someone going through a loss is a cleaning service to help out with household chores. While this might not be possible right now because of the pandemic, you can still send helpful gifts that don’t require indoor contact. A landscaping service, for example, will go a long way towards taking the yard work off their plate. If it’s around the holidays, you can also hire an outdoor decorating service.
  • Important Household Items – Toilet paper might not be as popular as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still a very thoughtful item to include in a care package. It can be hard for the bereaved to have the time, energy, or emotional bandwidth to do errands like getting household necessitates. Help them out by sending toiletries, tissues, paper towels, dishwasher detergent and other items directly to their home. All of these items are available for delivery through Amazon, Target, and other stores, so it will be very easy for you to make sure they get to the bereaved while keeping yourself safe.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

These are just a few tips to help you send care packages during the pandemic. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you would you like to learn more about care packages or Orange Park, FL cremation services.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Indoor or Outdoor Funeral Services?

While there is a lot to do and choices to make after a loved one dies, one of the biggest choices that must be made when planning a memorial or a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is choosing a venue.

There are a lot of venue options, each with great pros and cons. Some are indoors, and some are outdoors. But which is better, indoors or outdoors?

Both indoor and outdoor memorial and funeral venues options offer both pros and cons, positives and negatives. Keep reading for helpful information that can guide you in making the right decision in your time of loss. Outdoor venues offer great benefits. Many people feel closer to God or another higher power when they’re outside, which can be comforting in times of loss.

Finally, you can save on greenery. The outdoors has plants and flowers already included, which can save you money on greenery and flowers for your lost loved one’s service. The scenery is also great. There is nothing quite like the great outdoors. From fountains and creeks to trees, bushes, and expansive night sky views, hosting a memorial or funeral outside is almost always beautiful and respectful of the deceased.

Indoor venues and event centers are traditional and reliable for memorial and funerals. They offer great benefits such as intimate settings. Indoor event centers make great memorial or funeral venues as they make for more intimate settings.

You’ll have all of your loved ones in one room, and everyone will have an opportunity to share in grief over the loss and celebration over a life well-lived. You can find indoor venues in a wide range of sizes so no service will feel too cramped in a small space or too spread out a large space. There’s also customization. You can make an indoor memorial or funeral venue almost anything you want. There are tons of ways to customize an indoor space with flowers, streamers, candles, fabric drapes and more. You can even make an indoor space feel like an outdoor space with the right amount of greenery.

Don’t forget about weather protection. Weather can be erratic. From smoldering hot to cold, rainy to sunny, you can never know what to expect when it comes to the great outdoors. Choosing an indoor venue for your lost loved one’s service means you don’t have to worry about the weather. You won’t have to obsess over checking the forecast, as you and your guests will automatically be comfortable no matter if its rain or shine outside.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Do you want to learn more about venue options for your lost loved one’s funeral or memorial service? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. As an Oakland, CA funeral home, we can offer helpful advice and guidance for your time of loss. Please pay us a visit or give us a call today to learn more. After all, at the end of the day, choosing between and indoor and an outdoor venue is very personal. It’s all about what matters to you, your family, and your lost loved one.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Tips for Staying on a Memorial Budget

Is it possible to make your lost loved one’s memorial one to remember if you’re working with a smaller budget? Tons of families have to have a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA without spending lots of money by doing things like these tips:

  1. Send Electronic Invites – Depending on how many guests you have; postage can get expensive. Instead of spending money on paper, envelopes, ink, and postage, a smart money-saving memorial idea is to utilize e-invites.
  2. Keep the Guest List Small – This might be difficult to do, depending on how you want to organize your memorial but keeping your guests at a minimum is a budget-friendly memorial service idea that can go a long way.
  3. Make it a Potluck – One of the simplest budget-friendly memorial ideas is to consider having a potluck. Ask your guests to bring a dish to share with everyone. This way, everyone pitches in to the cost of the food, and you can allocate some of your budget to other areas of the part.
  4. Find the Right Venue – If you’re throwing a memorial service and you want to host the event outside of your home, you’ll want to find the right event venue. A great budget-friendly memorial service idea is to go with an all-inclusive event venue to help save money. Finding a space with in-house catering, tables, chairs, décor, linens, and a good sound system for music is the smartest, since you won’t have to pay for outside catering or rent furniture. Also, bonus: someone else will have to do the cleanup. Ideally, you’ll want a location with a friendly staff that can comfortably accommodate the number of guests you have.
  5. Be Your Own DJ – You don’t need to hire a professional if you have a music-streaming account such as Spotify or Pandora and you can make a playlist yourself for free. Just make sure to add enough music—about 100 songs should do it.
  6. Let People Help – Much too often, our guests ask, “What can I bring?” and we say, “Oh, nothing! I have it under control.” As a host, this is very easy to do—but this time, instead of saying “nothing”, take your guests up on their offers. This is especially helpful as you are going through a loss and could use the extra assistance.
  7. DIY Decorations – Instead of buying elaborate decorations, a great budget-friendly memorial service idea is to consider taking the time to make them yourself. This is where planning ahead will come in handy. You’d be surprised what you can do with a quick trip to your local crafts store or flea market.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service, an Oakland, CA cremation service provider, is here to help if you want more tips on how you can make your lost loved one’s memorial one to remember without breaking the bank. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today. After all, you can definitely still make your lost loved one’s memorial or funeral to be the best it can be even if you don’t have a lot of money.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

What Memorial Details Really Matter?

