Category Archives: funeral home

funeral home in Oakland, CA

This Shocking Grief is More Common Than You Think

Inhibitive grief is what happens when you don’t face the loss of a loved one after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. Though it seems shocking, inhibitive grief if very common and it can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues if its left unaddressed. Here is more about inhibitive grief, why it happens, and what you can do about it:

  • How does inhibitive grief happen? You might end up with inhibitive grief if you put your focus and energy into distractions instead of working through the loss and how it makes you feel.
  • How do you know you have inhibitive grief? People with inhibited grief often show very few outward signs of mourning, but instead begin to experience physical symptoms that are an outward manifestation of their pent-up emotions. Some of the symptoms of inhibitive grief are muscle tension, insomnia, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and digestive problems. These issues will only worsen if you continue to ignore your grieving.
  • What’s the difference between inhibitive and delayed grief? Inhibitive grief is when you ignore the loss because facing it is too painful or too hard. Delayed grief is when you don’t feel the pain of loss right away, often because you suffered another loss right before and are therefore distracted, such as when you lose and loved one and then your job. You might not feel the pain of losing your job right away because you’re already grieving the loss of your loved one.
  • Why does traumatic loss often lead to inhibitive grief? If you lose a loved one in a traumatic, sudden way, processing the loss might simply be too much for you. So, instead of talking about it, facing it, or otherwise accepting the loss, you push it away. But traumatic grief is hard enough without adding the pain of leaving it unresolved.
  • Why are some people more likely to experience inhibitive grief? In some families, it is a sign of weakness to cry or show emotions. If you grew up this way, you were trained to hold in your emotions and not feel the pain of loss. This will therefore make you more susceptible to inhibitive grief.
  • Can you have inhibitive grief over losses beyond death? Grief can happen after any kind of loss, whether that means a death, move, job loss, divorce, or any other event that causes change in your life.

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No matter how or why you’re experiencing inhibitive grief, you must remember that you are not alone. Grief is a universal emotion. We have all gone through grief at some point, even if we all do it differently. Moving forward from your grief is important so that you can begin to heal. You’ll never forget, but you can move forward, grow, and learn to live again. We are here to help if you want more information on types of grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

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Photo Memorials for After the Funeral Home

Memorials are such great ways for us to keep our lost loved ones in our hearts and minds after services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA. Photo memorials help keep the memory of your lost loved one alive. You most likely have hundreds if not thousands of photos of your lost loved one. These might depict good times, happy memories, major accomplishments, or just everyday moments.

No matter what the photos are of, they can go a long way in helping you capture and remember the spirit of that special person. Need some inspiration for photo memorials? Here are the best photo memorial ideas to help you find something that’s just right for keeping your loved one close.

  1. Photo Ornament – The holidays can be very hard after a loss. Keep your loved one close to you during the holiday season with a photo ornament. You can have one custom made or you can break out your craft supplies and make one yourself.
  2. Photo Lamp – Like the projection lamp you had in your childhood bedroom, photo memorial lamps have display pictures of your lost loved one while lighting them with a soft, warm glow. You can find lamps in different sizes and photo numbers to suit your needs.
  3. Projection Memorial Jewelry – There are pendants that have prints inside and, when you shine a light through, they project an image of your lost loved one. They are beautiful on their own, but this special secret makes them ideal photo memorials.
  4. Memorial Bookmark – If you or your lost loved one like reading, a memorial photo bookmark is a great choice. Order one or make one yourself and then, every time you sit down to read, you’ll be reminded of your happy memories and the light that was your loved one. You can also have them printed in large quantities to pass out at the remembrance service as well.
  5. Engraved Crystal Photo Print – You can order a piece of crystal enraged with a photo or image of your lost loved one. These crystals are stunning display items and help keep the memory of your loved one close. They also make great bereavement gifts for someone else who’s mourning a lost loved one.
  6. Custom Canvas Print – You can order a large canvas print of a photo of your lost loved one to display in your home. You can also customize the print with a verse, quote, poem or other piece of writing to make it that much more special.
  7. Online Photo Gallery – Most people keep their pictures digital these days. Making an online photo gallery of your lost loved one is not only easier because it doesn’t require any printing, but it’s also easier because everyone can quickly access the photos from their phones or computers. You can use a memorial website or use your loved one’s social media accounts.

