funeral home in Oakland, CA

Catering and COVID-19

Thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic, most of the traditional aspects of planning funeral service, memorial, or wake after a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA are gone or changed for a very long time. COVID-19 has drastically changed the catering industry in the United States and beyond, so what can you do?

There are tons of ways to keep guests safe when it’s time to eat, including individual serving ware rather than shared serving tools, temperature checks on all employees and outside caterers, mask requirements for employees and caterers, and individual plates rather than family style service. Also, it’s important to note that recent CDC findings suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 doesn’t grow or live on food or drinking liquids, so handling food or consuming food is generally safe when it comes to transmission.

You can still have a wonderful service to honor your lost loved one with catering ideas like these to keep people safe and fed. The bereaved and their guests still need to eat. Luckily, there are several catering trends that are safe for memorials in the time of COVID. Here are a couple of the best options. The first is food stations. Food stations have been around for a while and they aren’t going anywhere. From appetizers and cocktails to ice cream bars, taco stations, and even mashed potato bars, food stations are delicious, easy, and safe.

Pre-poured, pre-plated and even mini servings of station foods are ideal for minimizing guest and server contact, especially since they help keep lines moving and spread out the guests for better social distancing. There are also passed hors d’oeuvres and individual desserts. While grazing boards, like those with charcuterie spreads, fruits and desserts are classic, they’re not ideal for COVID safety. Luckily, passed hors d’oeuvres are back in style.

They allow for masked servers to bring food directly to the bereaved to minimize people unnecessarily touching food. While large, shared desserts lovely and always will be, more and more people are moving towards décor cakes. Décor cakes are smaller cakes that are placed at each place setting to serve as both decoration and a tasty dessert. The small individual cakes are also better for social distancing. You can also opt for other small desserts like pies, macarons or even donuts.

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These are just a few of the current COVID-friendly catering trends. While memorials, funerals and wakes might not be like we pictured for the foreseeable future, they are still possible with safety measures and a little creativity.

Do you want more wake tips or information on Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We’re a funeral home with the experience and compassion necessary to help you plan an honorable, respectful, and memorable memorial for your lost loved one. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Planning Memorable Celebrations of Life for After Cremation Services

Everyone wants their lost loved one’s service to stand out and be remembered for years to come, but it can be hard to impress people when you’re not exactly sure how. Are you looking to really honor the memory and life of your lost loved one with a memorable and unique celebration of life after a cremation service in Oakland, CA? Use these ideas to help make your lost loved one’s celebration of life really stand out.

You can start with live streaming. Social media has another connection-boosting feature: live streaming. Almost every platform from Facebook to Instagram can live stream your celebration of life allow guests that can’t attend in person the chance to celebrate the life of your lost loved one. You can also make a grand entrance. Everyone loves to make an entrance, so make sure the gateway into the celebration of life is something to remember. Dress up your entrance with lots of decorations and unique touches to make it feel more special and memorable.

You can add a red carpet, flower wall, step and repeat, or a balloon walkway to make your event feel just like a celebrity award show. Or you can create a large photo collage of the deceased or make the entrance themed to something that he or she loved in life. What about photo opportunities and art? It’s no secret that social media is huge these days. Take advantage of the craze for your loved one’s celebration of life by creating insta-worthy photo-ops. You can rent out a photo booth or just set up a corner of the space with a backdrop and props. Not only will these chances to take photos help your guests have fun, but they will also help create more memories of your lost loved one that will live on.

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You can even create a unique hashtag that guests can use when posting so everyone can see the photos. You want people to never stop talking about your event, and what makes people talk more than art? Hang unique and thought-provoking art pieces at the celebration of life. They double as décor and conversation starters. You can also choose to hang large pictures from the deceased’s life as a way for guests to remember big moments. Don’t forget about food. People love food, so it’s not surprising that one the biggest parts guests remember of any event is the food. So, make sure your food really shines! Talk with your caterer to create a menu that focuses on fresh, local, and high-quality food, and don’t forget to include plenty of options for common dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegetarian, dairy free and vegan.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more assistance with creating a memorable celebration of life. We are an Oakland, CA cremation service provider with the experience necessary to help you in your time of loss or of preplanning. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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Affordable Monuments for After Cremation Services

Memorials have long been used to memorialize the deceased. They are usually permanent fixtures like large headstones or statues however, there are other monuments that are just as special but more affordable. Many people want to set up a monument to their lost loved one after a cremation service in Oakland, CA, but can’t afford the more traditional structures.

