Category Archives: funeral home

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Tips for Offering Sympathy to a Coworker

What do you do when one of your coworkers loses a loved one and has to plan a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA? Workplace relationships are already tricky, but they can get even trickier when one of your coworkers loses a loved one. Situations like these can be very difficult to navigate as it’s hard to know what to say or what to do to be helpful and comforting but still professional.

How do you properly express sympathy in the workplace? There are a few ways to go about it. For example, if you’re speaking to a bereaved coworker from just yourself, you can say things like: “My heart goes out to you during this difficult time.”, “Please let me know if I can help in any way.”, “My warm thoughts and sincere prayers are with you and your loved ones.”, or “Please know I’m here for you in this season of mourning.” If you’re speaking on behalf of a team or the entire company, try something like: “We are fully behind you and however much time you need! You have the sincere condolences of the entire team in this challenging time.”, or “On behalf of the company, we are here to help you through this.”

But where and when do you convey these sentiments? Oftentimes the easiest and best way to convey condolences in a professional setting is via email. Here are some tips for writing a professional condolences email, like don’t make it about you. Phrases like “I know how you feel” aren’t helpful and may make the recipient feel as if you’re not seeing them in their specific pain. Instead, share a memory of their lost loved one. Be professional in tone and style and use a simple subject line. Its best to avoid unprofessional or flippant writing. Therefore, don’t use things like slang, cliches, or emojis. Be sure to make your subject line clear and simple so they know the message isn’t about work but is instead about their loss. Try something like: “My Condolences” or “With Deepest Sympathy.” Also, not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. Don’t assume they believe in the afterlife by using generic expressions like “they’re in a better place.” You can, however, say you will pray for them if that is in line with your beliefs or religion.

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You should also offer specific help. Don’t offer advice. Instead, offer to help in specific ways. For example, you could offer to deliver a home cooked meal, send a gift card for a grocery delivery service, or send a bouquet of their favorite flowers. No matter how you offer to help, don’t be too pushy or insistent. Finally, sign off professionally and proofread. Though this email is personal in nature, you should still sign off in a professional manner. Avoid signing off with sentiments like, “All of my love,” as it can be too informal. Instead use “All my best” or “With sympathy” before signing.

We are here to help if you want more tips on dealing with workplace loss or planning Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in our time of loss or preplanning.

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Ceremony Crowns

Funeral crowning celebrates the life of the deceased at funeral home services in Oakland, CA. But what kind of crown should you use in the service?

In crowning ceremonies, a crown is presented by a family member or officiant and then placed on the deceased’s head inside the coffin. Those in attendance also sing group songs and hymns, give sympathies to the family of the deceased, and generally celebrate the deceased’s life on earth. Funeral crowning celebrates the life of the deceased. The act of a crowning ceremony, even removed from the context of homegoing, is to offer a final gift of grace to the deceased which they may not have received in life, serving as a recognition of their importance in the lives of others and a crowning of the life they lived. You can also view a crowning ceremony as a way to put a more positive spin on a traditional funeral, making it an event that allows for the wide range of emotions that come with losing a friend, family member, or loved one.

Crowns used in funeral crowning ceremonies are usually provided by the funeral home. Most providers have some in stock meant to be loaned out during ceremonies and services. However, some bereaved choose to purchase a crown specifically for their lost loved one.

Some of the most common types of funeral crowns include costume crowns. Costume crowns and tiaras, like those found in Halloween shops or accessory stores, are flashy and bright, making them ideal for use in funeral crowning ceremonies. If you choose a costume crown for a crowning, look for ones with lots of rhinestones for a lustrous, eye-catching effect. You can also use wooden crowns. Wooden funeral crowns are natural yet powerful. They can symbolize a connection to the earth as well as wisdom, strength of spirit, and other qualities of the deceased. As wooden funeral crowns are less common, it may be difficult to find one to purchase and therefore it might be best to make your own.

There are also flower crowns and DIY crowns. Flower crowns and hand-woven head wreathes are great for crowning ceremonies as they are beautiful, natural, and have a long-standing tradition in memorializing the dead. In ancient European societies, unmarried women who died were given flower crowns to symbolize and bless their new lives as brides of Christ. People who are deeply affected by the death of a loved one may find comfort in the act of making a funeral crown for the deceased. DIY crowns can also be made to perfectly suit the deceased and what made them unique, serving as a symbol of their individualism, achievements, or another aspect of their lives. If you choose to make the funeral crown, be sure you communicate it with your provider and bring it to them well in advance of the ceremony.

