Category Archives: cremation

cremation services in Oakland, CA

How to Save Money on a Memorial

What do you do if you don’t have a big budget for a memorial after cremation services in Oakland, CA? Memorials after cremations can be expensive. And for most people, that’s just fine. Memorials are a big deal and oftentimes the memories of your lost loved one and meaningful moments honoring their life are worth the expense. But for some, it’s important to save money on a memorial so they can spend it on other things that are equally important. And that’s OK, too.

However, working within a small memorial budget can be hard, especially for people who have big dreams of what they want their lost loved one’s service to look like. If you’re worried about the cost of a memorial, maybe it’s time to cut back on the budget. Think about it this way – you won’t be stressed about bills or money, and you’ll actually be able to soak in the time spent honoring and remembering your loved one. Not sure how to decrease your budget to save you money?

Here are some tips for cutting down your memorial budget.

First, DIY as much as possible. While there are some aspects of a memorial you don’t want to DIY, like preparing the body, there are tons of things you can. For example, make your centerpieces, create your own floral arrangements, design your own programs, or ask friend and family to help with set up and tear down. There’s also the option of DIYing the food at the reception following the service if you want to go with a more casual vibe and your venue allows.

What about skipping stationary? The cost of paper death announcements and memorial invitations really adds up. Luckily, there are tons of digital platforms that will send these out for free. If you’re set on having paper invitations, consider mixing them with a digital RSVP system. You can also cut things like day-of programs, and menu cards as they always get thrown out anyway. Instead, try big chalkboard signs that can give the same information for way less than half the cost. You can also make cuts to the guest list. This is the simplest way to save money on a memorial. Think about it like this: a 300-person memorial reception will automatically be twice as expensive as a 150-person reception.

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Pare down your guest list to just people you really know and really love, and you’ll see your budget go way down. However, don’t skimp on the venue. The one thing you shouldn’t try and scrimp on? The memorial home. The memorial home has such a massive impact on the entire day, so don’t try and cut back there. Instead, use these tips for other ways to save money.

We are here to help if you want more memorial or funeral planning tips. As an Oakland, CA cremation service provider, we have the expertise needed to make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be, no matter what your budget. Call or visit us today to learn more.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

Got Strange Cremation Service Questions?

Lots of people wonder a lot of odd or quirky things about cremation services in Oakland, CA.

From the icky to the bizarre, its normal to have questions about cremation. Are you ready to satisfy your curiosity?

Here are the answers to some of the most common weird cremation questions.

  1. Are the ashes really the person? Cremation ashes, sometimes called cremains, are the bits of bones leftover after the cremation process. So yes, the ashes really are the person. Every cremation provider has safety and identification protocols in place to ensure that the proper cremains are returned to the proper family, so you can rest assured the ashes you receive are the ashes of your lost loved one.
  2. Do teeth burn during cremation? Teeth usually burn up during the cremation process. Tooth fragments that are not burnt up will be ground during the ash processing.
  3. Do cremains have DNA? Cremains rarely hold enough DNA to be read during an analysis. The bone and teeth fragments left behind after the process are ground into a fine powder, making it almost impossible to extract viable DNA for testing.
  4. Can you be cremated without a funeral? You can be cremated without a funeral service. This is called direct cremation. Your loved ones can always have a memorial service at a later date after the cremation if they or you so choose.
  5. What is the most affordable way to be cremated? Whole-body donations, or donating the entire body to science, comes with a no-cost cremation, making it the most affordable way to be cremated.
  6. Are bodies cremated in their caskets? Bodies will be removed from their caskets if the caskets are not suitable for cremation. But, if the casket is able to be cremated, the body will be cremated while still inside the casket.
  7. Is cremation common? The National Funeral Directors Association states the current rate of cremation is about 56%, while traditional burial is 37%. In short, it is safe to say that cremation is the most common disposition method in the country.
  8. Can you watch a cremation? Some cremation providers do allow the bereaved to view the cremation from a separate chamber. However, as the entire process takes several hours, most only allow the bereaved to view the body being placed into the cremation chamber.
  9. Are bodies cremated with clothes on? Bodies are cremated in what they died in if they are cremated with direct cremation. If they’re cremated after a funeral, they will be cremated in the clothes they were placed in for the service.
  10. Do bodies sit up during cremation? Because of the cremation chamber’s high heat, some bodies go into what’s called a pugilistic stance, meaning the elbows, knees, and fists clench from dehydration due to the extreme heat. The pugilistic stance may make the body appear shorter or stiffer, but it will not make the body sit up.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

We are here to help if you have more questions about Oakland, CA cremation services. Please call or visit us today to learn about what we can do for you in your time of loss, preplanning, or curiosity.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Want to Involve Your Kids in a Memorial?