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There are so many options available for remembrance items: jewelry, wall collages, albums, paintings, plaques, vases, and candles — the list is almost endless. Perhaps some of the best and easiest memorials, though, are photos. For more on photo memorials or Oakland, CA funeral homes, call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

What You Should Avoid Saying at a Funeral Home

At some point, you will have to offer condolences to someone, so it’s better to come up with a plan now for what to say than to get stuck with the same old, dry phrase that doesn’t mean as much as it should. Telling someone, “I am sorry for your loss,” after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA can feel empty. This is because it’s said so often. But what else is there to say?

Here are condolence phrases you can use to offer meaningful comfort and support to someone after they lose a loved one, like “What a wonderful life your XX lived!” The deceased did live a wonderful life. This phrase opens the door for the bereaved to bring up favorite memories of their lost loved one, which helps them process the loss and heal. There’s also “I am so sorry to learn about XX’s passing.” The person you’re comforting loved the deceased dearly. They were important. By mentioning their lost loved one’s name, you’re making your comment much more personal and meaningful.

What about “No words I can offer will make this hurt go away, but I am here for you at this devastating time”? While you’ve gone through losses of your own, you don’t “know” how the deceased feels as you’ve never lost that specific person with that specific relationship in that specific way. Its ok to acknowledge that, and balance that acknowledgement with a promise of ongoing support. “Even though we can’t be together during this difficult time, I am holding you close in my heart” is another good saying. It’s not always possible to make it to a funeral or a memorial service. When sending attendance regrets, you can use this phrase to express that you are still thinking of the bereaved. You can also make it more personal by sending a bereavement gift, a card, or giving them a call.

You can say “Someone as special as XX won’t ever fade from our hearts and memories.” It’s easy for the bereaved to feel that everyone will forget their lost loved one now that they’re gone. This phrase will help them know that you will not forget the deceased and that their legacy will live on. Another good phrase is “My heart breaks with you at the loss of your XX.” The bereaved was someone’s mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother, aunt, or any other important part of someone’s life. Acknowledging the relationship the bereaved had with the deceased makes your comment more personal.

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It’s important to note that there is nothing technically wrong with saying “I’m sorry for your loss.” There are just more personal, meaningful ways to convey the same sentiment. Don’t worry about it if that’s what you choose to say, if you’ve said it in the past, or if it slips out in the moment. It’s not a hurtful or offensive phrase, and the sentiment is still there despite its overuse. You want to say something to the grieving person that means a little more than this much-repeated phrase.

Do you want more information on conveying sympathy or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Bereavement Gift Ideas

Picking out a gift for someone going through a loss can be another wonderful way to show someone just how deeply you care after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. Sympathy cards, phone calls, texts, and visits are all well and good, but sometimes you want to do a little more.

Traditionally, bereavement gifts are often home cooked meals, flowers, or other practical items. But these days, bereavement can be so much more, from journals and jewelry to plants, home décor, and more. Here are some bereavement gift ideas to help inspire you:

  1. Photo Book – Like a scrapbook but made digitally, photo books are bound, printed photos of the deceased. Choose your favorite pictures of the deceased and have them printed through a photo book company to give to the bereaved.
  2. Engraved Glassware – Many people like to do toasts in honor of those they’ve lost. An engraved glass, whether beer mug, wine glass, highball, or water glass, makes a great bereavement gift as it gives the bereaved a special way to make those memorial toasts.
  3. Grief Journal – Grief journals make great bereavement gifts as they provide the bereaved a place to write down their thoughts, feelings, memories, or anything else they want. Grief journaling has been around for a very long time, and was around long before it had an official name or designation as it can be very helpful in processing loss and the feelings that come with it.
  4. Picture Frame – Photos are a great way to help remember and honor the deceased, making picture frames to hold photos of the deceased great bereavement gifts. Look for a special frame that might signify something unique about the deceased. For example, if they loved to golf, get a golf-themed frame.
  5. Memorial Trees – You can buy a tree to plant in honor of the deceased. Memorial trees not only provide the bereaved with a place to visit when they want to remember their lost loved one, but they also help make the world a greener, better place.
  6. Candle Holder – Many people like to light candles in remembrance of lost loved ones. Buying a candle holder as a bereavement gift gives your friend a special candle holder they can use to honor their lost loved one, especially if you get in engraved with a special message or picture of the deceased.
  7. Positive Thoughts Jar – A positive thoughts jar is a jar filled with slips of paper on which positive thoughts are written. You can order one online or make your own with a mason jar and printer paper. These little notes can help remind the bereaved that even when days seem dark and bleak, there is still so much beauty and joy in life to experience.

