Category Archives: funeral home

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral homes in Oakland, CA

What Do These Flowers Mean?

Have you ever wondered about the significance of common flowers brought to funeral homes in Oakland, CA? From weddings and births to deaths and funeral home services, flowers have a rich tradition of symbolism in many important life events. Keep reading to learn what common flowers represent so you can choose the perfect bloom to bring to a funeral, memorial, or any other kind of service after a death.

Tulips are generally a spring flower, harkening thoughts of renewal and rebirth. However, these flowers can also be associated with forgiveness worthiness, and love, making them ideal for use at a funeral or memorial. Lilacs, like lilies, often signify youth and innocence. This symbolism makes lilacs a common choice for the funeral or memorial tribute of a young person or someone who had a childlike nature or good heart. With its signature floral scent and youthful appearance, lilies signify purity and innocence. They are often brought to funerals and memorials to represent the idea that the deceased’s soul has become peaceful and innocent in death or that the deceased will be reborn in a new life.

You can’t forget about roses or forget-me-nots. Simply put, roses symbolize love. While different colors of roses have other meanings, the most common theme is one of love. White roses are very common at funerals because they represent rebirth and renewed love as well as pure love. Like their name suggests, these flowers are all about remembrance. Forget-me-nots signify lasting love for the deceased and the idea that the love will always live on in your memories, heart, and mind. This symbolism makes these flowers ideal for funerals and memorials.

The gladiolus flower is very common for funerals and memorials as it symbolized strength, moral integrity, and faithfulness. What about orchids? Orchids are recognized as symbols of everlasting love all over the world. Perhaps this idea comes from orchid’s rarity or maybe from their incredible beauty. But no matter the reason, orchids are always a great choice for a funeral or memorial service to represent your everlasting love for the deceased. Like many flowers, carnations come in different colors. Each color has a different meaning. For example, red carnations depict admiration, white connotes innocence and pure love, and pink carnations convey remembrance. In the United States, chrysanthemums sometimes called mums, represent truth. But in parts of Asia and Europe, these flowers represent death, mourning, and grief and are therefore only used at funerals and memorials.

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What about camellia? With its delicate petals and soft scent, the camellia is a perfect representation of excellence, refinement, and perfection. These flowers are often brought to funerals and memorials of someone respected in their community. There’s also the hibiscus. Often thought of as a feminine flower, the hibiscus symbolizes delicate beauty and fertility. Therefore, its often used at services for beloved wives or partners. Because of its prominence in several island cultures, the hibiscus can also signify an association with Hawaii or Haiti.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about memorials, funerals, or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today.

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Committals Services

Committal service is a graveside service in which you commit the body to the ground, or bury the body. Committing your lost loved one to the earth or another burial location is a wonderful way to say goodbye after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Committal services are generally the final goodbye for the family before the deceased is buried. It’s important to note that you can have a committal service for cremated remains. You can commit the cremated ashes to the ground in a burial urn, or have them inurned in a columbarium niche. In fact, cremation committals often look and feel almost exactly the same as a service for a full body. The urn is often set on a table before the commitment, and some families choose to decorate the table with flowers, photos, and memorabilia.

The origin of the phrase “committal” in this context is thought to have been derived from a burial sermon in the Book of Common Prayer that states, “We therefore commit this body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.” As the ritual is usually brief, about 15 to 20 minutes, many families choose to have a committal right after the funeral service, but you can have a committal without a funeral or memorial.

Ready to plan a committal? Here are tips. First, pick a burial site. Does your family have a plot with other family members? If so, call the office and reserve a plot for the deceased. If not, do some research and choose a cemetery in which you’d like your loved one to be buried. You can often buy a plot directly from the cemetery or from an individual.

You also need to connect with the cemetery sexton. The cemetery sexton is the person in charge of running the cemetery’s day to day operations. As such, he will take care of the details for the commitment ceremony like making sure the grave is dug and prepared, bringing the casket or urn to the grave and placed on a lowering device, and getting the surrounding area ready for the service with chairs and other decorations. Choose a flow for the service. You must find an officiant to run the committal, whether that means your pastor or priest or even a family member, friend, or other loved one.

