Category Archives: cremation

cremation service in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

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.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

How to Spend Your Time Beyond a Memorial Service

It’s common for memorials after cremation services in Oakland, CA and other locations are much more than one-day events. This is especially true if people are traveling from out of town for the service. You want your friends and family to have a nice time while they travel, even if it’s for a somber event like a memorial.

But the question is: how will you occupy everyone’s time beyond the memorial itself? There are tons of different activities you can set up for your funeral service guests before or after the service itself, such as these ideas.

You can also try taking in the arts. Out-of-town visitors almost always enjoy art and history. Plan a trip to a local art gallery or museum so your guests can enjoy the arts. Try an art museum or science museum, antique shop, or art gallery. Got lots of time? Why not try and take in all three!

Try shopping at local shops or hitting an amusement park. Bring guests to a local mall, shopping area, main street, or wherever there are lots of fun and unique stores and boutiques. Who doesn’t like a little shopping?

This is a good idea because everyone will get some time to explore on their own plus pick up a souvenir or any last-minute items they might need for the service. If there’s an amusement park in your area, be it a Universal Studios or a Six Flags, your guests will be in for a nice break from grieving and thinking about the loss. Even if everyone doesn’t like rollercoasters, amusement parks generally have other kinds of activities and attractions like shows, carnival games, and even face painting. See a show! Who doesn’t like live theater? If there’s a theater in your area, set up a night where everyone goes and sees a show. Bonus: many theaters offer group discounts, so try and buy all the tickets at once. If there’s no live theater in your area, go see a movie instead.

You can also go on hikes. People will want to stretch their legs and get some activity in while they’re traveling or grieving. So, plan a hike! Choose a nearby trail or walking path that’s not too difficult so everyone can participate. What about picnics or local foods? Most towns have lovely local parks full of sunshine, green grass, and shady trees that just scream picnic. Have your guests pack their own lunches and then tell everyone to meet at a certain area of a local park for a picnic, some relaxing, and even a few lawn games. After busy days of shopping and sightseeing, your guests will probably be hungry. Set up reservations or make recommendations for all the must-eat restaurants and bakeries in the area so everyone can refuel and treat themselves to something delicious.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning. We’re honored to do whatever we can.

funeral homes in San Leandro, CA

Cremation Vs. Hydro Cremation

Many funeral homes in San Leandro, CA are now offering hydro cremation services. Do you know what hydro cremation services are or how they compare to standard cremations? Keep reading to learn more about hydro cremation to see if it’s the right choice for you and your family.

To begin, hydro cremation, sometimes referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, is a water-based process that helps reduce bodily remains to dust and ash, like standard cremations. However, unlike cremations, hydro cremation uses water instead of fire.

The goal of any type body disposition method, whether it be cremation, burial or hydro cremation, is to break the body down into its most basic elements: bone and dust. The differences in body disposition methods begin in the speed in which the body breaks down and the method. For example, in a burial, the body is broken down by the microorganisms in the soil and this process can take around 25 years. In a standard cremation, the body is broken down by heat in a few hours. In hydro cremation, the body is broken down by a solution of water, sodium, and potassium hydroxide in just a few hours.

How does hydro cremation work? The body is put in a stainless-steel container in which the water, sodium, and potassium hydroxide are mixed together. The temperature in the container is then raised to help the mixture circulate over the body and reduce it to dust and bone. Really, hydro cremation is just an accelerated version of natural decomposition. Especially since, as the human body is made up of mostly water, it makes sense for us to be returned to water and be a part of the natural life cycle when we die.

There are many reasons why many people think that hydro cremation is a much better body disposition method than burial or standard cremation. One is that hydro cremation is much better for the environment than its counterparts and much more sustainable in the long run. Standard cremation often emits a ton of carbon, vaporized mercury and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but hydro cremation emits nothing. Because of these emissions, standard crematories require expensive abatement or filtration systems, but hydro cremation providers need none. Hydro cremation also has a low carbon footprint as its uses less fossil fuel and produces almost no greenhouse gases. In fact, hydro cremation’s carbon footprint is about one quarter that of standard cremation.funeral homes in San Leandro, CA

Hydro cremation is also thought to be much better for the environment than standard cremation or ground burial because it does not require the removal of implants like pacemakers, allows medical devices and implants to be recycled, does not burn caskets and therefore reduces the use of natural resources and the production of CO2, and is not contaminated by harmful bacteria or chemicals. Hydro cremation is also green because it does not create harmful by-products, but rather creates a solution of soaps, peptides, amino acids and sugar and it uses about 1/10th the energy of standard cremation

Do you want to learn more about hydro cremations? Deer Creek Funeral Service, a San Leandro, CA funeral home, is here to help.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

How is a Body Prepared for Cremation?