This list of ideas for affordable monuments can help you memorialize your lost loved one while staying on budget. To begin, use your memories. Your memories of your loved one are always with you and are also completely free. Use your memories as a monument to the deceased by telling stories about them to younger generations and by asking friends, family and other loved ones to share their stories as well. Make these memories more permanent by asking people to write them down in a journey or, for more the more tech-savvy, making a video compilation of them telling their memories. What about pictures? Everyone has many pictures of loved ones, so it’s easy to use photographs as a monument when someone you love passes away. Simple framed photos and scrapbooks are equally meaningful and help you remember them.

You can also write a memorial or repurpose belongings. Even if you’re not a gifted writer, it can still be meaningful to write some kind of memorial for your lost loved one. Try writing a poem, memoir, short story, or even just an essay about how you feel about their life and loss. You can repurpose almost any of your lost loved one’s belongings as memorial. For example, you can turn a shirt or blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal.

What about making a mixtape? Music is very powerful and can help us work through difficult emotions. Make a playlist or a mixtape that reminds you of your lost loved one so you can listen whenever you’re thinking about them or you miss them. Don’t forget to share it with family and friends. You can also give to charity. One of the best ways to honor the deceased is to help their good legacy live on through charitable giving. Even a small donation will go a long way towards helping a cause that your lost loved one believed in or cared about.

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Or plant a memorial garden. Flowers, trees, bushes and other living things are always a beautiful reminder that life goes on and there can be beauty in the wake of loss. Plant a memorial garden for your lost loved one at home in your yard or work with your local authorities to plant a garden or even a tree in a public place. Finally, there’s cremation jewelry. Cremation jewelry takes part of the deceased’s cremains and turns it into jewelry that you can wear or carry with you at all times.

These are just a few of the many ways you can memorialize your lost loved one without spending a large amount of money. Do you want more tips on memorialization or information on Oakland, CA cremation services? Just reach out to Deer Creek Funeral Service.

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Send Your Support from a Distance

It can be awful to see loved ones grieving when you’re far away from them, either in a different town or even in a different country, even though no one likes to see their friends, loved ones, or family in pain after a loss and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. If you’re looking for ways to be there for someone in grief even from halfway around the world, these tips are here to help inspire you.

To begin, plan a visit. You might not be able to see and help them in person right now, but you can certainly plan a visit. This is especially helpful since the grieving process doesn’t end once the service is over, so the bereaved might need extra love and support a few months down the line after other people have moved on. You can also use technology. We are so lucky to live in a modern world with almost endless ways of staying in touch with people despite physical distance.

From Facebook and Instagram to video chatting, and even the classic telephone, use technology to reach out to the bereaved. Reach out when you can so they know you’re available, but don’t be pushy. Also, don’t feel like you have to talk or have meaningful words of encouragement. The best thing you can do for your friend is just to listen. What about donating or ordering deliveries? Cremations and funerals do cost money, and it might be very helpful for you to donate money to help the bereaved with some of the costs.

You can also make a donation in the deceased’s memory. Choose a cause that was important to the deceased and let the bereaved know about your donation so they can feel something good has come from their loss. Even a small gesture can mean a world of difference to someone in grief. And, thanks to modern delivery services, it’s never been easier to send those small gestures even from across an ocean. Place an order for grocery delivery so they don’t have to worry about shopping or order them some food from their favorite take out place. You can also send flowers, candy, gift baskets, thoughtful gifts like books, gift cards, and a whole host of other delivery items to show you care and are thinking about them in their time of loss.

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Finally, don’t ask what you can do. The last thing someone in grief wants to do is field a bunch of questions. So, instead of asking what you can do to help, just do it. Be proactive, whether that means sending over a cleaning service, flowers or food or paying for a grocery delivery. And remember, while it’s never preferable to be far away from someone when they’re grieving, it is possible to provide some comfort even though you’re apart.