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Once you gave an officiant, work with them to choose what you want to service to include, such as readings, prayers, eulogies, or a sermon. If you don’t want a formal service, that’s ok. You can just have attendees say a few short words about the deceased. Finally, keep an eye on the weather. As committals are usually outdoors, the weather plays a big role. Be sure to plan for heat, snow, rain, or wind.

Call or visit us today if you want more tips on committals or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes.

Oakland, CA funeral homes

Funeral Home Trends in Oakland, CA

How will the changes and challenges of the past year affect the funeral and cremation industry?

In 2022 more than ever, a new year will certainly bring new trends in Oakland, CA funeral homes, cremation services, memorials, and more. Here is a list of funeral home trends for this year to inspire your planning and preplanning as well as provide interesting insights.

To begin, there will be a lot of virtual services and personalized services. Virtual funerals, wakes, and memorials became popular in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we predict they will remain popular well into 2022 as virtual services offer many benefits from ease of scheduling to allowing out-of-town family members and loved ones to easily attend. Funerals have slowly been moving away from tradition and becoming more and more personalized to the deceased and their loved ones. Unique, creative personalization of the funeral service has become the new norm. This means you’re free to choose the services, products, and traditions you want for the deceased’s funeral or memorial, whether that means hosting a celebration of life or putting them to rest in a cremation urn that will turn into a tree.

Direct cremation and at-home funerals will be popular, too. Direct cremation is when the body is cremated directly after death without any embalming, wake, or other services. Direct cremation is the most affordable body disposition method, which is perhaps why its gaining popularity. Beyond savings, it also allows the family to hold a memorial, scattering, or any other kind of service whenever they want as opposed to right after the death. What about memorial gardens or preplanning? A memorial garden is a community garden dedicated to the deceased. Oftentimes the dedication is made official through donations and made known through a plaque or a memorial bench. These gardens are becoming more and more popular as ways to remember the deceased and honor them for generations to come. Preplanning or advance planning funeral arrangements is a great trend as preplanning offers many benefits including savings, reduced stress, more control over your own funeral, and the ability to plan a more personalized service.

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DIY is moving from home improvement to funerals and memorials. An at-home funeral is when the memorial or funeral service is held in the home rather than in an official facility. A home funeral cuts down many of the common funeral costs and can be much more eco-friendly, but there are still many benefits to hosting a funeral or memorial at a funeral home. Unlike more traditional burials with embalming, heavily decorated caskets, and imported flowers, natural burials are all about keeping things simple. They use simple biodegradable urns, bamboo caskets, or cotton burial shrouds to minimize environmental impact and increase the speed of decomposition. As consumers, we’re becoming more aware of the affect we have on the environment. This has led to an uptick in sustainable or environmentally friendly funeral and cremation services like green burials, eco-friendly cremation caskets and runs, and a general increase in sensitivity surrounding sustainability and renewal after death.

Call or visit us today if you have more questions on industry trends or funeral homes in Oakland, CA.

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Creative Funeral Alternatives

Your lost loved one was unique, so why honor their life with a standard funeral home service in Oakland, CA?

Thanks to new technology, flexibility in tradition, and creative people, there are many ways to celebrate your lost loved one with a funeral alternative. Here are creative funeral alternatives to help inspire you, like donating to science. If your lost loved one consented, you can donate their body to science. This donation comes at no cost to you or your family and goes a long way towards advancing medicine and healthcare. Plus, donations often come with a free cremation.

What about a celebration of life? A celebration of life is all about celebrating your lost loved one’s life instead of mourning their passing. Most celebrations of life include sharing memories, jokes, and anecdotes about the deceased to help remember the good times. You could also do a scattering ceremony or make a memorial ornament. Scattering ceremonies are when you scatter or release your lost loved one’s cremated remains. There are many different ways to scatter cremations, from in the air or on the ground to in the water. From homemade personalized ornaments to custom, store-bought pieces, it’s easy to honor your loved one every holiday season with a memorial ornament.

