Category Archives: funeral home

funeral home in San Leandro, CA

The Steps for Arranging a Funeral

Death is and always will be hard, but the difficulty is often compounded by the difficulties that come with arranging a funeral at a funeral home in San Leandro, CA. Learn more about this process of arranging a funeral so you can be better prepared when faced the loss of a loved one.

There are eight main steps that everyone must follow after death to arrange a funeral:

  1. Report the Death – If the death is at a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, the officials there will know what to do and will make the report for you. If you are at home, or have no other options, call 911.
  2. Prepare to Work with a Funeral Director – You will need the assistance of a funeral director to complete the death certificate, transport and store the body. Take note if the deceased made pre-arrangements for his or her funeral or cremation and be prepared to relay these wishes to the director.
  3. Choose the Service – There are several service options you need to be prepared to choose from such as funerals, in which the service is held before the body is cremated or buried and the body is present, or memorials, in which the service is help after the body is buried or cremated and therefore not present.
  4. Make Cemetery Arrangements – If you choose to inter the remains after the funeral or cremation, you will need to make cemetery arrangements. Decide where the burial will take place, and if necessary, purchase a plot. If you’re unsure where to start, your funeral director or cremation assistant will most likely be affiliated with a cemetery and can help you find a plot. You could also check with your church, synagogue or other place of worship for further guidance.
  5. Plan the Funeral Service – Feel free to get creative when making memorial or funeral service arrangements to make the service personal and meaningful. Flowers, music, pre or post service events and other special touches help make the service personal for you and the deceased.
  6. Make Body Transportation Arrangements – You will need to make arrangements for thefuneral home in San Leandro, CA body to be transported from the place of death to the funeral home, and also to the cemetery if you choose burial, as well as inform the family and write a death notice.
  7. Make the Death Announcement – Personally inform all close family, friends and loved ones of the death, ideally over the phone or in person. If you’re nervous, take the time to write a script to help you make key points. Don’t forget to write and release a death notice to notify the rest of the friends, coworkers, associates etc.
  8. Stay Organized – You should make a list of what you need to accomplish before the service to help you stay organized and not forget anything important. This list could include your attire, personal items or collecting photos.

Looking for more guidance on arranging funerals? Deer Creek Funeral Service, a San Leandro, CA funeral home, is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Do You Have Questions About Pallbearers?

As intense or scary as the job of serving as a pallbearer seems, it’s not as overwhelming as you might think. A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place. If you were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral, here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to prepare you for the task:

  1. Can You Have Pallbearers at a Cremation? While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before a cremation. They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service.
  2. How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
  3. What Should Pallbearers Wear? Its best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.
  4. Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
  5. How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
  6. What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.

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Do you have more questions about pallbearers or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to answer them. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Tips for Serving as a Pallbearer

If you were asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral or service before a cremation service, you need these tips for serving as a pallbearer for guidance and inspiration. A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place.

Hopefully these tips will help you calm your nerves and make sure you are ready to take on this honor. To begin, follow all instructions. Always follow the instructions of the family, bereaved, and the funeral direction. This is true even if you’ve been a pallbearer before or have different ideas of how things should go. It’s not your time to shine, it’s your chance to be respectful and honor the deceased. Also, turn off your phone. It would be horrifying to have your phone ring during the service or, even worse, when you’re carrying the casket.

Unless the bereaved specify otherwise, men should wear dark, solid suits with white shirts and conservative ties, and women should wear dark pantsuits or dresses. You really don’t want to trip when carrying the casket. Be sure to wear sensible shoes that will help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and will be supportive when you lift the casket. Remember, being nervous is normal. It’s true that all eyes will be on you when you carry the casket, so it’s OK to be nervous. Just follow the instructions, breathe deeply, and you’ll be alright.

Turn off your phone completely or leave it in your car or at home. Being chosen as a pallbearer means that the bereaved trust you and care about you. It’s a privilege, so do your best to treat the honor with dignity and respect. This includes considering your attire. Pallbearers need to dress appropriately. Also, be prepared to lift. The main job of a pallbearer is to lift and carry the casket, so prepare yourself. Remember, it’s OK to turn it down if you’re asked to be a pallbearer by can’t physically do the job. Don’t forget to stay back and support the family. Don’t rush out as soon as the service is over. Hang around for a bit to offer support, comfort, and assistance to the family. Lastly, be on time. You need to arrive at the funeral home or service location at or even before the time specified. This way you can be as prepared as possible and not rushing or worried after a late arrival.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you need more guidance or assistance if when it comes to pallbearers or Oakland, CA funeral homes? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

funeral home in Oakland CA

How to Prepare Your Home for a Wake After Funeral Home Services

While there are many places to host a wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, many bereaved prefer to have the gathering at their home. Whether this is because the deceased had a special connection to the house or because the bereaved want to keep the event intimate, a wake at home is a wonderful idea.