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A tasteful memorial gift can go a long way in expressing your support and love for a grieving friend in their time of need.  We are here to help if you want more information on bereavement gifts or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

How to Bring Cremated Remains to the Funeral Home

It is a terrible thing to lose a loved one, but hopefully these tips will help soothe your mind during your time of loss. Whether you are honoring a final wish to scatter the ashes somewhere sentimental or take the ashes back home with you to your funeral home in Oakland, CA, traveling with cremains can be stressful. You want to ensure that nothing happens to the ashes, and you want to be sure you’re following any laws or regulations around transporting cremated remains.

If you’re traveling long distances with cremated remains, you might be a bit worried. Whether your lost loved one cremated somewhere far away, you’re bringing your lost loved one’s cremates remains somewhere far away after their cremation, or your lost loved one wanted to their cremains to be scattered in an exotic location, you should consider driving.

Driving gives you the most control over how your lost loved one’s ashes are handled during transit. While there are some factors you cannot control, such as the quality of the roads or other drivers, traveling by car is a good way to calm your nerves while transporting cremains. When traveling with cremains by car, you need to make sure they are in a sturdy, unbreakable container. If you’ve purchased a glass urn or an urn made from another delicate material, do not put the cremains in it until you’ve made it to your final destination. Instead, keep them in a cardboard, wood, cloth, or plastic container so they won’t spill if knocked over on a bump road or if you get in a fender bender. You can also get an heirloom urn that houses an internal container with the ashes inside. This double layering will ensure there is no damage to the urn during travel. Put the urn or other container inside another holder of some kind to keep the urn steady on the road. You can use a carry-on case, like you would use if going on a short plane trip. Put the case inside, place it in your trunk or backseat, and hit the road.

Do you need to fly?

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Flying with an urn is more complicated than driving with an urn. First, you should always bring the cremains on the plane with you. Do not check them in a bag as some airlines will not accept checked cremated remains and you can never be sure the bag will not get lost or damaged alone the way. Carrying the ashes on the plane with you is the best way to make sure they’re safe and secure. Second, you need to be sure the urn is TSA complaint so it will pass a security screening. The only acceptable urns you can carry on a plane, by TSA standards, are made from wood, non-lead ceramic, glass, or plastic.

Use these tips to safely travel with cremated remains by car or by plane to help calm your nerves during your time of grief. Call or visit us today for more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes.

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What About Natural Burials?

Natural burials after funeral home services in Oakland, CA are becoming common as people want to do their part for the planet. But what is a natural burial? What do they have to do with funeral homes?

Natural burials are burials that do not use chemicals to preserve the body, reduce the use of unnecessary products, and lay the body to rest in a way that does not damage or negatively impact the environment. The term “natural burial” also refers to the actual process of burying a body, including opening and closing the plot and how the plot is memorialized. Generally speaking, a natural burial means the body is not embalmed and is buried in a simple, biodegradable casket or shroud in a hold dug by hand and finished with a natural marker or no marker at all.

Can you choose a natural burial after cremation services? The point of natural burial is to avoid putting unnatural materials or substances into the earth. In that context, scattering or trenching cremated remains can be considered a natural burial.

What about costs and laws? Since natural burials do not include accessories like embalming, heavy caskets, and headstones, they tend to be more affordable than traditional burial. The natural burial feel generally includes the burial plot, interment fees, and a shroud or environmentally safe casket. Natural burials are legal in all 50 states. Some states, however, have restrictions. For example, in Indiana, you must perform a natural burial in an established ceremony or apply for a home burial permit. Contact your local burial providers to learn more about options in your area. If you’re considering a natural burial at home, be sure to check that local zoning laws allow for home burials.

Natural burials have a few key differences from traditional burials. Unlike natural burial, traditional burial allows for embalming, caskets made from metal or wood, headstones, burial vaults, and grave liners. They also have differences from green burials. Though natural burial and green burial are similar, they are not the same thing. A green burial refers to both the burial process and where the body is laid to rest, meaning it must take place at a green cemetery that does not use pesticides or bury embalmed bodies. A natural burial, on the other hand, can happen at a traditional cemetery. People can choose a natural burial for themselves or their loved ones because its environmentally friendly, often less expensive than traditional internment, and they find comfort in returning the body to nature.

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Its also important to note that stone is not used in natural burials. Though stone is a natural material, the processes used to mine, create, and transport vaults, liners, headstones, and other stone burial accessories are not natural. Therefore, stone, marble, concrete, and other similar materials are not used in natural burials.