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

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All About Military Services

A veteran can earn a military honors service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA by serving their country in an honorable way. Every honorably discharged veteran is eligible for standard military honors, no matter which branch of the armed forces they served in, whether they died in battle, or if they lived a long life.

Military Funeral Service Etiquette

These tips will help shed light on military funeral etiquette, like where to sit. Only immediate family members of the deceased should sit in the front row, as this is a pale of honor and makes it easier to give them the folded flag. Everyone seated should stay seated throughout the entire service, unless directed to stand. Keep in mind, only current or former military members should salute, but all civilians should remove hats or headgear during the salute. Also, when dressing, remember that men should wear a darkly colored suit and a tie, while women should wear a dark suite, dress, or skirt and blouse. All military personnel should wear their dress uniforms. Similar to standard funerals, its best to dress as conservatively as possible out of respect for the deceased.

Types of Military Services

Did you know there are two kinds of military honors services: standard military honors and full military honors? In a standard military honors service, a military chaplain officiates the service and serves as a counselor for the bereaved before and after the service. A standard service also includes a United States flag that is draped over the casket for the service and given to the family afterwards as a keepsake to honor their lost loved one’s service. An honor guard to present arms and salute the deceased is another part of a standard military honors. At the appropriate time, two members of the guard will perform the flag folding ceremony. The guard will fold the flag into a tri-corner shape. The guard will present the flag to the next of kin. Finally, a standard military honors service includes the playing of Taps, a standard bugle call during which everyone should stand and face the flag. Military personnel will salute, and civilians will place their right hand over their hearts.

A full military honors service includes the same elements as standard service as well as several other honors, like a star-ranking officers are honored with a fired salute. In this tradition, the deceased will receive a specific number of gun salute depending on his or her military rank. For example, Five-Star ranking Generals, along with chiefs of staff, cabinet members, and other high-ranking US officials will receive a 19-gun salute, Three-Star ranking officers will receive a 15-gun salute, and One-Star ranking officers will receive an 11-gun salute. The full 21-gun salute is reserved for the President as Commander-in-Chief. A full military honors funeral also includes a military band and an escort platoon to accompany the deceased to burial or the service. Finally, a Colonel/Captain and above will receive standard military honors and a caparisoned, riderless horse to symbolize a fallen leader.

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We are here to help if you want more information on military honors or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Please give us a call or pay us a visit us today.

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Wake Catering

How do you choose the right type of food service for your loved one’s wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA? After all, what you serve and how you serve it have a big impact on your guest’s enjoyment, making food a big pressure point in any wake after a funeral service. How do you choose the right food?

Start by deciding how you want the food to be served. The most common options are plated, buffet, food stations, cocktail, and family style. The most traditional wake food style, plated dinners are when the guests are served individual, pre-portioned plates for each course. Generally, guests select their preferred main course dish from a list of options in advance the wake. There are many good things about plated dinners, such as that they limit food waste, and they have a fancier feel. However, plated dinners can cost more than other styles as they take more staff to make and serve. They also take more planning time as you have to carefully place each guest to make sure they get the food they ordered.

Buffets are usually popular for wakes with large numbers of guests or those that want to offer lots of different food options. Buffets are great as they cater to many different tastes and are generally cost effective. However, buffet lines can get very long, slowing down the evening. There are also food stations. Similar to buffets, food stations are placed all around the reception hall with different sections at each one. You can have a pasta, raw bar, carving, or dessert stations, or any other kind you can think of. People tend to enjoy the ability to mingle and select their own food, and the number of stations keep lines short. However, stations require a large space and lots of staff.

What about family style? Family style is a sit-down dinner in which waiters bring large portions of food to the table and guests serve themselves like they would at home. This allows people to select the food they want and the quantity they want, and also makes the dinner feel more social and less formal. However, you do need large tables to accommodate big serving platters, and family style can be expensive. You could also try cocktail style. Instead of a sit-down meal, you can have small, passed hot and cold items served on platters by waiters. This lends itself to small venues and more intimate wakes, but guests might be disappointed if they were expecting a big meal. Usually served on long tables, buffets offer up many food options for guests to self-select, from meat and fish to pastas, salads, and other sides.

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As an Oakland, CA funeral home, we have years of planning experience at your disposal and are honored to do whatever we can to help you. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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What Is Funeral Crowning?