Do you want to learn more tips or information about Oakland, CA funeral homes? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. We can offer you more information beyond these tips for how to help your family member or friend when they’ve lost someone. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Writing Thank You Cards After the Funeral Home

The end of your loved one’s service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA isn’t the end of your funeral to-do list. You still have to send out thank you cards. How do you actually go about sending thank you cards? It may seem like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t that bad – especially if you follow these tips:

  1. Go Slow – You don’t have to write all the cards in one sitting. In fact, it’s better to write a few every day so you don’t get overwhelmed, make mistakes, or loose personalization.
  2. Keep it Personal – Try to make every card as personalized as you can. Write a tidbit about where their donation is going or how their thoughtful food was delicious. These personalized touches will make your guests feel appreciated.
  3. Start Tracking Early – It will be so hard to try and remember or determine who gave what or who brought what after the funeral. The sooner you start keeping track of flowers, food, or donations the better off you will be. If people send gifts early you can also be sneaky and write some thank you cards before the funeral itself. Just don’t send them till afterwards.
  4. Stay Organized – Make a list and stick to it! Keep track of who gave what and when so you can just follow your list when it’s time to say, “thank you.”
  5. Who should you send thank you cards to? – Besides the guests and anyone who sent a gift or made a donation, you should also thank vendors, officiants or speakers, attendants, your parents or whoever helped you organize the funeral. Some people also send thank you cards to the funeral director or cremation provider staff.
  6. Stationary – If you have it in your budget to buy personalized or custom stationary for the thank you cards, go for it. However, if you don’t have the extra cash, clean, pretty and simple cards or paper will do the trick.
  7. Get Some Help – Similarly, you don’t have to write the thank you cards all on your own. Get some help, whether it’s from a colleague, friend, or family member.
  8. Don’t Wait Too Long – Try to send out thank you cards as soon as you can after the funeral, but don’t stress yourself out too much. The proper window of time for thank you cards is one to two months after the service.

Sending out thank you cards might seem a bit outdated or unnecessary, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s absolutely vital to thank the people that brought flowers, food, or otherwise supported you in your time of loss. giving gifts. Plus, thank you cards allow you to stay connected with people even after the funeral is over.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service, an Oakland, CA funeral home, is here to help with any other questions you may have about thank you notes, funeral services, or any other aspect of at-needs or pre-needs planning. We’re honored to do what we can to help in your time of loss.

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Food for Memorials After Cremation Services

If you’re planning a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA, you might want to consider having a few healthy options on your menu. After all, many people are starting to enjoy staying healthy even in times of grief.

Remember, healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or bland. There are tons of food options out there that are just as lean as they are flavorful. Many of them are Mediterranean. Mediterranean food is known for bold flavors with plenty of nutritious benefits. Recipes from Spain, Italy, Greece and other similar locations are great options for healthy but still delicious food. Mediterranean food is most made of lighter meats like seafood and poultry as well as plenty of fresh vegetables, brown rice and whole grains. These particular blends help give the body essential nutrients as well as healthy fats that provide lasting energy. Looking for some inspiration?

Check out these Mediterranean memorial service food ideas, like Orzo Salad. Pasta salad is an event favorite, but orzo salad takes it to new levels of flavor while keeping things light. Orzo salad often has herbs, olives and vibrant cherry tomatoes with plenty of flavorful olive oil and maybe vinegar. What about Grilled Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki? This Greek dish is bold in taste but light in fat thanks to skewered and grilled lean pieces of chicken and a dip made from zesty green yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and savory herbs. Serve with pita bread for dipping. Finally, Kolokithokeftedes, hard to say but easy to eat, these zucchini fritters contain olive oil feta cheese and dill. They are crispy and light but are super simple to make and serve.

Having good food at your lost loved one’s service is essential for success, but it can be hard to satisfy the array of preferences, dietary needs and tastes that your guests will have. So, be sure to provide both vegetarian and vegan options as these diets are very popular these days. You need to make sure that your vegan and vegetarian guests will be just as happy and satiated as your more carnivorous guests. Don’t forget about cleanup. Try and keep some of the food to handheld and easily consumed to prevent spilling and extra dishes. Also, remember, pasta sauce can quickly ruin a dress and an evening. Also, take some time to think about how the drinks will pair with the food. For example, don’t serve fish and only red wine, or sweet sangria with super sweet cake. Offer a range of items. After all, not everyone likes the same things so you need to be sure that there will be something everyone can enjoy.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on what to do in your time of loss. We’re an Oakland, CA cremation service provider and are here to do whatever we can to assist you and your loved ones in your time of loss. Give us a call or visit us today.

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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.

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Choosing a Caterer for a Memorial

If you don’t choose an event center with catering for a memorial with food after your loved one’s cremation service in Oakland, CA, you will have to choose an outside caterer. This might be overwhelming, but these tips are here to help.