We are here to help if you have more questions about natural burials or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We are happy to do whatever we can during your time of loss or preplanning. Call or visit us today to learn more.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

The Physical Manifestation of Grief

Grief is to be expected, but oftentimes people do not expect the physical effects of grief after the death of a loved one and their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. What happens in your body when you’re grieving? How does grief manifest physically? Here is information about the most common physical manifestations of grief.

Healing after your loss might happen in its own time, but it will happen. You will get through the grief no matter how it manifests in your body and mind.

Grief can lead to a wide range of physical health problems, such as indigestion and gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular problems and chest pain, sleeplessness, headaches, inflammation and joint pain, and more. Your body is under a lot of stress when you’re grieving, which is why people often suffer from these symptoms.

For example, grief can be held in the body, or impact the brain. Some people believe grief is held in certain places in the body, such as the lungs and large intestines. Others feel grief is held in the heart, hence the phrase “heartache.” Grief can affect the brain, often causing a condition colloquially referred to as “grief brain.” This condition impacts memory, comprehension, and concentration. Grief has such a big impact on the brain because your brain becomes overloaded with stress and sadness after a loss, which then triggers stress responses that manifest as mental symptoms after a prolonged period of time. “Grief brain” will affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally. It may last a few days, weeks, or even months. But eventually, it will fade.

Grief can impact decision making. Because of the extended stress your body is exposed to after a loss, grief can impact your decision-making skills, making you less efficient or even more likely to make choices you wouldn’t otherwise. That is why experts advise the bereaved avoid big choices or life-altering decisions during grief, like changing jobs, moving far away, or something similar. Wait at least six months after a loss to make big decisions. Grief can also make you tired. From sleepless nights, nightmares, and fatigue to a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, grief has a big impact on sleep. To curb some of these symptoms, avoid napping during the day, limit your screen time before bed, cut back on caffeine, and create a bedtime ritual to help your body wind down. You can also talk to your doctor about sleep aids. Grief-stricken people are exhausted people. You may have never felt this tired before and might even consider that you are coming down with the flu. This is normal. Be sure to take care of yourself and put your needs first. You can’t recover without self-care.

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Do you want more information about getting through grief and an Oakland, CA funeral home service? We are honored to help you however we can in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call or pay us a visit today.

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Fascinating Funeral Home Superstitions

Our funeral, cremation, and death traditions at Oakland, CA funeral homes have come a long way from where they first started thousands of years ago. Are you curious about outdated traditions and superstitions that most people don’t practice anymore? Here are some of the most interesting.

To begin, we used to have extended mourning periods. When someone died in the Victorian era, families would stop all the clocks in their home, cover mirrors with fabric, and hang a wreath with black ribbon on the door. These changes would last for four days or more, which is much longer than most formal grieving periods in modern times. A widow and oftentimes the entire family would also wear only black for an entire year.

Historically, death and mourning have carried many superstitions that are no longer believed. For example, it used to be back luck to wear anything new to a funeral and many funeral attendees believed spirits would enter their mouths if they yawned during a funeral. Others thought that if rain falls during a funeral procession or if there is thunder during a burial, it’s a sign the deceased is entering heaven. Still more believed that if they heard three knocks but no one was at their door, it was actually death that was knocking.

We also had in-person death notifications. For a very long time, death notifications were delivered in person on a piece of paper with a black border that listed the service details. Someone from the bereaved family or someone hired by the bereaved would go from house to house of everyone the deceased would have wanted at the service to make the death announcement and provide service details. These days, it’s more common to receive service particulars in an email from the family, read obituaries online, or post social media remembrances.

What about more modern ones? Expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual funerals and memorials are becoming more and more common. They are often held via FaceTime, Zoom, or other platforms so people can attend in person or virtually, depending on their and needs or preferences. People are becoming more open to less traditional, more personalized funeral services. Instead of standard hymns and readings in churches, services can be almost anything the deceased and the bereaved want, from celebrations of life to gatherings with slideshows, photos, and more. Per longstanding funeral customs, a headstone would only list the deceased’s person’s name, birthdate, date of death, and perhaps a memorial message. Today, however, thanks to modern technology, headstones can include photos, personal inscriptions, and even screens that display photo montages, holograms, or life story videos.

These days, there are many different ways to plan a funeral or service that speaks to you, your lost loved one, and your family traditions at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. You don’t have to be tied to outdated traditions or superstitions anymore. At the end of the day, what you believe or do doesn’t matter as long as you feel comfort after a loss. Call or visit us today to learn more.