Your kids deserve to participate in a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA as it will not only make them feel included, but it will also help them express their own grief in constructive ways. Keep reading to learn more about involving your kids in a memorial.

You need to make sure the service is memorable, respectful, and meaningful, but you should also make sure your kids feel included as they knew and loved the deceased, too. What can you do to help them feel included? These tips can help.

To begin, try making them part of the service. While younger children might not be able to be part of a memorial or funeral, older kids certainly can. In fact, many older kids would be honored be part of remembering and celebrating their lost loved ones. You can make kids part of the service by having them do a reading, make a short speech, lead a prayer, or even just stand up at the front with the rest of the family.

To make them feel included, add a few kid-friendly games or activities to the service schedule to make sure they are part of the event. Set up a children’s table with coloring books or crafts or hire a babysitter to help keep them entertained during the long day. Even having a side room where they can go if the service gets overwhelming will be helpful. It won’t hurt to put in a little extra effort with your little ones while planning a memorial or funeral. You don’t want anyone to feel neglected. Try putting aside some one-on-one time for your younger children while planning. You can take them with you while running errands and stop for lunch or an ice cream after, or just add a bit of extra play time into your daily schedule.

What about assigning them responsibilities? One sure-fire way to keep everyone happy and feeling involved is to actually involve everyone. Handing out responsibilities to your kids is sure to keep them happy and help them feel like they’re part of the experience. Plus, there’s lots to do when planning and executing a service, so the extra help will be appreciated. Get them to help with researching good quotes for speeches, helping guests make travel arrangements, or drawing pictures for decorations. Your other kids will feel excited and engaged if you give them a personal assignment to help make their lost loved one’s service the best it can be. You can also add activities for them and give them one-on-one attention. If your other children are younger, they might feel left out of the service and the planning because such events usually don’t have activities for younger kids.

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Want more tips on getting your kids involved or on planning memorial services for your lost loved one? We’re committed to making sure your lost loved one’s service and Oakland, CA cremation service is as meaningful and respectful as possible. Call or visit us today to learn more.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Military Funeral Flags After the Cremation Service

Here are some unique and helpful ideas to inspire you for what you can do with your lost loved one’s military flag after their memorial and cremation service in Oakland, CA.

 

A military funeral flag is a standard United States flag that’s draped over the coffin or urn of a veteran or military service member during their funeral, memorial, or internment ceremony. Also known as a military burial flag, the flag is folded up after the service is over 13 times to form a triangle, perhaps representing the 13 original colonies and the shape of the hats traditionally worn during the Revolutionary War. After its folded, the flag is given to the deceased’s closest family member, like a spouse, parents, sibling, or other next of kin. The VA provides funeral flags at no cost for both active duty and retired veterans of any of the armed force divisions. Civilians can request flags, but they do come at a cost.

 

There are several options that both honor the memory of your lost loved one and respect the nature of the flag. Some of them include buying a personalized military flag case or a memorabilia and flag display case. There are many flag cases available for sale, such as personalized cases that display the veteran’s service branch, name, and rank. The wooden case keeps the flag free from dust, and a felt-lined lid provides an area to proudly display awards and insignia.

 

You can also fly the flag or display it in a homemade case. While the official United States Flag Code does not mention whether or not you are allowed to fly a military funeral flag, there are two main factions divided on this issue. Some believe that once a funeral flag is folded it should remain that way, meaning it cannot be flown. Others believe flying the flag is a noble and patriotic way of honoring the deceased. Make your own case to display the funeral flag on your mantle, on a shelf, or on a wall. This is a great way to invest time and meaningful craftsmanship into honoring your lost loved one. If your lost loved one was cremated, you can also buy a flag display case that is designed to fit perfectly on top of their cremation urn. This way, you can keep your lost loved one’s remains and their funeral flag in the same place.

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Showcase your lost loved one’s military memorabilia and their funeral flag with a special display case. Such cases are perfect to exhibit awards, patches, photos, insignia, and more. You can choose a wall-mountable or standing versions of this kind of case so you can display memorabilia and the flag wherever it fits best in your home.

