cremation service in Oakland, CA

What if Your Loved One Doesn’t Want a Service?

How can you honor a lost loved one if they don’t want a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA?

Sometimes people don’t want a big “goodbye” after they’re gone, and that’s OK. But without a service or memorial, it can be tough for their friends, family, and other loved ones to honor and celebrate their life. Thankfully, there are plenty of alternatives to traditional funerals and memorial services. With a little thoughtful planning, you and your family can figure out what will work best. Here are some ideas for what you can do to honor your lost loved one or the passing of a friend without a service:

  • Write an Obituary – Obituaries are traditions for a reason, as they provide the chance to remember the deceased, honor their life and accomplishments, and help the bereaved grieve.
  • Get Creative – There are many ways to remember and honor a lost loved one through the creative arts. If you like drawing or painting, draw or paint a portrait of your lost loved one or of an item or image that reminds you of them. If you like to write, write a poem, short story, or even a letter about the deceased.
  • Post a Tribute – Social media, from Facebook to Instagram, offers wonderful opportunities to honor the deceased without a service or memorial. Write a tribute post about the deceased and the impact they had on your life, or simply post some of your favorite photos of the deceased.
  • Build a Slideshow – Slideshows about the deceased’s life are common at funerals and memorials, but you can still make one even if there won’t be a service. Feature lots of pictures, videos, and memories. You can even include your lost loved one’s favorite music.
  • Send Flowers – Sending flowers is a thoughtful, traditional way of remembering the deceased and giving their loved one’s support.
  • Dedicate a Tree – Not only will dedicating a tree help replant and forest and provide homes to forest animals but it will also honor and remember the deceased for generations to come.
  • Send Food – This thoughtful gesture of support helps the bereaved grieve without having to worry about cooking or ordering food. Be sure to check with the family about dietary restrictions or needs before sending food. Aside from homemade food, you can also use meal delivery apps to send takeout or even send credits so they can order their own meals at their leisure.
  • Create a Memory Book – Using pictures, notes, drawings, or clippings, build a memory book of the deceased. This book will help you remember the good time with your lost loved one and will serve as a reminder of their life for future generations.

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There are many ways to get closure after a death beyond a traditional funeral or service. No matter how you may feel about a loved one who does not want a funeral, it is important to honor their last wishes.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more ideas on mourning in unique ways or information on Oakland, CA cremation services. Call today!

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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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Funeral Donations for Cremation Services

A funeral donation is money collected to pay for funeral or cremation service expenses in Oakland, CA. This collection is not to be confused with memorial donations, which are when the family asks for donations to a charity in the deceased’s name.

Funeral donations are an excellent way to ensure your lost loved one gets the service they deserve. Here is some helpful information on funeral donations:

  1. How Do You Ask for Donations? Asking for donations of any kind can be tough. To help, here are a few wording ideas that will inspire your own ask on whatever platform you choose: “We were simply not prepared for the cost of a funeral service. Any donation size is helpful as we try to give him the simple yet beautiful funeral he deserves.” “In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the funeral home to help cover costs.” “Many of you have asked how you can help my family during this very difficult time. We appreciate your consideration. We would also appreciate contributions to help pay for funeral expenses.” “The family asks those who wish to express sympathy to consider a donation to help with funeral costs.”
  2. How Much Should You Give? The traditional gift is the amount you would have spent on flowers for the service, generally between $50 and $100.
  3. Should You Give Money at the Funeral? You can! Simply place a check or cash in an envelope or card and leave it with the funeral director. You can also give the bereaved a digital gift through a payment app like Venmo or Zelle.
  4. Who Should You Make the Check to? Make the check out to the next of kin.
  5. Do You Need to Be Related to the Deceased to Create a Campaign? No, anyone can set up a campaign for funeral donations.
  6. How Much do Campaigns Cost? Even the “free” funeral donation platforms have fees, including credit card processing fees and service fees that range between 3% and 5%. For example, for every $100 you raise on one of those platforms, they would take approximately $3 in fees and leave you with $97.

