Our funeral, cremation, and death traditions at Oakland, CA funeral homes have come a long way from where they first started thousands of years ago. Are you curious about outdated traditions and superstitions that most people don’t practice anymore? Here are some of the most interesting.
To begin, we used to have extended mourning periods. When someone died in the Victorian era, families would stop all the clocks in their home, cover mirrors with fabric, and hang a wreath with black ribbon on the door. These changes would last for four days or more, which is much longer than most formal grieving periods in modern times. A widow and oftentimes the entire family would also wear only black for an entire year.
Historically, death and mourning have carried many superstitions that are no longer believed. For example, it used to be back luck to wear anything new to a funeral and many funeral attendees believed spirits would enter their mouths if they yawned during a funeral. Others thought that if rain falls during a funeral procession or if there is thunder during a burial, it’s a sign the deceased is entering heaven. Still more believed that if they heard three knocks but no one was at their door, it was actually death that was knocking.
We also had in-person death notifications. For a very long time, death notifications were delivered in person on a piece of paper with a black border that listed the service details. Someone from the bereaved family or someone hired by the bereaved would go from house to house of everyone the deceased would have wanted at the service to make the death announcement and provide service details. These days, it’s more common to receive service particulars in an email from the family, read obituaries online, or post social media remembrances.
What about more modern ones? Expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual funerals and memorials are becoming more and more common. They are often held via FaceTime, Zoom, or other platforms so people can attend in person or virtually, depending on their and needs or preferences. People are becoming more open to less traditional, more personalized funeral services. Instead of standard hymns and readings in churches, services can be almost anything the deceased and the bereaved want, from celebrations of life to gatherings with slideshows, photos, and more. Per longstanding funeral customs, a headstone would only list the deceased’s person’s name, birthdate, date of death, and perhaps a memorial message. Today, however, thanks to modern technology, headstones can include photos, personal inscriptions, and even screens that display photo montages, holograms, or life story videos.
These days, there are many different ways to plan a funeral or service that speaks to you, your lost loved one, and your family traditions at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. You don’t have to be tied to outdated traditions or superstitions anymore. At the end of the day, what you believe or do doesn’t matter as long as you feel comfort after a loss. Call or visit us today to learn more.