If you want to host a wake for your lost loved one at your home, you do need to spend time getting your home ready. Here are some tips for prepping your home for a wake:

  • Organize Cords – Cords hanging off the TV, tangled by the nightstand, or snaking around your desk look plain messy. Clear away and organize your cords by investing in some cheap cord organizers and power strips.
  • Update Your Furniture – A brand new couch is pricey, but reupholstering your existing couch just takes a few hours and some creativity. You can update other furniture, too, like chairs and tables with a new stain or coat of paint.
  • Change Dated Fixtures – Want to make your home look updated for the wake? Change out the fixtures. It’s incredible how much changing fixtures can change a room. Whether you’re updating frosted glass pendant lights or ripping out nasty old ceiling fans in lieu of more modern ones, spend the weekend changing your dated fixtures for a quick home update.
  • Deep Clean – The best way to prep your home for a wake is to do a deep clean. Start in the high traffic rooms like the kitchen, bathrooms, and living spaces, but don’t forget the extra rooms like bedrooms, offices, and basements
  • Give Your Windows Love – Window treatments can get dirty if left unattended. A quick way to make your home feel like new again is to clean your treatments. You can even repaint or re-stain them if you want to add a new pop of color.
  • Add Greenery – Plants, flowers and other greenery always add life and color to a space. Worried about watering? Buy some fake plants.
  • Do Some Painting – Few things update a space more than a fresh coat of paint. You can totally change the color of a room for a super new look, or you can just give the existing color a refresh.
  • Clean Tile and Grout – Nothing makes a bathroom or kitchen seem older and dirtier than stained grout or tile. Buy a cheap tile and grout refreshing kit at your local hardware store or online and spend the afternoon scrubbing. It might take some elbow grease, but your kitchen and bathroom will look good as new.
  • Make Space for Your Pet – Your home should be free from pet clutter for the event. Take some time on your weekend to carve out a dedicated space for your pet and all his accessories.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. After all, sometimes it’s the smallest of changes in your home that make the biggest impacts when you want it to look nice for a wake.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Hosting a Wake this Summer?

Summer wakes can be truly beautiful and meaningful, summer wakes after services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA are very popular, with everything from gorgeous weather and bright sunshine to vibrant flowers. However, the summer also comes with variables that can quickly turn a wonderful wake into a disaster, like thunderstorms, heatwaves, and lots and lots of bugs.

Here are some tips for planning a summer wake that will help you enjoy all the benefits of the season without fear of any of the pitfalls. To begin, make a back-up plan. If you still want to have your wake service, scattering event or other kind of meaningful moment to honor the deceased outdoors, you definitely need a back-up plan in case of rain or other problematic weather. Think about where you can have the ceremony if you have to move things inside or get creative with other solutions like umbrellas or fans.

What about serving cooling refreshments or skipping the soup course? Most wakes these days start in the heat of the day, so your guests will want something to cool them down when they arrive and during the service itself. Try serving cooling welcome refreshments right when the guests arrive so they stay comfortable and cool for the service and into the reception. Many people choose to serve food at the reception following a lost loved one’s wake. While a warm bowl of soup might be delicious, it doesn’t really work with the summer season or the summer heat.

