Category Archives: funeral home

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.

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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.

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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.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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’.”

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Funeral Home Services in a Pandemic

An important part of the mourning process after someone dies is having a service of some kind after a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. This tradition has been going on for thousands of years because services allow the bereaved to gather together and support one another in their grief by remembering their lost loved one. But now we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

With safety guidelines asking people to stay apart from one another, how can the bereaved gather to mourn their loss? Graduation ceremonies, weddings, birthday parties and other big events can be postponed, but funerals and memorials are different. How can you have a memorial or funeral during a pandemic?

Unfortunately, some traditions will need to be let go, at least for now. Comforting the bereaved through hugging, handshakes or other physical touch isn’t possible right now. The same goes for sharing a meal after the service with a large group of people and traveling long distances for the service. However, there are ways that the majority of other traditions can take place while keeping the bereaved and staff safe.

For example, look into virtual services. Though many people won’t be able to be at the service in person, they can still attend virtually. Most funeral homes are equipped with video streaming and recording technology to give online guests a comprehensive experience all from their computers, phones, laptops or tablets. Loved ones near and far can celebrate the deceased safely in these trying times through live virtual services or by viewing recorded services. There are also small services. Small families are able to host small, intimate services for their lost loved one in person as most states have a 10-person gathering limit.

While it’s not the best option, the bereaved do have the ability to postpone a memorial service until its safe for everyone to attend. Cremation allows the family to postpone since the body will be preserved in its ash-like state. If you choose to have funeral, you can host a small one and then have a large memorial service when it’s safe to do so.

You also need to take safety into account when planning. It’s important to keep people safe while planning a service. To do this, it’s best to limit planning appointments to two people in person, though others can be present on the phone or via video call. You can also plan the service entirely remote through video calls, screen shots, emails, and phone calls.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

It is possible to have services for your lost loved one even in the time of COVID-19. While it might be different than you imagined, it will still be beautiful, respectful and meaningful.

Are you looking for a funeral home that has the capabilities to help you plan a service that’s safe and meaningful? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Our staff is well-trained and has the experience necessary for a customized and unique celebration that can be held at any time preferred by the family. Call us today to learn more about services in the time of COVID-19 or about Oakland, CA funeral homes.

funeral home service in Oakland, CA

All About Grave Markers

You often have a choice as to which kind of grave marker you want There are lots of different kinds of grave markers you can choose after a funeral home service in Oakland, CA, so how do you choose? You can start by learning the most common types. They include:

  1. Bevel Markers – Bevel markers are designed to lay flat on the ground at the head of the grave with the back slightly raised to create an upright illusion. They are often polished and finished with engravings, inscriptions, artwork, and other touches.
  2. Etched Portrait Marker – Etched portrait markers are flat or bevel markers that have an etched portrait of the deceased on their surface.
  3. Flat Markers – These grave markers are often the most affordable as they are flush to the ground and only about three to four inches thick. Flat markers are usually rectangular in shape and have a polished finish with the common inscriptions, carvings, and symbols.
  4. Sculptures – Sculpture markers are usually either a separate statue or sculped as part of the tombstone itself. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes from angels to hearts and much more.
  5. Niche Markers – If you choose to bury your loved one’s remains in a columbarium you can choose to add a niche marker. These markers denote which niche belongs to which person, making it easy for the bereaved to visit their loved one’s remains.
  6. Bronze Markers – Made out of bronze, these markers are attached to another grave marker.
  7. Military Marker – Veterans usually receive special grave markers to denote their military service. These markers are usually upright headstones or tombstones and are often provided by the government.
  8. Slant Upright Marker – These markers are simply headstones with slanted fronts. Usually between 12 and 16 inches high, the angle of the headstone makes reading the inscription easy. They can be finished with bronze memorial plaques or other inscriptions.

It’s important to note that there is a different between grave markers and headstones. A headstone, sometimes referred to as a tombstone, is an upright monument generally made of granite. A grave marker, however, has a flatter design and often comes with a bronze marker or inscription. You can also have a cemetery memorial marker. These are as simple as a plaque attached to a stake to mark the grave and can include a bronze plaque.