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While you can set up a donation anywhere or in any way you choose, there are two popular platforms used for funeral donations: Ever Loved and Go Fund Me. Ever Loved lets you create free memorial websites to both honor your loved one and ask for donations as needed. You can also set up funeral or memorial information so guests can RSVP and post memories of the deceased or condolences. Go Fund Me is a general crowdfunding platform that doesn’t specifically cater to funeral donations. However, it’s still a wonderful way to share your need and help others fill your need.

Funeral donations help the bereaved with costs associated with a service, from cremation and urns to burial, wakes and more. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about funeral donations or other Oakland, CA cremation services.

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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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Should You Choose Organ Donation?

Every day, at least twenty people in the United States alone die due to a lack of organ donations. Tissue and organ donation has wide-reaching benefits, as those who need skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, heart valves, and more often have no other options. While organ donation is a great choice for before cremation services in Oakland, CA, it’s not necessary right for everyone. Should you donate your organs or not?

There are many reasons to donate your organs, including:

  1. Save Lives – It’s a fact that organ donation saves lives. Depending on your donation preferences, your organs can save up to eight different people if you choose to donate your heart, intestines, pancreas, liver, two lungs, two kidneys. If you choose to donate tissue, eyes, and other parts, your donation can improve and save the lives of even more people.
  2. Find Meaning – Death is scary, but choosing to donate your organs will ensure there’s meaning in your death.
  3. Move the List – The organ donation list has over 107,000 people! By donating, you are moving the list so those people can get the help they need and so there’s more room on the list for new people that need help.
  4. Advance Science – Whole body donation to research is how most medical and scientific advancements are made. Your body can be used to study and treat diseases, development new medical procedures, and educate future generations of healthcare providers.

Here are some common reasons to not to donate to help guide your choice, like religion. Many religions forbid organ donation, oftentimes because they believe the body needs to be whole in order to reunite with the soul in the afterlife. The most common religions that discourage organ donation include Native Americans, Shintoists, Confucians, Roma Gypsies, and some Orthodox Jews. There are also personal beliefs. Some feel that organ donation doesn’t save lives, but instead that it only puts off the inevitable. Organ donation is your choice, so this belief is well within your right. Certain diseases or conditions including HIV, heart or kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes make organ donation unsafe for the donor and the recipient, and other people choose not to donate because of distrust.

Many people don’t want to donate their organs because they’re worried that medical professionals won’t work as hard to save their life so the doctors can harvest their organs. They don’t trust that doctors or hospitals will look out for their best interests. Also, others don’t want to donate because they don’t have any control over the recipient. In most cases, organ donors have no control over who will receive their organs or tissues. Instead, organs go to the next person on the list, no matter the donor’s preferences. Whether any or all of these reasons apply to you, or you’re not comfortable donating for another reason, you don’t have to do it. Simply make sure your family and loved ones are aware of and understand your feelings.

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Organ, tissue, and body donation is a personal choice. No one can decide for you, and no choice is wrong. Do you want to learn more about body donation or Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help.

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Fast Facts About Urns

If you’re like most people, the first time you’ve ever thought about cremation urns is right before or after a cremation service in Oakland, CA. But it always better to be prepared. Here is a list of things you should know about cremation urns to help you get ready for the death of a loved one or to prepare for your own passing.

  1. Use exterior measurements for placement. Do check an urn’s exterior measurements to make sure that it will fit in the place of your choosing. For example, if you want to house the urn in a columbarium niche, make sure it fits the niche’s dimensions. Or, if you want to keep the urn on your mantle, ensure it’s not too wide or too tall to fit safely.
  2. You can pre-purchase urns. If you’re planning for your own eventual passing, you can prepurchase a cremation urn. This way, you’ll not only ensure that you get the urn that you want but you will also take one thing off your loved one’s to-do list. Simply store your urn in a box until its needed.
  3. Capacity is important. While you should check an urn’s exterior measurements to see if it will suit your needs, you also need to check its capacity to make sure it will fit the cremains. Many urns have decorative edges or accents, making exterior dimensions useless when it comes to determining the urn’s interior size. Always double check an urn’s interior dimensions before you make a purchase.
  4. The funeral home will transfer the remains for you. Since funeral homes are required to use a cremation container of your choosing, they will transfer the cremated remains into that container for you.
  5. A Cremation urn is just a container. An urn can be whatever kind of container you want or need it to be. As long as the container can hold the cremated remains, it counts as a cremation urn.
  6. You can rent an urn for a service. If you only want to have an urn for a funeral or memorial service, you can rent one. This is a great way to save money if you’d rather use the expensive, fancy urn for the service but want to scatter, bury, or otherwise inter the ashes afterward. Most funeral homes or cremation providers have a selection of urns you can rent, so check with your provider.
  7. You don’t have to buy a cremation urn from a funeral home or cremation provider. While its often very convenient to get a cremation urn from your provider, you don’t have to. You can buy an urn online, at a store, or wherever you can find one. You can also make an urn or use the one that comes free with the cremation.

