Category Archives: funeral home

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

funeral home services in Oakland, CA

Florists and Wakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Making Charitable Donations in Lieu of Flowers

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

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

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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

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

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Indoor or Outdoor Funeral Services?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Dealing with an Unexpected Loss

How can you get through a sudden, unexpected pain and loss? Losing a loved one and planning a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is always hard, but it’s especially challenging when that loss is sudden and unexpected.

While everyone’s grief journey is different in both presentation and length and no one can truly understand someone else’s pain, there are certain thing you can do to make a sudden bereavement easier. Here are some helpful tips for dealing with the sudden death of a loved one.

To begin, spend time with others. It can be so easy to withdraw from friends, coworkers and family after going through a loss. However, talking and spending time with other people can be a big help. Not only is being around other people comforting, but it can help make your grief more manageable. It does this through allowing you to share your feelings which in turn can help you come to terms with your loss. It also accomplishes this by giving you space to reminisce and receive emotional support.

Next, try and get back into your regular routine. It might seem impossible, but life will go on after you lose a loved one. As tough as it might be, getting back to your everyday routines can help relieve your grief. Go back to work if you feel ready. If not, try and continue your normal morning and evening routines. Hold family dinners, take the kids to school, and don’t be afraid to acknowledge how these routines have changed because of the loss.

Also, everyone who experiences a sudden loss will most likely also experience a whirlwind of emotions from anger and shock to disbelief, guilt and sadness. These tough emotions won’t follow a certain timeline as everyone grieves at their own pace. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared to endure difficult feelings for an undetermined amount of time. Being aware of that fact will make dealing with the situation simpler, if not easier.

It’s natural for people to want to help when someone they know is going through a loss. While you might not feel up to interacting with others, it’s probably true that you will need that help. From meals and assistance with household chores to help planning services, help is necessary when you’re going through a loss. Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to accept it. Also, don’t be embarrassed to seek out help when you need it.

Finally, seeking professional help for dealing with the psychological and physical symptoms of grief is not only often incredibly beneficial but it’s also often necessary. When a loved one dies suddenly, it can be a traumatic experience like getting in a severe car accident or spending time in a war zone. There isn’t shame in a veteran or car accident survivor getting help, so why would there be in someone going through a loss getting help?

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Do you want more information on grief or on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here for you, so call or visit us today to learn more.

 

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Celebrations of Life at Funeral Homes

Most people have been to a traditional funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, but celebrations of life are non-traditional services that, rather than mourning a loss, remember and celebrate a life well lived. They give attendees a chance to say goodbye by sharing stories and memories and then laughing and smiling about those stories rather than crying over them.

Since celebrations of life aren’t rooted in long traditions, they can be whatever the bereaved and the deceased want. The best thing about celebrations of life? They have no rules at all. They can be whatever you want them to be! Unless, of course, the deceased left specific instructions for their service.

But if there are no rules, how do you go about planning one? Where do you start? Here are some tips to help you plan a celebration of life. Start with the guest list. Who do you want to invite? Keep the guest list small if you want an intimate celebration or open it up to the whole community if you want a large celebration. Once you have a rough idea of how many people are going to attend you can start to choose a location. Some celebrations of life are held at traditional places like churches, funeral homes, and banquet halls, but others are held at much more unique locales.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box: campfires in the woods, dinners at restaurants, services in a field, or even just a backyard barbeque. Next, think about the service itself. You also need to do some planning for how you will honor and celebrate your lost loved one. Generally, celebrations of life have some kind of officiant or MC that leads the group in memories, speaks about the life of the deceased, and ushers the ceremony along.

However, you can also have a more informal ceremony without a specific leader. If you go this route, consider passing out programs so guests know what to expect, where to be, and what to do. What about activities? A celebration of life can be full of a range of activities to help remember and honor the deceased. Some common activities are scrapbooks or memory boards, reading the deceased’s favorite literature or listening to their favorite music, watching memorial tribute videos, and eating the deceased’s favorite foods. Remember, a celebration of life is a celebration. As such, it should be uplifting and fun. Don’t shy away from good fun, drinks, and even decorations like balloons and streamers. They are interesting, unique and heartwarming ways to celebrate lives.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on planning celebrations of life or on Oakland, CA funeral homes. We are honored to do to however we can in your time of loss and celebration of a life well lived. Call or visit us today. After all, while there’s nothing wrong about being comforted in tradition, there is something to be said for going a different route: a celebration of life.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

Rituals Vs. Traditional Religion

Services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA and, in fact, the entire funeral service industry are built on traditions. Most of these traditions originated in religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, or another belief system.

But with religion on a downslide, what will take the place of these traditions? How can those suffering from a loss find richness and meaning in death? Rituals might be the answer.

A ritual is defined “a repeated pattern of behavior performed at specified times”, and it often includes the use of symbols, rites and actions.” Rituals have long been used in both religious and general cultural situations. Take, for example, Día De Los Muertos, visiting a lost loved one at a cemetery, or performing Last Rites on someone who is dying.

All of these rituals fit the definition, but they also offer lots of benefits for those that perform them. Rituals are powerful because they offer a wide range of benefits. Specifically, they give us space to process a loss. In a grief study performed by Harvard University, researched discovered that it wasn’t just traditional rituals that helped people going through a loss.

They also learned that personal rituals played a large role in helping with grief. These personal rituals might seem useless or silly to the outside word, but to the mourner they had immense meaning and healing power. Little acts from washing a car to going for a walk have the bereaved space to emotionally process the loss. Though they reported feeling sad during the ritual itself, they mostly reported feeling better and lighter afterwards.

Rituals give us a feeling of control. We don’t have much control over life or death, but rituals help us feel like we have control, which can go a long way towards comforting us. In that same Harvard study, the participants that performed a ritual reported feeling that ““things were in check’ and less likely to feel ‘helpless’, ‘powerless’, and ‘out of control’.”

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Rituals also bring people together. As said by expert Tracey Wallace from Eterneva, “Mourning rituals and ceremonies are meant to bring people together, to take the hands of those mourning the loss and lead them astray from isolation”.  People often feel along after losing a loved one, but rituals can help them feel connected to other people and part of a community. As The Conversation wrote, “Using familiar words and actions in an unfamiliar situation can help us find our way through it”. During a grief study done by Harvard, the scientists discovered that people who experienced little or no grief symptoms within one month of losing someone they loved all performed rituals. The experts believe that the rituals helped with the grief symptoms because they gave the bereaved a chance to mourn the loss, celebrate the life, and process their grief.

Remember, rituals have incredible power for healing after a loss. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about common rituals or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.