Go big with cremation fireworks or natural with a reef burial. Cremation fireworks take around three tablespoons of cremated remains, load them into a shell, and launch them into the sky. These beautiful displays are perfect send-offs for deceased who loved being the centers of attention. Did you know you can bury cremated remains in coral reefs? The cremated remains are mixed with cement and then placed in the reef. The cremains help nourish and build coral, contributing to the marine ecosystem and helping the deceased’s memory live on in nature. You can order a diamond made from your lost loved one’s cremains. The process uses about a half teaspoon of cremains, depending on the diamond size you want, and takes seven to 10 months. However, it’s well worth the wait to have a stunning memorial you can wear always.

You can also plant a tree in memory of your lost loved one. Memorial trees are meaningful tributes that your family and friends can enjoy for generations to come. The memory of your lost loved one will live on for years. Virtual services became popular in 2020 and 2021, but they’re not going anywhere because of the opportunities for creativity they offer. Not only does no one have to travel for a virtual service, but you can create videos, slideshows, and other digital additions to make the memorial special.

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What about cremains portraits? Professional cremains portrait artists will mix some of your loved one’s cremated remains with paint and create a special portrait of him or her. It doesn’t take a lot of cremains, but the portrait will surely be cherished by family and friends for generations to come.

These are just a few ideas to inspire you for your loved one’s service. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more inspiration or desire more information on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Call or visit us today.

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Ever Considered Burial at Sea?

Have you ever been curious about burials at sea after funeral home services in Oakland, CA? You’re not alone. Many people wonder about the practice, but don’t have enough information. Here is some helpful background.

You can find the full rules and regulations for sea burials under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA). It is important to note that sea burials are some of the most environmentally friendly burials possible, as they don’t use embalming fluid, don’t require a crematory fire, and don’t use up space on land. While the laws around sea burials vary from country to country and sometimes state to state, there are a few that remain the same almost everywhere. For example, all sea burials must be performed at least three nautical miles from shore and must be reported to the EPA within 30 days of completion.

Got more questions? Here are some common answers:

  • Who can be buried at sea? Anyone! You don’t have to be a military member to be buried in a large body of water. The most common type of burial at sea today is the scattering of cremated remains, but full body committal is also an option
  • Are there rules for full body burial at sea? Anyone from sailors to fisherman and ocean enthusiasts can be buried at sea with a full body burial. According to federal law, a full body burial at sea can only be completed in an area that’s at least 600 feet deep and at least three miles from shore. Also, a licensed funeral director must be on board the vessel.
  • Are there rules for cremation burial at sea? There are two main ways to bury cremated remains at sea: in a biodegradable urn or by scattering the cremains. Biodegradable urns made for water burials float for a few minutes, then sink into the water and slowly disintegrate. Scattering cremains at sea can be done with a scattering urn or with your hands.
  • What happens when a body is buried at sea? A full body will float to the surface in three to four days, upon which it will begin to decompose. The bones will sink under the surface again in about two weeks.
  • How do you hire a boat for a sea burial? There are two ways to request a burial at sea: through the Navy or through a civilian charter company. Navy sea burials are only used for sailors who die when a ship is deployed, and the family wishes for their loved one to have a sea burial. Civilian ocean burials are when civilians charter a private boat, hire a funeral director to come along, and bury a loved one on the water.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about burials at sea 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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Common Types of Grief

We all mourn in different ways, for different reasons, and for different periods of time. But there are certain types of grief that are common after a loss and a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Professionals identify types of grief to give people a better understanding of their feelings and actions so they can better heal and move forward. Here are some of the most common types of grief:

  1. Inhibited – This type of grief is feelings of loss that manifest as physical ailments like muscle aches, headaches, stomach pain, or other issues.
  2. Complicated – Complicated grief is best characterized by grief that worsens over time. While it might start out simple, it deepens as the months pass into a disabling and sometimes life-changing feeling.
  3. Traumatic – This type of grief is common after the sudden loss of a loved one as this type of unexpected death can be considered traumatic for most people.
  4. Chronic – As the name denotes, chronic grief is long lasting. While most people mourn for years after a loss, those with chronic grief have debilitating symptoms for long periods of time.
  5. Anticipatory – Anticipatory grief is what you feel when you know a loved one is going to die but they haven’t passed yet, such as when they’re suffering from a terminal illness.
  6. Disenfranchised – This type of grief comes when you lose a relationship that’s considered outside the normal family structure or outside the normal definition of recognized relationships. Sometimes called hidden grief, disenfranchised grief is common after an abortion, the loss of a pet, or even the death of a casual friend.
  7. Exaggerated – For many, exaggerated grief starts normal but grows in intensity as time passes, often leading to anger, self-harm, and other destructive feelings or actions.
  8. Distorted – Distorted grief is characterized by feelings of anger and guilt instead of common feelings of loss and sadness. For example, a parent who feels angry after the loss of a child.
  9. Absent – Absent grief is when you show few or even no signs of grief. Sometimes used as a defense mechanism, absent grief is easy to write off. But it’s important to remember that there’s no way to tell from the outside how someone is truly feeling.
  10. Delayed – Delayed grief, like the name denotes, is when grief is postponed for a period of time because you haven’t accepted the loss, you feel like you can’t feel the loss, or another reason for putting off your feelings.
  11. Collective – Collective grief is a loss felt by a large group of people, such as when a celebrity dies or there’s a tragedy like 9-11 or the COVID-19 pandemic.
  12. Abbreviated –Most common after the loss of someone that you weren’t particularly close with, abbreviated grief is when the grief is short but real.
  13. Cumulative – Cumulative grief is when a new loss brings back feelings of grief from a previous loss, such as another death, a move, or even the loss of a job, and those feelings compound one another.

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

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Body Donation

Body donation saves and improves lives all over the world every single day. Body donation is a common choice for before or after a funeral home service in Oakland, CA. Want to learn more about body donation? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions:

  1. Are there extra funeral costs for being an organ donor? More work goes into preparing a donor’s body. However, most funeral homes do not charge extra out of respect for the deceased’s choice to save or benefit others through donation.
  2. Can organ donors have an open casket? Depending on the type of donation, the deceased can still have an open casket. Funeral homes can hide any signs of donation, embalm, dress, and place the body in a casket.
  3. Are there different kinds of body donation? There are several ways to donate your body. The first is organ donation, which is when someone donates their organs like heart, lungs, kidneys, or liver for transplant. Organ donation, depending on the organ being donated, can be performed when the donator is alive or deceased. If the donator is deceased, the organs must be removed immediately after death in order to remain viable. There is also tissue donation, when a deceased person donates body tissue such as skin, heart valves, ligaments, bones, veins, or corneas. The final most common type is full-body donation, or when a deceased person donates their entire body to science like a medical or scientific program for research. Body donation, no matter the type, is a noble, important act.
  4. How long does organ donation take? Depending on which organs are recovered, the procedure can range anywhere from four to six hours in length as the doctors must remove the organs as quickly as possible to keep them viable for transplantation.
  5. Can you still have a funeral if you donate your organs? Yes! Body donation, whether organ or tissue, often has little to no effect on your funeral service plans. This is especially true if you plan to have a closed casket or choose to be cremated
  6. How long do organs last after death? Harvesting organs or tissues is generally done within the first 24 hours after a death, but the sooner the better to maintain viability.
  7. Will organ donation delay the funeral? On average, funeral or memorial services take place about a week after a death. Therefore, organ donation is easily performed long before any service takes place.
  8. Do organ donors get free cremation? Usually, no. After the medical professional completes the necessary donation procedures, they will call the funeral home to come pick up the body and perform the chosen final disposition. However, free cremation is generally included in full-body donation.
  9. Can I still be cremated if I’m an organ donor? The organ or body donation process does not have any effect on cremation.

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Do you want to learn more about body donation or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help, so please call or visit us today.

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What is Absent Grief?

Absent grief is when someone shows little to no signs of normal grief, such as crying, lethargy, missing the deceased, or anger. What happens if you can’t grieve the loss of a loved one? What do you do if you feel like your emotions are frozen in place? Losing a loved one and going through their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is one of the hardest parts of life. Working through your grief over the loss is one of the best ways to heal from it, but if you can’t grieve, you might have absent grief.