Many cultures choose to view services at funeral homes in Oakland, CA as chance to celebrate the life of their lost loved one through unique traditions rather than viewing them as sad events in which they mourn the death of their loved one. One such happy, celebrating tradition is the crowning ceremony.

A crowning ceremony is a traditional part of an African American or Black Canadian homegoing ceremony in which, before the final viewing and benediction, a crown is presented by a family member or officiant and then placed on the deceased’s head inside the coffin. The crown used in a crowning ceremony is just what you’d imagine, a jeweled, bedazzled, or otherwise decorated ornament that is sometimes ordered special by the family or borrowed from the funeral home for the service.

The crown is often presented to a piece of music, sung along by the gathering or by a special choir, and is placed on the head of the deceased, proving they were a king or queen both in life and in death. Then the service continues according to the funeral program. The funeral crown holds specific significance thanks to symbolism in the Bible. Revelation 2:10 reads, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Though the “crown of life’ referenced in this passage is not a literal crown, it does represent the gift of eternal life for those who believe in God.

The crowning ceremony is derived from this passage and serves to symbolize this promise of eternal life through a physical crown. Though the crowning ceremony is a modern tradition, it does have roots in several ancient traditions from many different parts of the world. Throughout history there have been many cultural practices surrounding death that depict an idea of what happens in the afterlife, such as Egypt and Poland. Ancient Egyptians decorated their dead and the tombs with clothing, jewels, and everyday items as they believed the dead would take whatever they wore and whatever was buried with them into the afterlife. In the 1500s, Polish kings were buried with the Funeral Crown, known in Latin as Corona Funebris, until the next king died, and the crown was passed to him. The living kings wore different crowns.

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The most recent iteration of the crowning ceremony popped up very recently, as demonstrated in the viral video of “coffin dancers” carrying a casket in rhythmic step to an upbeat and celebratory song. While some people thought the video was disrespectful of the dead, it is, in actuality, just a different way of honoring the deceased than many Americans are used to. It’s simply a unique form of celebration for the dead, to stay joyful and positive for who they were in life.

We are here to help if you want to celebrate your lost loved one with a crowning ceremony or a more traditional service. Call or visit us today to learn more about our Oakland, CA funeral home services.

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Concrete Ways to Help a Grieving Friend

One of the best ways to comfort and support someone going through a loss and a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is simply being there for them.

Here are some ways you can be there for someone suffering from a loss. For example, be as normal as possible. They might be sad, but they can still talk about the weather, share jokes, get hungry, need alone time, need to be pushed out of their shell at times, cheer on their sports team, care about politics or the environment or what’s going on in the gossip columns. Treating them normally will show them respect and love in a meaningful way.

Be available and be gentle. They might need help, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to talk to at odd times, so make yourself available and remind them often that you are available. Loss is not a good time for tough love, so be gentle with them. However, be careful not to go overboard and turn your gentleness into condescension. They are still the same person you’ve always known, so use your best judgement on how to interact with them.

To be there for someone, you oftentimes just need to physically be there for them. Try saying, “I’m coming over Thursday, what would be a good time?” It’s easy to want to say the right thing to someone who is grieving, but usually the best thing to do is just listen. If they’re not ready to talk, support them in silence. And don’t forget to let them cry. Crying is a natural and even important part of grieving. Let them cry, or even cry with them. It’s also important to not wait to be asked. Take some initiative and don’t wait for them to ask for help or company. Use your best judgement, but offer up assistance whenever you can. For example, mow their lawn, come over and make dinner, or just call to chat. Don’t try to understand and don’t judge. Even if you’ve been through a similar situation, they are unique and have a unique experience.

Don’t feel burdened to try to make sense of everything for them, or to completely understand what they are thinking and feeling. Grief looks different for everyone, so don’t put your idea of what they should be doing or saying on them. Instead, meet them and accept them where they are, wherever that may be. Similarly, be lenient for perceived offences or slights. For example, let it go if they don’t call you back right away.