We are here to help if you want more information on military funeral flags or Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do to help during your time of loss or preplanning.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Grief Counseling After Cremation Services

Grief counseling is a specific form of therapy that helps you cope with the effects of a major loss after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. There are many different ways you can get help and support when you’re grieving after a loss and cremation service in Oakland, CA, grief counseling is just one of them. Though it comes in many different forms, it commonly involves taking through your feelings about and reactions to the loss of a loved one or any other grief-inducing event such as divorce, infertility, or an adoption falling through.

The main goal of grief counseling is to give you tools to help you deal with the emotional, spiritual, physical, and social effects of grief. The counselor will help you process what has happened, identify what you are experiencing, and provide strategies that help you cope in the healthiest way possible. As there are different kinds of grief counseling, there are different kinds of grief counselors including licensed or certified grief counselors. Licensed or certified grief counselors are mental health professionals who focus on treating individuals and families suffering from loss, whether that means a death or a divorce, loss of a job, or even the loss of a pet. Because grief comes in many different forms for many different people, there are lots of different kinds of grief counselors. Some work in group settings, others focus on private sessions. Some just listen, others give advice and actionable tools to help you move through the grieving process.

There is also pastoral counseling and support groups. Many people find comfort through their faith, making pastoral counseling an excellent choice for getting through grief. This type of counseling helps back up your faith and gives you guidance and support in grief through religious texts and concepts. Many people feel alone after the loss of a loved one. Support groups are excellent for making you feel less alone or if you’re uncomfortable talking to a professional in a one-on-one setting. In support groups, each member works in tandem with the others and gives instant validation from being around others who can understand on some level. Funeral homes, churches, hospitals, and community centers all usually offer support groups or recommendations.

You can also get grief counseling from professional therapists. “Therapist” refers to psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Though they have different titles, each of these professionals are educated and certified in helping with mental and emotional problems. However, their different titles do indicate different specialties. Psychiatrists can diagnose mental health conditions and prescribe medicine, while psychologists are trained in talk therapy, the study of behavior, and psychological testing and analysis and therefore cannot prescribe medicine. Counselors are trained to help individuals address specific problems involving behavior and mental and emotional well-being. You can find any of these professional therapists in locations such as mental health clinics, community centers, hospitals, online practices, military facilities, and schools.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

We are here to help if you have more questions on grief counseling or on Orange Park, FL cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

What Does Grief Look Like After Cremation Services?

Grief can present itself in a variety of ways, from physical to emotional symptoms. What does “normal” grief look like after the loss of a loved one and a cremation service in Oakland, CA? How can you tell if what you are feeling is “normal” grief? When should you seek help? How long will you feel like this?

Grief often looks different in different people, meaning no two people will grieve exactly the same. There are many different physical signs of grief. Though grief isn’t a physical illness, it can often feel like one. Some people report that their hearts actually ache, while others are exhausted but can’t sleep or hungry but can’t eat.

And yet others still face a physical grief symptom called “broken heart syndrome,” which is a diagnosable disease with the same symptoms as a heart attack. Grief can also worsen existing health problems, causing increased blood pressure, heart palpitations, increased risk of blood clots, headaches, nausea, and even an increased number of colds or infections. While everyone will grieve at one time or another, grief can hit some people worse than others and necessitate professional intervention.

Feelings of hopelessness and despair are normal, but they shouldn’t be debilitating for long periods of time. Here are some signs you might benefit from counseling or sessions with a doctor, like if you’re no longer looking after your personal hygiene, are experiencing hallucinations, whether of your loved one or otherwise, or are feeling intense feelings of guilt. You should also see a doctor if you’re not able to complete your day-to-day activities, whether that means job, childcare, or school or have thoughts of suicide, the inability to sleep or sleep through the night, are not eating enough or properly, or are binge eating. There are also many emotional symptoms of grief. Grief is a serious stressor, linking physical and emotional symptoms and sparking the same nervous system response as a physical threat. Some research has shown that emotional pain, like the pain of a loss, can even trigger the same zones of the brain as physical pain. This is why you might supper emotional grief symptoms like fear, guilt, emptiness, sadness, anger, shame, shock, and depression.

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Remember, every grief journey is different. You might experience some, all, or even none of the symptoms as you mourn the loss of your loved one. These differences also apply to timeline. Some people might grieve for weeks and other people for years. There is no set timeline for dealing with a loss, so take all the time to need to mourn your loved one while still remembering to take care of yourself, too. Even if you’re not experiencing these specific grief symptoms, you might still benefit from counseling or a grief support group. There is no shame in getting help. After all, humans are social animals and therefore do best when we mourn, heal, and move on in a community.