Instead, opt for more summer-friendly dishes like salads, fresh fruit, or a cooling gazpacho. You could also host the wake indoors. Indoor wakes are always a safe bet, but especially so in the summer. You don’t have to worry about pesky bugs swarming the food, heavy rain turning the greeting line into a mud put, or an unexpected heat wave sending your guests in search of air conditioning. You can also give out helpful handouts. Think about helpful favors or handouts you can hand out to your guests to help them beat the heat, like fans or koozies to keep drinks cold.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

You can even order programs that list the agenda for the wake service that double as fans. You can still enjoy parts of the wake outdoors to take advantage of the beautiful season, but having the reception inside will save you a lot of headaches and worry. One of the best parts of summertime is the abundance of bright, colorful flowers and rich greenery. Summer is the perfect time to go overboard with florals, especially when you’re bringing the outdoor feel indoors for an indoor reception after an outdoor wake service. You can also ask your florist about what’s locally in season for to save some money on the centerpieces, flowers for scattering, or other florals you may want for the wake.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to make your lost loved one’s service the best it can be, or if you want more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Visiting Someone Who Is Dying

Death is something we will all face eventually. But what should you do if you have a friend or close relative who’s dying? While it’s hard, it’s incredibly important to visit them so you can show your love and support before your friend’s passing and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

But what should you say? How can you get through the tangle of emotions that comes with such a visit? There is a lot of awkwardness that comes from talking about death, but it may be helpful to remember that your friend or loved one might feel just as awkward about the subject. Here are some tips for what to say. To begin, just listen. Sometimes it’s more about what you don’t say than what you do say. They might just need someone to listen to them, hold their hand, and be their shoulder to cry on. After all, what they are going through is scary and overwhelming. Just being there to sit with them and let them express how they are feeling can be more than enough comfort. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Face the elephant in the room head on and ask questions about how they’re doing. They may not want to answer them, and that OK, but just having you be there to ask the questions is often comfort enough. Always let them decide how much they feel like sharing. Finally, be honest. Always be honest about your own feelings and experience. Feeling nervous, sad, or scared? Say so. Human connection is so important, and the best way to connect is through honesty. Also, don’t wait. You never know which conversation or visit might be your last, so don’t wait too long to make your visit and be sure you remain as heartfelt and loving as you can.

Don’t you want your friends and loved ones by your side when your time comes? The answer is probably yes, so you need to extend that same grace to your friends and loved ones as they pass. Also, friendship and family means being there to support a person through the good times and the bad. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable, but image how scared or uncertain they are.

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Remember, this is the moment they need you the most. It’s understandable and even normal to feel uneasy or anxious about visiting with someone who’s dying. Most people have never been in that kind of situation before and therefore lack the experience and knowledge to know what to say or do. People also don’t know what to say or do because death and terminal illnesses are somewhat taboo subjects in our society and are therefore often not really talked about or dealt with.

Do you want more information on death or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

What Do You Know About Caskets?

What do you know about caskets? If you’re planning a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, you will most likely need to choose a casket for your lost loved one. But where do you start? The best place to begin is learning about the most common types of caskets, casket features, and casket materials.

To begin, there are wood caskets. Generally, wood caskets are made from solid hardwoods like mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, and pecan. Much like furniture made from harder woods is more expensive, the harder the casket wood the more expensive the casket will be. Other woods such as pine, poplar, and willow are generally the most affordable, and the least expensive wood casket option is wood veneer, pressed wood, and cloth-covered fiberboard.

There are also metal caskets. The most common metals used to make caskets are bronze, copper, stainless steel, and carbon steel. Bronze and copper are the most durable as they will not rust over time, but they do tend to cost. Stainless steel and carbon caskets come in different thicknesses, each with their own price point. Metal caskets are usually more durable than wood, which is why they’re often marketed as “protective.” Though they do come with a rubber gasket to seal the casket, they do not slow down the decomposition process.

You also need to consider the size of the casket before you commit to choosing one. A standard casket is generally 84 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 23 inches tall. While the length of a casket is rarely an issue – as most bodies comfortably fit within the standard size – you may need to look at an “oversized” casket that have an extra width of 31 inches. What about features? Caskets come with two basic types of lids: half couch and full couch. Half Couch refers to a two-piece lid that’s usually partially opened (from the deceased’s waist up) for a viewing. Full Couch refers to a one-piece lid extending the length of the casket.

Don’t forget to think about additional features like lining, memory drawers, and casket corners. Casket interiors, or linings, come in a variety of materials. The most common are crepe, velvet, satin, linen, and velour. Memory drawers are special compartments built into the casket that hold small personal items you wish to bury with the deceased. These are special attachments to the outside of the casket that help denote the deceased’s life in some way, like a golfing or fishing symbol.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Finally, cremation caskets are used to support the body while its being cremated and therefore need to be combustible and cannot have any metal parts. In fact, unless you would like a casket because you have a funeral before the cremation, you don’t have to have a true casket at all. You can choose a cremation container, or simple box, in which to cremate the body.

