Category Archives: funeral home

funeral home service in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral home service in Oakland, CA

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.

funeral home service in Oakland, CA

Tips for Decorating a Gravesite

A wonderful way to recognize your lost loved one’s passing and celebrate their life is to personalize their graveside with decorations after a funeral home service in Oakland, CA.

Keeping your lost loved one’s grave beautiful can also go a long way towards helping you work through your grief and loss. But how do you decorate or personalize a gravesite? While every cemetery will most likely have their own unique rules and guidelines for what can and cannot be left on gravesites, there are common items that you should always avoid using in gravesite décor, like glass can break and cause injuries. You should also avoid unsecured or lightweight décor.

If the decorations won’t stay put, they could end up all over the cemetery, which is disrespectful to other mourners and causes extra work for the staff. Don’t forget to skip mylar or latex balloons as well as fences. These materials are very dangerous for animals. Instead, try blowing bubbles, leaving garden spinners, or using biodegradable materials. Don’t put up a fence or blocker of some kind around the grave as it will prevent the employees from performing maintenance.

Use these tips to help guide you as you decorate your lost loved one’s gravesite and honor their memory. But remember, at the end of the day, whatever décor you choose should be focused on the deceased and their life.

  • Keep It Well Lit and Visible – Small items left on gravesites are often accidentally stepped on or destroyed by the cemetery caretakers. Make sure your items are either big enough to attract attention or well-lit.
  • Consider Faith and Culture – Another great way to find gravesite decoration inspiration is to look to the deceased’s faith and culture. Honor their heritage and beliefs with décor, and be sure not to leave something that would be offensive to their faith.
  • Check Cemetery Rules – Most cemeteries have guidelines for what can and cannot be left on graves. Be sure to check with your cemetery before leaving any decorations.
  • Consider the Weather – You want to avoid leaving something that will spoil in the hot sun during the summer, or something that will freeze and break during the cold winter. Think about the season and the weather when choosing your décor.
  • Think About the Season – A great place to start with gravesite décor is with the season. For example, create a Christmas or Hannukah decoration around the holidays or set up a pumpkin-inspired scene in the fall.
  • Choose Durable or Permanent Decorations – Don’t leave anything on the grave that will become dirty or damaged if left outside in the elements. Instead, opt for materials that are tough in the face of wind, rain, sun, heat, or cold.
  • Come Back and Check – If you choose to leave décor on your lost loved one’s gravesite, be sure to come back and check on it regularly. Replace worn out or damaged decorations so the grave doesn’t become an eyesore.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on decorating gravesites or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Inspiration for Decorating a Your Lost Loved One’s Gravesite

Looking for a great way to celebrate your lost loved one’s life, honor their passing, and ease your feelings of loss? Decorating their gravesite after their service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA is a great place to start.

But do you know where to start when it comes to decorating a gravesite? Here are some fun, uplifting, and unique gravesite decoration ideas to inspire you for your loved one’s final resting place:

  1. Fresh Flowers – Even a simple, fresh bouquet that you leave once a week mean a lot. Plus, they give you a chance to visit the gravesite often.
  2. Preserved FlowersKeep the flowers on your lost loved one’s grave fresh forever by preserving them. Order a custom preserved bouquet in resin, or purchase a paperweight orb with flowers inside.
  3. Floral Saddle – A cemetery saddle is a flower arrangement resting on a metal “saddle.” It has legs so it can balance on top of the headstone.
  4. Solar Flowers – Solar flowers are fake flowers that light up at night after charging throughout the day in the sun.
  5. Personalized Flower Vase – Instead of a standard vase, invest in a personalized one that features a special message to your loved one, an etching, or any kind of meaningful inscription.
  6. Memorial Candles – Flameless battery or solar powered candles are just as beautiful as real candles, but are much safer and longer-lasting.
  7. Personalized Photo Lantern – You can order custom lanterns that are printed with a photo of your lost loved one. Place a flameless candle inside the lantern and leave it on the grave to light up at night.
  8. Candle Figurines – Buy a candle figurine that holds any candles you choose and represents a meaningful image, like an angel, animal, or symbol. You can even repurpose an old jar or mason jar by filling it with candles or twinkle lights.
  9. Personalized Flag – Place a flag in the ground near the gravesite with a personalized photo, message, or image. Add dates to make it even more personal.
  10. Memorial Benches – If the cemetery allows, place a memorial bench near the gravesite so you always have a place to sit and remember fond days when visiting.
  11. Homemade Tributes – Nothing is more meaningful than a homemade tribute like handwritten notes, paintings, drawings, or even typed up poems or memories.
  12. Memorial Stones – Stones have been used in memorialization for centuries. There are even examples in the Bible. Paint a stone yourself or order one online.
  13. American Flag – If your lost loved one was a veteran, plant an American flag or the flag of their armed forces division.
  14. Grave Blankets – Grave blankets are painted with grass, foliage, or flowers so they can make the grave green and lovely even in the winter months when it’s too cold for fresh plants.