We are here to help if you want more information on grief or Oakland, CA cremation services. We are honored to do whatever we can for you in your time of loss or preplanning, so call or visit us today.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

Facts About Cremains

What are cremains and what do they have to do with cremation services in Oakland, CA?

Cremains are the bone fragments left over after a body has gone through a cremation. The term “cremains” is a portmanteau, meaning it’s a blending of words to create a new, more succinct one. In this case, the word “cremains” is a blend of “cremated” and “remains.” While cremains are often called ashes, that’s technically incorrect as they are really a mixture of dry calcium phosphates with some various minor minerals such as salts of sodium and potassium or, in other words, dry bone particles. Since cremations occur at temperatures above 1600° F, any substance that would make true ash is incinerated. However, it makes sense that cremains are mistaken for ash because after the cremains are passed through a grinder, they do greatly resemble ash. The exact amount of cremains that remain after a body is cremated depends on the body’s size, weight, and body type as well as factors such as the crematoriums process and equipment. However, variation in the amount of cremains is very slight. That is why most cremation urns are generally about the same size, though you can find them in different dimensions by length, weight, and depth as well as by interior capacity.

There are many things you can do with cremains after they’ve been processed. Whether you’re planning ahead for your own final arrangements or need some help figuring out what to do after a loved one has been recently cremated, here are some ideas for what to do with cremains, like scattering. A popular option for cremains is to scatter them. Cremains can be scattered in a park, yard, or forest, at sea, in a special garden, or anywhere else. There’s also internment. Internment is a fancy word for being laid to rest. Internment of cremains can be either burial or placement in a columbarium niche. Some families choose to bury a loved one’s cremains in the family burial plot, while others bury the cremains at home in their yards. Columbaria are buildings or rooms with niches that store cremated remains. They can be indoors or out, and often include large numbers of cremation urns to save space.

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Don’t forget about cremation urns and decorations. While most cremation providers return the cremains to the family in a simple box or container, many choose to purchase a cremation urn to house the cremains permanently or before they’re interned. There are many different kinds of cremation urns in all different shapes, sizes, decorations, and even colors. A unique way to memorialize your lost loved one is to turn their cremains into some kind of decoration. Some people choose to mix the cremains into glass to create beautiful art, while others have the cremains mixed into metals or placed into lockets to make cremation jewelry.

We are here to help if you would like to learn more about cremains, internment, or Oakland, CA cremation services. Call or visit us today for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Concrete Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

You want to be helpful to someone who is grieving after a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA, but how? You don’t want your attempts at being helpful to be a burden on them in their time of loss. You most likely want to be helpful in a concrete way.

Here are some meaningful ways you can show up for someone in grief and be genuinely helpful, like helping them rest. There’s a lot do to when someone dies, from planning the service to dealing with end-of-life legalities. Help out by taking things off their plate so they can really rest. Try taking over hosting responsibilities for out-of-town funeral guests, performing household chores, or doing some childcare for an afternoon. Yard work is an excellent way you can help out, as everyone needs their grass cut at some point. From making lists to actually doing the shopping, running errands takes a lot of physical and mental work. Taking errands off their plate would be very helpful in their time of grief.

Keep reaching out and ask what they need. Grief doesn’t end after the funeral or cremation. Even after you’ve attended the service, said your condolences, brought a meal, and run some errands, keep reaching out. They’ll always appreciate the support. Sometimes the best way to provide exactly the help they need is to ask them what they need. Be specific, saying something like, “I’m free on Wednesday, what can I help you with?” or “Can I bring over dinner on Thursday night?” The simple act of going somewhere when in grief can be overwhelming. You can also offer to drive them places or simply go with them wherever they need to go so they’re not alone. Homecooked meals are genuinely comforting, but cooking takes time and energy – both of which are tough to come by in grief. Cook at their house while keeping them company or bring over an easily heated, freezer-friendly dish like a casserole, soup, or lasagna. You can also include a little treat in your meal delivery, such as a pie, cookies, a book, or even a pair of cozy socks

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Don’t forget to be flexible. What they need might vary from day to day. Yesterday, they might have wanted to be left alone, but today they might need a shoulder to cry on and an ear to hear their pain. Be flexible and willing to provide what they need as each moment passes. What about gifting them a massage? Physical touch like massages can be very helpful when someone is grieving. Gift them a massage gift certificate so they can rest, relax, and have some time alone.