Your loved one has died, and they chose a cremation service in Oakland, CA. What happens to the body after the death? How long before the cremation takes place? What happens after the cremation? Here are all the details of how a body is prepared for a cremation.

First, the funeral home or crematory picks up the body. After the death, the funeral home or crematory of your choice will usually pick up the body and bring it to the funeral home or crematory. Once there, it will be placed in a prep room or in refrigeration. Next comes service planning.

The bereaved will then meet with a funeral director or cremation provider to plan a service, if desired, and determine the cremation details. During this time, the body is kept in a refrigeration unit between 36 and 39 degrees to slow decomposition. If the deceased or bereaved chose direct cremation, the body will stay refrigerated till the cremation. If they chose a public viewing, the body will be placed in a prep room for embalming.

The cremation provider will then prep the body by removing all jewelry, pacemakers, or medical devices in order to prevent melting or explosions during the cremation process. Jewelry is returned to the family and medical devices are often recycled or returned to the family. If the family or deceased chose direct cremation, there is no other preparation required. If the family chose a public viewing, the body will be embalmed, bathed, dried, dressed, and put in a casket. Next comes identity verification.

A family member or next-of-kin will complete and ID Verification form after preparation to signify that the body has been properly identified and is ready to be cremated or viewed at a service. Each facility and state have different procedures, but your funeral director or cremation provider will walk you through each step. Finally, there’s the cremation itself. After the body is identified and after any chosen service, the body is then placed in a cremation container.

Cremation containers can be solid wood caskets designed for cremation or corrugated cardboard boxes also designed for cremations. The cremation container with the body inside is then put into the cremation chamber and heated between 1400 and 2000 degrees for about two hours. Some crematories allow family members to view the cremation itself. If you wish to view the cremation, speak with your provider. After the cremation, the remains are cooled for about an hour and then processed through a machine that grinds remaining bones into powder. These powdered remains are returned to the family in an urn of their choice or in another kind of container.

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This is only the basics of how a body is prepared for cremation. Do you want to learn more about the cremation process or Oakland, CA cremation services in general? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Stop by and pay us a visit or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Between Death and Cremation Services

No matter how unsettling or uncomfortable it might be, it’s important to know what happens to a body after a death if you’re planning a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Here is a breakdown of what happens to a body after death, from death pronouncement to final decomposition.

The first step is death pronouncement. The death pronouncement is when the person is officially declared dead by a medical professional. It can be different from the actual time of death as sometimes doctors are not present when the person actually dies. Instead, the death pronouncement is given after the doctor examines the body and determines that death has occurred. Next comes body transportation to the funeral home. After a death, someone has to notify the funeral home or cremation provider and then have someone come to the place of death and transport it to the funeral home or cremation location.

There’s also the option to preserve the body. There are several ways bodies are preserved before a cremation service or funeral including refrigeration and embalming. Bodies are kept cold with ice, dry ice, air conditioning, or refrigerators. They can also be traditionally embalmed or eco-embalmed, which is a method that does not use formaldehyde.

Most people choose to have some kind of memorial event for their lost loved one. The most traditional events are viewings, visitations, and wakes. A viewing or wake is when the embalmed body is present, and a visitation may or may not have the body present. Viewings and wakes are also generally more religious than wakes. There are also traditional funerals, which are services in which the body is present in a casket. Funerals are also usually religious events held at funeral homes or churches. Families can also choose to less traditional and host a memorial. Memorials are services at which the body is not present, either because the body was cremated or because the body was already buried.

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Lastly, there’s the service and the final disposition. The body’s final disposition is where the body will be put to rest. Whether the body is buried or interned in a tomb or mausoleum, the service for final disposition is called a committal. When a body is cremated and placed in an urn or scattered, the ceremony is called a cremation ceremony or a scattering service. There are many different ways to put a body to rest, but the most common include burial and cremation. Bodies can be buried in the ground at a cemetery, above-ground in a mausoleum, entombment in a lawn crypt, or naturally buried in other locations. Final disposition options for after cremation include cremation with burial in a cemetery, above-ground burial in a columbarium, scattering of ashes, and inurnment with the urn kept at home. There are also alternative disposition methods such as alkaline hydrolysis, burial or scattering at sea, and body preservation.