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Don’t forget to think about what kind of material you want for your grave marker. There are tons of different materials to choose. Bronze and granite are both popular choices because they are strong, hardy and cost-effective. Granite is also a good choice if you want some color as it comes in colors including gray, green, white, black, red and even blue.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to assist you if you have more questions on grave markers or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We have years of experience and are ready and willing to do whatever we can to help you in your time of loss or preplanning.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Grief Myths and Funeral Homes

Most people don’t understand grief at all even though everyone will experience grief after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA at some point. There are many myths surrounding loss and grieving that muddy the waters and, in many ways, make it difficult for people to deal with loss in a healthy way. They include:

  1. Staying Connected to the Deceased Makes You Crazy – How many movies have you seen where the widow is worried over and considered “crazy” for holding onto her dead husband’s shirts or talking to him at his gravesite? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Its healthy to continue your connection with the deceased. In fact, many cultures around the world have deep tradition in connecting with the deceased through rituals, songs, conversations, songs and keepsakes. The book Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief says, “remaining connected seemed to facilitate the bereaved’s ability to cope with loss and accompanying changes in their lives.”
  2. Remembering the Deceased Means Staying in the Past – Remembering a loved one doesn’t mean staying in the past, it can mean connecting to them in a new and meaningful way that changes as time goes on. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the only way to stay connected to the deceased is to remember past times. But your relationship with the deceased doesn’t have to stay the same. Continuing Bonds: New Understandings of Grief states, “Instead [of a static relationship], they evolve and mature right along with us”. A healthy way of grieving a loss is to keep the deceased part of new experiences and new memories.
  3. A Death is a Loss – While people often refer to death as a “loss”, death doesn’t mean that someone is gone forever. Their memory, goodness, and even wisdom can live on through the people they met and loved in life. After all, how can you lose someone when you hold them dearly and deeply in their heart?
  4. You Need to Move on from the Loss – Oftentimes those in mourning feel a societal pressure to move on from the loss. However, there isn’t really a way to move on or detach from a loss. Grief doesn’t go away. Instead, it changes. In the early months you might grieve by sitting in the dark and crying, but as time goes on you might grieve by lighting a candle once a year. Also, there shouldn’t be any pressure to leave the deceased behind. The deceased can, and often should, always be a part of you and your life, even though that part may change with time.
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  5. Grief Eventually Ends in Closure – This couldn’t be further from the truth. Grief is non-linear and generally has no end or “closure” when you can sign and move on completely. Grief can change over time, but it won’t ever completely go away. Eleanor Haley from What’s Your Grief says, “Grief isn’t something you go through, it’s something that becomes a part of you. It’s forever.”

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about grief or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

What About Wills?

There are different kinds of wills just like there are different kinds of funeral homes in Oakland, CA. Do you know which kind of will is best for you and your needs?

  1. Online Platforms – There are several online platforms that help you create your own official will. These platforms, like Willful, allow you to tailor your will to your exact needs while still maintaining status as official and legally recognized. These platforms are a good idea if you have a simple estate and won’t need any legal advice, or if you want to get started early on your will and come back to edit it later on in life. These platforms do charge for their service, but most include free will updates in the initial cost.
  2. Holographic Will – A holographic will is simply a handwritten will that you sign and date. These wills are not witnessed. While this may seem like a simple and cost-effective option, a holographic will can present a few issues. For example, these kinds of wills aren’t officially recognized in many states. Plus, as many people don’t have legal backgrounds, these wills might be missing important will components and legal language. However, holographic wills are better than no will at all.
  3. Will Kits – Similar to online platforms, will kits are fill-in-the-blank documents that allow you to fill in information about your estate to create a simple will. These documents are one-size fits all and don’t offer much space to customize or personalize your will, so they probably aren’t a good solution if you have a complex estate or specific needs. Also, you will have to purchase a new will kit every time you need to make changes because you get married, have children, get a divorce, or any other big life event.
  4. Lawyer Drafted – The best kind of will is one that’s made with the help of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to handle your will is best because it means the document will not only be official, but it will also be customized to fit your specific needs. Making a will with a lawyer is also best if you have a complex estate, like if you have assets in multiple countries, a child with a disability, or are separated but not divorced. It’s important to note that hiring a lawyer to draft your will can get pricey – with many lawyers charging over $800 for a basic will service. However, in the long run, the money might be worth it to know that your affairs will be properly handled after you’re gone.

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No matter which kind of will you want, be sure to choose one. Unfortunately, many people pass away without leaving a will. If this happens, the government will use its estate laws to handle your estate and will appoint its own executor to take care of the details. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people prefer to have control over their own affairs rather than leave things to the state.

Do you want more information on wills or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here for you.