There are a lot of details that go into a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. However, not every detail matters as much as others. There are some aspects of funerals and memorials that guests don’t really care about at all, but there are some that they care about a lot.

In order to save you time and energy on planning your lost loved one’s service, here are the details that your guests actually care about. Use this list to help make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be!

To begin, people care about the flow. When it comes to any kind of even, even funerals and memorials, the “flow” refers to the way your guests move from moment to moment in the event. For example, from the service itself to the refreshments or burial. You don’t want to keep your guests waiting, so it’s important to optimize your flow by keeping your funeral director, celebrant, or any other person in charge appraised of your wishes and delays.

The location is also important. Do your best to choose a location that’s as accessible as possible, whether that means keeping it close to home to minimize travel or ensuring it has wheelchair ramps or close parking for differently abled guests. Also, don’t forget to consider the weather if the venue you choose has outdoor options. You don’t want your guests to sweat through their black clothing or freeze in cold weather.

Don’t forget to focus on the date and tie. Your guests want to be able to come to your lost loved one’s service! When choosing the date, be mindful of holidays. Even though getting days off from may make it easier for them to travel, many people may want to use holidays for vacations or standing family reunions. When choosing the time, try not to make the service too early or too late. Having the ceremony at 9am might make it hard to guests to be ready, but a service at 9pm is later than others might want to stay up. The food at the service one of the most important aspects, so you need to make sure your catering is the best it can be. That means not only delicious, but also hot, fresh, and well-presented. Don’t forget about options for people with dietary restrictions.

Do your very best to talk with or say hello to every one of your guests. It can be tough to accomplish, especially if you have a big service, but it’s important to make an effort so they feel appreciated for taking the time and energy to attend. Finally, focus on the service itself. The majority of funeral guests are at the event because they cared about the deceased. So, make sure the service honors and remembers the deceased in the best ways possible.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on planning or Oakland, CA cremation services? After all, you shouldn’t waste your precious funeral or memorial planning time working on details that your guest won’t care about or even remember.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Memorial Services Can Help

Any kind of service will offer benefits to the bereaved. It doesn’t matter if it’s a large and extravagant funeral or celebration of life, or a small and simple memorial service after a cremation. That’s why, whether it’s a funeral, memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA or celebration of life, everyone should take the time to remember and honor the passing of a loved one.

The service can be whatever you want and need it to be, with whatever kind of tradition or personalization you’d like because any kind of service can offer benefits like:

  • They Bring People Together – The saying is true: people do need people. This is never truer when people are going through a loss. Honoring a lost loved one with a service brings people together to so they can grieve alongside one another and show how the deceased positively impacted their lives in positive and memorable ways.
  • They Offer a Chance for Closure – Losing a loved one send you on a rollercoaster of emotions that can be incredibly overwhelming and painful. A service, however, allows you to feel those feelings in a safe space and find closure. This way, you can better transition into a new life after the loss that moves on from a physical relationship with the deceased to a spiritual and emotional one.
  • They Allow You to Celebrate a Life Well Lived – Almost every human being gathers with family to celebrate life milestones. A memorial or funeral service is no exception, as death is certainly a major milestone. While a loss is certainly sad, the service can allow the bereaved to celebrate their lost loved one’s amazing life. Instead of simply mourning the loss, a service helps families celebrate a life filled with happiness, love and wonderful memories. Plus, services give friends and family members a chance to share stories that can be passed down from generation to generation to keep the deceased’s legacy alive.
  • They Provide Time to Say Goodbye – A service of any kind gives the bereaved a chance to formally say goodbye to their lost loved one. This might seem trivial but being able to say your final goodbyes among loved ones and friends is a vital step in the grieving and healing process so you can begin to move forward. In fact, studies have shown that the ritual of saying goodbye at a service plays an important role in healing.

Remember, no matter how big or small, simple or extravagant the service is, it’s incredibly beneficial to everyone that attends – especially the bereaved.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Are you looking to say goodbye to and honor your lost loved one with a service? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We offer a wide range of Oakland, CA cremation services and more with the goal of helping people like you remember and honor their lost loved ones. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.