Do you want more tips on supporting someone in grief or more information on Oakland, CA cremation services? We are here to help and are honored to assist in any way we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Please call or visit us today to learn more about our services.

cremation service in Oakland, CA

Final Disposition and Cremation Services in Oakland, CA

Do you know what final disposition is? It is what happens to a body after death, including after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Keep reading to learn more about final disposition and the various methods used for after cremation services.

To begin, there are many nontraditional final disposition methods available, from water cremation and body donation to body preservation and more. You are welcome to explore these nontraditional methods to see if they would work for you or your lost loved one.

Ground burial at a cemetery is the most traditional disposition method in the United States. In this method, the body is kept intact, generally embalmed, placed in a casket, and then buried in a cemetery. While there are many options available for cemetery burial, cemeteries are becoming crowded. You can also bury remains above ground. Above ground burial in a mausoleum is when the body is entombed above the ground in some kind of crypt or sarcophagus. These above-ground burial types are rarer than most other final disposition options, due to limited space and far greater cost. A lawn crypt is a vault that is partially underground and holds one or more caskets, usually a family or husband and wife pair. They generally have a few steps down to enter and can often be completely covered with grass.

After cremation, there is natural burial and cremation with ash burial. A natural burial is similar to ground burial except that the body is not embalmed or placed in a traditional casket. Instead, the body is placed in the earth with a few simple wrappings to ease natural biodegradation. The whole point of natural burial is to return the body to the earth in a simple, clean way. In a cremation with ash burial, the body is cremated and the cremated remains, or ashes, are placed in a cremation urn. The cremation urn is then buried in a cemetery plot inside a cremation urn vault to protect the cemetery grounds.

You can also choose final disposition methods like cremation with inurnment. You can place cremated remains inside cremation urns and then house the urn inside a, above-ground permanent resting place called a columbarium. The columbarium houses urns in niches that are either in a freestanding structure on the cemetery grounds or an outdoor wall with niches that you can visit anytime. If you don’t want to bury or house cremated remains, you can also scatter them. The most traditional scattering method is scattering the ashes in a body of water such as a river, lake, or ocean. You can also scatter the ashes in a location special to you or the deceased, such as a favorite park or landmark. Don’t forget about housing cremated remains at home, whether on display or somewhere private.

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Do you want to learn more about final disposition or Oakland, CA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on our services or what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Oakland, CA

More About Grief and Cremation Services

Everyone grieves and mourns in their own way and for their own length of time. No matter how or how long you grieve after a death and cremation services in Oakland, CA, it’s an important part of processing a loss.

But how will you handle a loss? How should you mourn? How do you cope with the grief? To better understand what grief is and how to work through it, use this list of important information about grief.

To begin, grief is a deep kind of sorrow associated with a loss, whether that loss is a death or another kind of loss, such as that of a relationship, job, or even hope for the future. But grief is not the same as mourning. Grief is the internal experience or emotional response after a loss, while mourning is the external way, we process our grief. In other words, grief is what you are holding onto on the inside and mourning is what you’re letting out. While everyone grieves and mourns differently, is important to be aware of and acknowledge where you are in your personal grief and mourning process. Mourning is the outward expression of grief. As such, there is no set timeline for how long you should mourn after a loss. Mourning periods vary between people, cultures, religions, and more. For example, the Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, and Muslim religious sects have set mourning periods, while many western cultures believe one year is an acceptable mourning period. Cultures and beliefs also dictate how to mourn, with traditions including wearing black, no dancing or celebrations, a black wreath on your door, and covering the doorbell.

What does grief look like? What symptoms does it have? Grief manifests in many different ways between different people or even at different times. How you grieve at one point in your life might be very different than how you grieve at another. Grief can also manifest in a variety of ways from physician and emotional to mental symptoms. Some of the most common include heart palpitations, headaches, GI issues, body pain, anger, bitterness, confusion, loss of joy, apathy, irritability, fear, shame, anxiety, or even betrayal. There is also no set timeline for grief. How long grief lasts varies from person to person and even from loss to loss. For example, you might grieve longer after the loss of a spouse versus the loss of a job. If you feel that your grief is lasting longer than it “should,” you might feel more comfortable speaking to a professional.

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Grief is hard work, and it’s important to acknowledge it as such so you can face it and come out stronger on the other side. No matter how, why, or how long you grieve, it’s an important part of processing a loss. We are here to help if you want to learn more about grief or Oakland, CA cremation services. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.