Do you want to learn more about the process or Oakland, CA cremation services?
Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

Getting Through Grief

Use these ideas to soothe your pain and grief after the loss of a loved one, such as seeking help from a professional. After all, the death of a loved one, their cremation services in Oakland, CA, and the subsequent grief will never be easy.

However, there are ways you can help ease the pain and help yourself heal. Speaking with a mental health professional like therapist or counselor can be very helpful and comforting in a time of loss and grief. If you’re unsure if you need to speak with a professional, take a moment to be honest with yourself and your situation. There is no shame in getting help.

You also need to take care of yourself. It’s easy to let self-care fall by the wayside when you’re grieving. However, you shouldn’t add physical ailments on top of your mental pain. Take care of yourself by eating regularly and healthfully, getting plenty of rest, exercising when you can, sharing your feelings with others, and allowing yourself to cry. Be aware of clinical depression and watch out for complicated grief. It’s natural to feel depressed after a loss. In fact, many common symptoms of grief are the same as those of clinical depression. However, there is a difference between grief and clinical depression, and clinical depression does require professional help.

Be on the watch for signs of clinical depression like your sadness does not subside over time, you feel hopeless or even suicidal, as though life will never get back to normal, you’ve pulled further and further away from your friends and family, and no grief-coping strategies seem to have worked for you. Complicated grief is when you’re unable to move on after a loss. While grief does not have a fixed duration, it does generally ease with time. Complicated grief, however, involves prolonged and painful symptoms that prevent you from accepting the loss and living a normal life again.

If you feel you might have complicated grief, seek help from a professional.

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Don’t forget to seek support. Feeling of loneliness are very common after a loss. In fact, they’re natural. While its noble to make an effort to stand on your own during this difficult time, you don’t have to do it alone. In reality, its actually better to lean on others when you’re going through a loss. Try interacting with friends, family members, or other people in your community to remind yourself of the love, support, and positivity that surrounds you. If you can, fight the urged to isolate yourself. Even if you don’t want to talk about your grief, just spending time in silence with others can be helpful. If you’re not comfortable looking to friends or family for support, you can try a local support group.

Do you have more questions about grief or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Remember, just as no two people will grieve the same way, not all of these tips will help everyone with their grief. Do what works for you and what makes you feel healthy, happy, and that you’re moving towards healing.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Do You Have Cumulative Grief?

Everyone will experience grief at one time or another, generally after the loss of a loved one and a cremation service in Oakland, CA. However, sometimes people experience losses one right after another can lead to what is called “cumulative grief.”

Cumulative grief can occur when someone experiences more than one loss in a short period of time, causing the pain of each loss to compound each other into oftentimes overwhelming grief. The symptoms of cumulative grief include numbness, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, feeling overwhelmed, avoiding processing the losses, and processing one loss but not being able to process any others.

Here are fast facts about cumulative grief to help you understand this phenomenon and how you can get through it. To begin, all grief, even cumulative grief, takes time to work through. Don’t try and rush through the feelings even if it hurts as this may just leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t try to avoid the feelings, either, as they will continue to build up and cause more pain in the long run.

Remember, it’s not shameful to seek help, especially since cumulative grief can affect your physical health. Finding professional help, like a therapist or counselor, can go a long way towards easing you through cumulative grief. Grief can devastate you emotionally, mentally, and physically. In fact, it can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of blood clots, and even alter the heart muscle to mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. Age increases the risk of cumulative grief. As people get into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, they oftentimes find themselves experiencing more frequent loss of friends, family members, and other loved ones. Substance abuse can also increase the risk for cumulative grief.

People that use drugs or alcohol to numb grief oftentimes don’t fully feel their losses, putting them at greater risk for cumulative grief when they stop using the drugs or alcohol. Multiple loses can also heighten feelings. The simple nature of cumulative grief is that it’s hard. How could feeling the pain of multiple losses not be? As tough as feeling the heightened emotions all at once, it’s better than ignoring the feelings until they become too much to bear.

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Grief is also cyclical. Grief, especially cumulative grief, is cyclical, meaning that one day you might feel better, but then the next you start to feel terrible again. This doesn’t mean you’re regressing or not making progress, it’s just part of the grief experience. This cyclical nature also means that you can make room for joy and happiness within your grief journey. After all, being happy does not negate the love you had for your lost loved one. Finally, cumulative grief isn’t just about death. While death is the most common cause of cumulative grief, it can also be caused by other losses like a change in friends, loss of identity, job loss, or a loss in future dreams or goals.

Do you want to learn more about grief or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.