The first step in choosing a caterer is deciding what kind of catering you want. There are three main categories: full service, drop and go, and drop off with service.

  1. Full-service catering is the highest tier of catering options as the caterer will take care of every step of the food service, leaving you free to simply remember your lost loved one in the company of your guests. Full-service catering takes care of everything including dinnerware rentals, staffing, setting the tables, serving, bussing the tables, and organizing the food. Full-service catering can be plated or buffet service, but no matter which kind the caterer will take care of the food whether that means staging the plates for plated or keeping the buffet trays stocked during service. Some buffet full-service caterers will also staff the buffet line to keep people moving, help with serving, and control portions.
  2. Drop and go catering is the exact opposite of full-service. Much more affordable, this kind of catering is perfect for those looking to save some money on their lost loved one’s service. Restaurants and caterers will do drop and go service as all it requires on their part is to make the food and then drop it off at the venue. That means that everything else, from set up and tear down to utensils, service, and stocking is up to you. While you will save money on this type of catering, there are some issues to be on the lookout for. For example, it’s important to make sure that the food is delivered early enough for you to have time to set it out before service. Many people also forget how much stuff it takes to serve food: serving platters, trays, serving forks, serving spoons, hot boxes, refrigeration, and more. If you choose to go with drop and go catering, just be prepared. Give yourself enough time to set up, make a list of everything you will need, and maybe nominate a friend or two to help you keep the buffet stocked and clean up.
  3. The final option is drop off with service. Most catering companies and restaurants that offer drop off catering will also have service additions you can add on to their basic plans. These additions could include things you will need for serving like trays and utensils, or it could even be staffers to help set up, serve and tear down. Think about what kind of help you want from your caterer and ask them to give you a quote with those specific tasks added on.

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There is a lot to think about, decide, and plan when you lose a loved one. Want to learn more? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to offer whatever assistance we can. Use these tips and our Oakland, CA cremation services to help make your time of loss and grief a little easier.

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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.

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Sending Grief Care Packages in the Pandemic

While normal, everyday activities are tough because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s made supporting people after a death a cremation service in Oakland, CA incredibly difficult. How can you comfort or support someone when you can’t see them in person or give them a hug?

One way to help make a loss a little easier for someone grieving is to create a grief care package. While there are normal care packages that are great when there isn’t a pandemic, a care package in the time of COVID-19 is a bit different, from what it includes to the delivery:

  • Soothing Items – These days, comforting items like candles, weighted blankets, pajamas, and essential oils have become necessities for everyone dealing with the stress of the pandemic. They’re especially helpful for people that are going through a loss. Create a care package with some of these comforting gifts or have them mailed to the bereaved via Amazon or another delivery service.
  • Food – Grocery shopping and cooking are tough during a loss, but these tasks are made even tougher because of the pandemic. Include some prepared, frozen foods in your care package so the bereaved don’t have to worry about risking exposure in a grocery store or taking the energy to cook. You can also send them a gift card for Instacart or another grocery delivery service so they can choose their own food and still stay safe from illness or place an Instacart order on their behalf and have it delivered to their home, so you and they are safe.
  • Customary Gifts – The traditional gifts like flowers, candy, books and sympathy cards still signal that you care and are thinking of the bereaved. Take into consideration the person to whom you are sending the grief care package as not everyone likes chocolate or has need for a new book
  • Supportive Gifts – Another traditional care package for someone going through a loss is a cleaning service to help out with household chores. While this might not be possible right now because of the pandemic, you can still send helpful gifts that don’t require indoor contact. A landscaping service, for example, will go a long way towards taking the yard work off their plate. If it’s around the holidays, you can also hire an outdoor decorating service.
  • Important Household Items – Toilet paper might not be as popular as it was at the beginning of the pandemic, but it’s still a very thoughtful item to include in a care package. It can be hard for the bereaved to have the time, energy, or emotional bandwidth to do errands like getting household necessitates. Help them out by sending toiletries, tissues, paper towels, dishwasher detergent and other items directly to their home. All of these items are available for delivery through Amazon, Target, and other stores, so it will be very easy for you to make sure they get to the bereaved while keeping yourself safe.

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These are just a few tips to help you send care packages during the pandemic. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you would you like to learn more about care packages or Orange Park, FL cremation services.