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These are just a few of the many ways you can decorate your lost loved one’s gravesite. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more inspiration or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

The Basics of Embalming

Embalming is the preservation of human remains to slow decomposition and disinfect the body. The process is thought of as both an art and a science as it requires great skill and experience. Bodies are usually embalmed so they’re suitable for a viewing before a cremation or funeral service. They are also used to preserve bodies for medical purposes, whether for a laboratory or a medical school. Whether you’re having a cremation or a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, it’s helpful to be aware of the basics of embalming.

There are two main kinds of embalming, arterial and cavity, but both are usually used in the standard embalming process. Arterial embalming involves removing the blood from the veins and replacing it with the embalming solution. In other words, the blood is flushed out of the veins and arteries by the fluid. Cavity embalming is when the internal fluids are removed with tools called trocars and aspirators. While each embalming expert might have his or her own preferred technique, here are the general steps of the embalming process.

The first step is to wash and disinfect the body. The embalmer will also massage the arms and legs to ease rigor mortis and perform any necessary shaving. Next, it’s time to set the features. The embalmer sets the body’s features by closing the eyes and positioning the mouth. The eyes are often held shut by plastic caps and the mouth is usually wired or sewn shut. The next step is to inject the embalming fluids and cavity embalming. An incision is made in the right common carotid artery and the right jugular vein in order to pump about two gallons of a formaldehyde solution through the body.

As the solution is injected, it pushes the blood out of the veins and into a drain attached to the jugular. Bodily fluids and remaining gas are removed from the internal organs, like the bladder, intestines, and stomach, by a suction hose and a trocar. A trocar is an instrument with a three-sided point attached to a tube for removing fluids. After the fluids are removed, the embalmer injects embalming fluid to preserve the body and help it hold its shape. Finally, the embalmer then closes up any incisions made in the embalming process, gives the body a bath, and then dresses it. After about 24 hours, he will return to seal the incisions with a bonding adhesive to prevent leaks, apply makeup, and fix the hair.

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Embalming is frequently required by state law or funeral home regulations. Some states legally require refrigeration or embalming if a body is not cremated or buried within a certain period of time after a death, while other states leave the requirements up to the funeral homes. While the exact laws and regulations vary, best practices are to bury or cremate a body within a few days of death or embalm it.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you have more questions on embalming or Oakland, CA funeral homes. We’re happy to offer our expertise and compassionate services. Call or visit us today to learn more.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

How to Make a Last Wishes Document

Your last wishes are your requests for what you want done after you die, generally regarding funeral or memorial arrangements and final disposition, and a last wishes document is how you can tell your loved ones what you want done after you die, from a cremation service to a funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Everyone dies eventually, so, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it’s a good idea to be as prepared for the eventuality as possible. It’s always best to tell your loved ones about these wishes in addition to writing them down. That way you can make sure they understand what you want, and they can ask any questions they may have.

Here are some common last wishes questions and their answers to give you more information on these important documents. To begin, what should you include in a last wishes document? Your last wishes can include anything you want, including funeral or cremation preferences and plans, body disposition preferences, obituary information, messages to your loved ones, requests for your final days, and personal information like where your will is. Some people also choose to include what they want for the time leading up to their death as well, like who they want to see, if they want to pass at home or at a care facility, or even what they want their surroundings to be like in a last wishes document.

How do you make a last wishes document? You don’t need to do anything fancy to write down your last wishes. The document should include your name, the details you want your loved ones to know, and who you want to tell them to. It can be a few sentences or several pages, typed and printed, or just written down in a notebook. Just be sure it’s kept in a safe place and that the people it addresses know about it and where it is. Are last wishes the same as a will? Last wishes are not wills. Wills are legal documents that deal with your estate, belonging, or finances, while last wishes are non-legal documents that deal with the funeral or service arrangements. It also does not make sense to include your last wishes in your will as the will is generally read after the funeral, thereby making your last wishes useless. Finally, are last wishes legally binding? Last wishes documents are not legally binding, but most family members or loved ones at least feel morally obligated to see your wishes done.

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Is a last wishes document the same as an advance directive? Advanced directives are legal documents that details someone’s wishes when they are terminally ill. Last wishes are not legally binding and deal more with how you would like to be remembered, what you would like to say to your loved ones, and other practical things.

It’s always best to be prepared. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about last wishes or Oakland, CA funeral homes. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of preplanning or of loss.

funeral home in Dublin, CA

Why Should You Preplan a Funeral?

While it’s never easy to think about your eventual passing, preplanning your funeral at a funeral home in Dublin, CA is one of the best things you can do for your family, and for yourself. After all, losing a loved one is hard enough without having to plan, execute and pay for a funeral service.