 

Symptoms of absent grief include no signs or symptoms of grieving whatsoever, irritability, forgetting about the loss, not feeling connected to the loss, and denial. Though absent grief is very common, many people don’t know much about it. Here are some fast facts about absent grief to provide guidance and context. Absent grief can have physical symptoms. Holding in your feelings of loss can take a toll on the body, leading to heart palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, or eating disorders. Death isn’t the only event that can cause absent grief. Other life events besides death can cause absent grief, including divorce, job loss, regret, or loss of a romantic relationship or a friendship.

 

Anticipatory grief can lead to absent grief. Anticipatory grief is when someone grieves a loss before its actually happened. Oftentimes, if you grieve before a death, you won’t feel as much pain after the death. You can move on from absent grief. Once you accept the loss you can work through your pain and grief to move forward with your life. If you need help doing so, don’t be ashamed. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

 

Absent grief isn’t just denial. The “denial” stage of grief is when you try and deny the death happened. Most people face denial in the first few hours or days after a loss. But denial becomes absent grief when the denial continues on much longer. Some might feel like they have absent grief if they aren’t grieving, but it might simply be that they just weren’t that close to the deceased. If that’s the case, it’s OK. You don’t have to demonstrate deep grief over someone you weren’t close to.

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Grief is often unexpected. Grief looks and feels different for everyone, so it’s often tough to pinpoint when someone is experiencing absent grief. Check in with yourself or the grieving person to see how you or they are feeling. Avoiding grief isn’t obvious. There are many ways people that experience absent grief try to avoid grieving. For example, they can focus on taking care of others, lose themselves in drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, or dive into work in order to distract themselves.

 

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to assist if you have more questions on absent grief, dealing with a loss, or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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What Happens if You Can’t Pay for a Funeral Home Service?

Funerals and memorials don’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but they do cost money. What do you do if you can’t afford a funeral home service in Oakland, CA? Here are answers to common questions surrounding paying for funerals and cremation services:

  1. Are there free cremations or burials? If you cannot afford a burial or cremation, you can sign a form with the county coroner’s office and the state will bury or cremate the body for you. This will be at no cost, but you won’t have any say in where or how.
  2. How do you pay for a funeral with little or no money? There are many ways to cover funeral expenses, including low-cost options and fund raising.
  3. Is body donation free? Donating a body to research does result in a no-cost cremation. You can donate your body to science through institutions like medical laboratories, medical schools, and local hospitals.
  4. What happens if you refuse to pay for a funeral? The funeral home is not obligated to take custody of a body. If a family does not or will not pay, the funeral home does not have to accept the body. If the funeral home already has custody of the body and the family refuses to pay, the funeral home will pause all funeral services and planning, store the body in the cooler, and charge the family a storage fee for every day the body is there. The funeral home as the right to refuse services and can transfer the body to the state at any time, but they cannot hold a body hostage in order to get payment.
  5. Do you have to have a funeral? You’re not required to have a funeral. So, if you can’t afford one, you don’t have to worry. You’re more than welcome to select a direct burial or direct cremation option (the most affordable final disposition services) in order to save money. But if you want to have a funeral or service, there are ways to do so without spending too much money.
  6. Are there government bodies that help with funeral costs? There are several government organizations that can help with final disposition and funeral costs including Social Security, State Department of Health, Veteran’s Affairs, and even FEMA if the deceased died in a natural disaster.
  7. Can you get a funeral loan? Anyone can apply for a funeral loan to get help paying for funeral expenses. They are generally available through credit unions, banks, and online lenders.
  8. Who pays for the funeral if the deceased has no money? If there isn’t any money in the deceased’s estate, the next-of-kin traditionally pays for funeral expenses. If the next-of-kin aren’t able or don’t want to pay, there won’t be a funeral.

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Paying for an Oakland, CA funeral home service can be worrying, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time now to preplan for your eventual passing, including how your loved ones will pay for your services. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you would like to learn more about preplanning or dealing with a recent loss.