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Finally, just ask them what they need. Sometimes, you just won’t know how best to support them unless you ask. They might not know themselves, or they’ll tell you exactly what they need.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about being there for someone in grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We have the expertise needed to help guide you through a time of loss. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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Make a Memorial in Your Home

Losing a loved one leaves behind more than just memories. You’re also left with photos, clothing, trinkets, letters and more – so use these items to create a memorial space in your home! It’s important to honor your loved one in whatever way feels best to you after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

It’s important to honor your lost loved one in whatever way feels best to you. We Here are some tips for creating a lovely and respectful memorial space in your home to honor your lost loved one. To begin, choose a space. The number of keepsakes and decorations you want to use in your memorial should help determine what kind of space you need to use. If you want to use a lot of special items and decorations, consider using an entire room or some kind of walk-in closet at the memorial space, such as an unused room, grown child’s room, old office area, or an empty pantry. You can also choose a smaller area like a shelf, bookshelf, fireplace mantle, or other unobtrusive yet visible location in your home like an end table or coffee table, corner shelf, wall in a bedroom, or entire bookshelf.

What about cremation urns? If your lost loved one was cremated and you want to keep their remains in your home, you have a unique opportunity to display and honor the cremation urn. Create a special memorial space for your loved one centered around the urn containing the cremated remains. You can accomplish this by simply decorating the urn in some way, such as an engraved photo, inscription, or an urn with a photo frame. You can also use the urn as the centerpiece for the memorial and fill the space around the urn with photos, keepsakes, candles, and other items. Don’t forget that your memorial space should be beautiful. Decorate it with lovely items like candles, pictures, artwork, flowers, greenery, or other items that both add ambiance to the space and reflect your lost loved one’s personality and style.

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Pictures are some of the best ways to honor and remember your lost loved one. And photos are a great place to start when creating your memorial area as a good picture can serve as the space’s central focus. Try restoring an old photograph, getting a new frame for an old picture, or using an antique frame for a new picture. You can also make a collage or use a double frame to display lots of different photos. Your lost loved one accomplished a lot in their life, so honor those accomplishments by displaying memorabilia or awards in the memorial space. Include items from military service, university degrees or doctoral certificates, awards such as plaques and trophies, and more. You can also add items that represent religious beliefs, church activity, volunteer service, club memberships, their favorite books, or other hobbies.

Do you want more tips on creating a memorial space or more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us today for more information on our services.

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Tips for Coping with Grief

While grief after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA looks different for everyone, there are helpful tips that can help you cope with your loss. If you process your grief, you can look forward to healing in your own time.

You’ll still always miss your loved one, you can look forward to a healthy, productive, and meaningful life if you allow yourself to grieve fully and openly. Here are helpful tips to help you cope with your grief and emerge stronger on the other side.

To begin, take care of yourself. Put yourself and self-care first and you grieve. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and have quiet time or reach out to loved ones or friends for support when needed, binge watch that TV show, or whatever else you can do to help yourself feel better. Memorials like headstones are wonderful for grief as they provide a concrete place where you can go to remember and honor your lost loved one. You can set up a traditional memorial like a headstone, or you can create something more unique like a bird feeder, memory jar, painting, engraved heirloom, or even just a scrapbook filled photos and memories. It can also be very helpful to write down the thoughts and feelings you have as you grieve. A journal is a space, private space in which you can freely express yourself.

Don’t be afraid to accept the changes in your life and try something new. Your life will change because of your loss, and resisting these changes will only make them harder. Take steps to make sure these adjustments are positive and healthy, like taking time for yourself and moving slowly. Consider trying a new hobby or pastime to remind yourself there is always the possibility for happiness and fulfillment even after a loss. You can try traveling, taking a class in a new skill, or even getting a new pet. You also need to prepare for and accept the symptoms of grief. When we grieve, our brains release hormones and chemicals that cause physical, mental, and emotional symptoms throughout the body. Be prepared for symptoms like brain fog, pain, or anxiety, and accept them as they come so they will leave when they’re ready.

You also should exercise! Physical activity is wonderful for reducing the symptoms of grief. Take time to move your body in whatever way feels good, whether that means going for a walk, taking an exercise class, or even just dancing around your living room to your favorite music. Try honoring old traditions. While trying new things is great for grief, so is honoring and remembering the old traditions you had with your lost loved one. Considering doing some of the things you used to do together, whether alone or with another loved one or a friend. Facing the loss and your grief is incredibly difficult, but it must be done. Ignoring your grief and its associated feelings will not make them go away but will instead make them harder to deal with down the road.

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We are here to help if you want more information on grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit today to learn more.

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What’s A Crypt?

Maybe you’ve heard about crypts before or seen them in a scary TV show or mummy movie. What is a crypt, really? Do people still use crypts for after funeral home services in Oakland, CA? Are there different kinds of crypts? Keep reading to learn more about crypts.