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Break the Mold with a Traditional Funeral

These days, its more unique to have a traditional service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA than a modern service like a cremation, a celebration of life, or other casual, more “fun” services.

These shifts have made the traditional funeral home service more of a novelty. In fact, if you want to break the mold, you should consider having a traditional funeral. Here’s what you should include to make your lost loved one’s funeral traditional:

  • Prelude Music – The service is usually opened by an instrumental song, oftentimes piano or organ.
  • Scripture and Sermon – The officiant will read from the Bible, generally passages about life, death, and resurrection. The officiant will also usually give a short sermon based on some fact from the deceased’s life or on hope after loss.
  • Eulogy and Tributes – One of the deceased’s close family or friends will give a tribute speech, called a eulogy, to honor their life, who they were, their values, and their legacy. After, the officiant will give time for other service attendees to stand up and say a few words about the deceased. Sometimes these tributes are arranged ahead of time, and other times they are spur of the moment.
  • Welcome, Prayer, and Singing – The officiant, usually a priest or pastor, welcomes the guests and prays over them. After, the congregation sings one or two traditional hymns.
  • Flowers – Flowers were originally included in funeral services to mask the smell of the body decaying. Thanks to modern preservation, that’s no longer necessary. However, decorating funerals with flowers is now considered traditional, and it’s hard to find a service that doesn’t have any. The beauty and fragility of flowers conveys something of a picture of life and death. Plus, they are a wonderful way to decorate the space as mourners prepare to honor the life of the departed.
  • Food – Funerals also almost always include a reception following the service with food, drinks, and companionship. This is to meet the desire to gather together over a meal to comfort one another, reminisce, and share stories of sweet memories.
  • Music – Almost every funeral and modern service include music. Traditional funeral services are often held at church and will typically include hymns sung by the congregation. Sometimes they also include solo singing or tribute songs to honor the deceased.
  • Closing and Recessional – The officiant will give a closing remark, usually a prayer, benediction, or even another song. Then, the pallbearers will carry the casket to the hearse, upon which it will be taken to the cemetery for burial or the crematorium for cremation.
  • Burial – Traditional funerals oftentimes have the casket with the deceased inside displayed at the altar or front of the funeral home. They will also usually be followed by an internment service in which the casket is buried.

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We are here to help if you want more information about traditional funerals at Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Collecting Cremated Remains From Funeral Homes

If your loved one is cremated after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA you will have to collect their cremated remains. But how? Where? And from who?

This information about collecting cremains after a cremation or funeral home service is here to help guide you:

  • Who can collect cremains? The deceased’s next of kin or a person designated by the next of kin are the only ones allowed to collect cremains. If you are the next of kin and can’t collect them for some reason, you can designate someone else to collect them for you by contacting the provider and providing their information and your permission for them to pick the cremains up.
  • What are the steps for picking up cremains? Usually, the funeral director or cremation provider will call you to set up an appointment to collect the cremains. When you arrive, they director will show you the urn and cremation certificate, you will show your ID, and then you can take the cremains home. It’s always a good idea to bring someone with you when you pick up cremated remains as it can be a very emotional experience. Also, the exact process for picking up cremains may vary from provider to provider, so be sure to speak with your director.
  • Can funeral home dispose of ashes? Funeral homes and cremation providers can dispose of ashes if they are unclaimed or the next of kin requests that service. Some have crypts or burial spaces for unclaimed ashes, and most will keep a record of what they do with the remains in case the family wants to know in the future.
  • How long will a cremation provider or funeral home hold ashes? The exact length of time a funeral home or cremation provider will hold ashes varies from provider to provider and even from state to state. In some cases, it can be 60 days up to 4 years. If you need the funeral home to hold onto the cremated remains for you, just ask. Most funeral homes can accommodate you. However, high-volume funeral homes won’t always be able to hold onto cremains as they don’t have extra space. When the time limit passes, the provider can dispose of the ashes as they see fit.
  • What happens to unclaimed cremated remains? Sadly, some cremains do go unclaimed. The most common reason is because the next of kin wanted the cremains shipped to them, but they never provided a shipping address or a payment method for the shipping costs. In these instances, the cremation provider will try and contact the next of kin, but if they do not receive a response, they will stop calling as it’s the responsibility of the next of kin to retrieve the cremains.

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We are here to help if you have any other questions about cremated remains or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Please call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.