Preplanning for your funeral can help both you and your loved ones in many different ways. The benefits of preplanning a funeral include:

  1. Creating a Meaningful Service: Memorial and funeral services are an important part of the grieving process, but your loved ones might miss out on the important benefits if they are too busy planning the event. Preplan so they don’t have to.
  2. Maintaining Self-Reliance: Taking charge of your memorial and funeral services allows you to maintain control and independence when you might otherwise lose them. This is good for your mental health at the end of your life and gives you more self-reliance.
  3. Easing Your Family’s Burden: Let your family know exactly what you want for your funeral so they don’t have to guess what to do after you’re gone, or spend time making painful decisions when they should be grieving with loved ones.
  4. Making Sure Your Wishes Are Met: Make sure you get the exact funeral or memorial service you want by taking care of the details and clearly laying them out for your friends and family. This way they won’t be able to argue or disagree.
  5. Financial Responsibility: You can plan for how to cover the funeral costs in advance to make it easier for your family’s bank accounts and stress levels. Look into funeral insurance or funeral trusts to help ensure financial ease for your cremation and service.

These are just a few of the ways preplanning your funeral can help both you and your family.

But how do you go about preplanning a funeral? The first step is to simply start making some choices. Think about what you want for your funeral, and be prepared to make choices such as:

  • funeral home in Dublin, CAChoose what to do with your remains, from burial and scattering to more non-traditional methods of body disposal like a biodegradable urn or water internment.
  • Pick out your service theme, like military, religious, or non-traditional.
  • Choose the funeral home.
  • Detail memorial or funeral specifications like preferred music, desired readings, special decorations and video displays.
  • Choose your final resting place. There are a ton of options, but the main ones include: a family plot or mausoleum, columbarium, or cremation urn.

Preplanning your funeral isn’t as hard or overwhelming as you would think once you get started, and it can only help you and your loved ones after your death. Deer Creek Funeral Service, a Dublin, CA funeral home, is here to help if you do need more assistance with preplanning. We have years of experience with preplanning and would be happy to help you however we can. Please stop by and visit us today for more information.

funeral home in San Leandro, CA

The Steps for Arranging a Funeral

Death is and always will be hard, but the difficulty is often compounded by the difficulties that come with arranging a funeral at a funeral home in San Leandro, CA. Learn more about this process of arranging a funeral so you can be better prepared when faced the loss of a loved one.

There are eight main steps that everyone must follow after death to arrange a funeral:

  1. Report the Death – If the death is at a hospital, nursing home, or hospice, the officials there will know what to do and will make the report for you. If you are at home, or have no other options, call 911.
  2. Prepare to Work with a Funeral Director – You will need the assistance of a funeral director to complete the death certificate, transport and store the body. Take note if the deceased made pre-arrangements for his or her funeral or cremation and be prepared to relay these wishes to the director.
  3. Choose the Service – There are several service options you need to be prepared to choose from such as funerals, in which the service is held before the body is cremated or buried and the body is present, or memorials, in which the service is help after the body is buried or cremated and therefore not present.
  4. Make Cemetery Arrangements – If you choose to inter the remains after the funeral or cremation, you will need to make cemetery arrangements. Decide where the burial will take place, and if necessary, purchase a plot. If you’re unsure where to start, your funeral director or cremation assistant will most likely be affiliated with a cemetery and can help you find a plot. You could also check with your church, synagogue or other place of worship for further guidance.
  5. Plan the Funeral Service – Feel free to get creative when making memorial or funeral service arrangements to make the service personal and meaningful. Flowers, music, pre or post service events and other special touches help make the service personal for you and the deceased.
  6. Make Body Transportation Arrangements – You will need to make arrangements for thefuneral home in San Leandro, CA body to be transported from the place of death to the funeral home, and also to the cemetery if you choose burial, as well as inform the family and write a death notice.
  7. Make the Death Announcement – Personally inform all close family, friends and loved ones of the death, ideally over the phone or in person. If you’re nervous, take the time to write a script to help you make key points. Don’t forget to write and release a death notice to notify the rest of the friends, coworkers, associates etc.
  8. Stay Organized – You should make a list of what you need to accomplish before the service to help you stay organized and not forget anything important. This list could include your attire, personal items or collecting photos.

Looking for more guidance on arranging funerals? Deer Creek Funeral Service, a San Leandro, CA funeral home, is here to help. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

funeral home in Oakland, CA

Do You Have Questions About Pallbearers?

As intense or scary as the job of serving as a pallbearer seems, it’s not as overwhelming as you might think. A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA.

Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place. If you were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s funeral, here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to prepare you for the task:

  1. Can You Have Pallbearers at a Cremation? While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before a cremation. They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service.
  2. How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
  3. What Should Pallbearers Wear? Its best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.
  4. Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
  5. How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
  6. What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.

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Do you have more questions about pallbearers or Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to answer them. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.