Crypts aren’t as dark or scary as they seem in the movies. Instead, they are simple, meaningful places to house loved ones who have passed on and have had a service at a funeral home. Per Merriam-Webster, a crypt is, “a chamber (such as a vault) wholly or partly underground, a vault under a main floor of a church, or a chamber in a mausoleum.” Simply put, a crypt is a vault or small space used to house dead bodies, generally in the floor of a church or underground in some capacity.

It’s important to note that crypts and mausoleums are not the same thing. Mausoleums are the building that house crypts above ground, while crypts are the small rooms that house caskets. In other words, a mausoleum holds the crypt, and the crypt holds the casket or the body. Interestingly, there are different kinds of crypts, including mausoleum crypts and lawn crypts. While “crypt” refers to chambers underneath churches, it also refers to the chamber inside a mausoleum where the body is stored. Another word for the chamber where the body is stored inside a mausoleum is “mausoleum crypt.” A lawn crypt is an underground or partially underground mausoleum that contains more than one casket, such as several members of one family side by side or above and below.

The world’s first know crypts were used in Italy, Greece, and South Africa to house the bodies of saints, priests, martyrs, and other ancient Christians deemed worthy of entombment within a church as well as religious relics. Perhaps the most famous crypt is the one in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Built in the 4th century, the crypt in St. Peter’s Basilica is believed to house the remains of Saint Peter underneath the floor of the high altar.

It’s also important to note that some cemeteries use the term “lawn crypt” to refer to above-ground structures that hold one or more caskets. There are many other different types of crypts. Some of the most common are single crypts that house just one casket, companion for two caskets, and family or Westminster crypts that have enough room for an entire family. Most crypts are dark, dry, and somewhat cold. Single crypts are generally small rectangles just big enough for a casket, while Westminster crypts can be quite large as they need to hold multiple caskets. Usually, one end of the crypt is open to place the casket inside. Modern crypts also often have drains, pipes, and ventilation to prevent bad smells from building up inside the mausoleum.

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Your Funeral Home Attire Guide

Funeral, memorial, and other service attire can be a minefield of differing traditions and opinions, often leaving guests completely unsure of what to wear. You’re not alone if you’re wondering what to wear to a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. However, you don’t have to be unsure anymore. Use this ultimate guide to funeral attire as inspiration for your funeral or memorial outfits.

When dressing for a funeral or memorial, you should be aware of some common attire guidelines. For instance, avoid revealing pieces. Shirts and dresses should always cover up to the neck and pants and dresses should go down to the knees. Many traditions also require shoulders and knees covered as well as headwear such as hats for the men and headscarves for the women. As for footwear, avoid athletic shoes like sneakers as well as casual shoes like flip-flops. More causal services may allow t-shirts and other informal wear, but always avoid loud prints or big logos and keep a formal jacket on hand just in case. A general rule of thumb is to dress as you would for a job interview or a church service: conservative, clean, and put-together. The traditional colors worn to funerals are an important aspect of funeral attire. Though not every service calls for dark hues, you will almost always blend in and be appropriately dressed if you stick to the tradition of wearing black, dark grey, or deep blue. Brown shades, lighter grays, and other earthy colors are acceptable for most funeral services. Be sure to avoid bright colors including yellow, red, pink, orange, and white. You can wear white if it’s part of an accessory or worn underneath dark colors, like a white shirt with a dark jacket.

Memorials are more informal events than funerals, but they still require somewhat subdued, formal clothing. When in doubt, err on the side of more formal and more traditional with dark colors and conservative cuts. Celebrations of life are unique services in that they are more casual and upbeat. As such, they have fewer expectations and requirements for dress. Celebrations of life can range from lighthearted memorials to parties with dancing, so be sure to check the invitation for guidance on attire. However, it’s safe to assume that a smart-but-casual outfit will be acceptable.

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Wakes, viewings, or visitations are muted, somber events and therefore require muted, somber clothing. Expectations for attire can range from highly formal to dressy-casual, so be sure to check the invitation or dress according to what you know about the family. Similarly, it’s important to dress respectfully and conservatively at a funeral to honor the deceased and the bereaved. Stick to tradition, avoid bright colors, and, when in doubt, dress like you would for a job interview.

Do you want more guidance on Oakland, CA funeral home or what to wear to death-related events? We are honored to help! Please call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do to help.