There are a lot of different caskets out there, all in different materials, shapes, sizes, and price points, so it can be hard to get started on choosing one for your lost loved one. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about caskets or Oakland, CA funeral homes.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Catering and COVID-19

Thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, most of the traditional aspects of planning funeral service, memorial, or wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA are gone or changed for a very long time. COVID-19 has drastically changed the catering industry in the United States and beyond, so what can you do?

There are tons of ways to keep guests safe when it’s time to eat, including individual serving ware rather than shared serving tools, temperature checks on all employees and outside caterers, mask requirements for employees and caterers, and individual plates rather than family style service. Also, it’s important to note that recent CDC findings suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t grow or live on food or drinking liquids, so handling food or consuming food is generally safe when it comes to transmission.

You can still have a wonderful service to honor your lost loved one with catering ideas like these to keep people safe and fed. The bereaved and their guests still need to eat. Luckily, there are several catering trends that are safe for memorials in the time of COVID. Here are a couple of the best options. The first is food stations. Food stations have been around for a while and they aren’t going anywhere. From appetizers and cocktails to ice cream bars, taco stations, and even mashed potato bars, food stations are delicious, easy, and safe.

Pre-poured, pre-plated and even mini servings of station foods are ideal for minimizing guest and server contact, especially since they help keep lines moving and spread out the guests for better social distancing. There are also passed hors d’oeuvres and individual desserts. While grazing boards, like those with charcuterie spreads, fruits and desserts are classic, they’re not ideal for COVID safety. Luckily, passed hors d’oeuvres are back in style.

They allow for masked servers to bring food directly to the bereaved to minimize people unnecessarily touching food. While large, shared desserts lovely and always will be, more and more people are moving towards décor cakes. Décor cakes are smaller cakes that are placed at each place setting to serve as both decoration and a tasty dessert. The small individual cakes are also better for social distancing. You can also opt for other small desserts like pies, macarons or even donuts.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

These are just a few of the current COVID-friendly catering trends. While memorials, funerals and wakes might not be like we pictured for the foreseeable future, they are still possible with safety measures and a little creativity.

Do you want more wake tips or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We’re a funeral home with the experience and compassion necessary to help you plan an honorable, respectful, and memorable memorial for your lost loved one. 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 or of preplanning.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Send Your Support from a Distance

It can be awful to see loved ones grieving when you’re far away from them, either in a different town or even in a different country, even though no one likes to see their friends, loved ones, or family in pain after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. If you’re looking for ways to be there for someone in grief even from halfway around the world, these tips are here to help inspire you.

To begin, plan a visit. You might not be able to see and help them in person right now, but you can certainly plan a visit. This is especially helpful since the grieving process doesn’t end once the service is over, so the bereaved might need extra love and support a few months down the line after other people have moved on. You can also use technology. We are so lucky to live in a modern world with almost endless ways of staying in touch with people despite physical distance.

From Facebook and Instagram to video chatting, and even the classic telephone, use technology to reach out to the bereaved. Reach out when you can so they know you’re available, but don’t be pushy. Also, don’t feel like you have to talk or have meaningful words of encouragement. The best thing you can do for your friend is just to listen. What about donating or ordering deliveries? Cremations and funerals do cost money, and it might be very helpful for you to donate money to help the bereaved with some of the costs.

You can also make a donation in the deceased’s memory. Choose a cause that was important to the deceased and let the bereaved know about your donation so they can feel something good has come from their loss. Even a small gesture can mean a world of difference to someone in grief. And, thanks to modern delivery services, it’s never been easier to send those small gestures even from across an ocean. Place an order for grocery delivery so they don’t have to worry about shopping or order them some food from their favorite take out place. You can also send flowers, candy, gift baskets, thoughtful gifts like books, gift cards, and a whole host of other delivery items to show you care and are thinking about them in their time of loss.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Finally, don’t ask what you can do. The last thing someone in grief wants to do is field a bunch of questions. So, instead of asking what you can do to help, just do it. Be proactive, whether that means sending over a cleaning service, flowers or food or paying for a grocery delivery. And remember, while it’s never preferable to be far away from someone when they’re grieving, it is possible to provide some comfort even though you’re apart.

Do you want to learn more tips or information about Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We can offer you more information beyond these tips for how to help your family member or friend when they’ve lost someone. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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.