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Do you need help planning an Oakland, CA cremation service? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to assist. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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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.

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All About the Five Stages of Grief

The five stages of grief are a well-known blueprint that helps people understand how they grief and offers guidance on how to get through a loss and a cremation service in Oakland, CA. Keep reading to learn more about the stages and how they might be able to help you.

 

Grief doesn’t come all at once or all in the same way, it often moves through stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychologist, first developed these five stages in 1969 to help illustrate that fact that, while every human experience grief differently, almost everyone moves through one or many of these five stages at some point in the grieving process. Some people might move through all, others just one, and more still might experience only a few.

 

While it’s not a comprehensive guideline, the 5 stages of grief do help, comfort, and basic understanding of how we experience grief and how that experience changes over time. The order of the five stages isn’t necessarily important, as people might experience them in varying orders and intensities, even moving back and forth between them.

 

Denial is when you don’t want to believe or an unable to believe that your loved one has died. The “this can’t be happening to me” reaction is very normal, and is usually the first reaction after a loss. Denial can also come in the form of telling people you’re fine even though you’re not because you’re denying your true feelings of grief. Anger generally sets in when you realize you can’t deny or fight the loss any longer. You might become angry at the people around you, taking your anger out on doctors and nurses who “failed” your loved one or on yourself for making a mistake that might have led to or worsened the situation. Some even direct their anger toward God or a higher power.

 

Bargaining is when you deny the truth by trying to change it. It might manifest as trying to get the doctors to bring in another expert or try a new treatment, or as pleading with God or a higher power for more time or a different outcome. Like the name sounds, depression is when you feel hopeless or that you can’t go on because of the loss. You might feel overwhelmed, alone, and lost.

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The final stage, acceptance is where you come to terms with the fact that your loved one is or is going to be gone. The grief and pain don’t go away in this stage, but you do accept and feel those feelings. When you reach the fifth stage of grief, you begin to plan on how you will move on with your life.

 

The five stages of grief are a helpful tool for anyone dealing with a loss or a service at an Oakland, CA funeral home. Do you need help with your needs in this time of loss? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here. Call or visit us today.

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Cremation Services Vs. Burial in Oakland, CA

While traditional burial is still very popular for many reasons, there are many who prefer cremation services in Oakland, CA. In fact, some might argue that cremation is quickly becoming the standard for final disposition. But why? To better understand cremation’s popularity and to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you, here are some of the benefits of cremation over burial:

  • Choosing the Service Time – With traditional burial, you’re pretty much limited to the standard service timeline of a few days to a week after the death. This can feel like a ticking clock that only adds to the stress of a death. However, cremation allows for much more flexibility when it comes to scheduling a service, providing you with the time and ability to plan a service that works with your needs.
  • Saving Land – The world’s population is only growing, but the world itself is not. This makes land a very valuable resource that, in some people’s view, shouldn’t be used for burials. Cremation is a wonderful solution to this issue as it does not take up any land at all.
  • Choosing the Final Resting Place – A burial means that your lost loved one’s final resting place will be a cemetery. Cremation, on the other hand, allows for a low more flexibility when choosing a final resting place. From an urn kept at home or in a columbarium to scattering at sea or in a special location, your loved one’s final resting place can be almost anything with cremation.
  • Keep Loved Ones Near – Cremation also allows you to make cremation jewelry so you can always keep your lost loved one close to you. Cremation jewelry can be one of two things: one, a jewelry item made with some kind of container that holds a small portion of the cremains or two, a jewelry item that was made with some of the remains infused with the metal.
  • Portability – Since cremation reduces remains into the smallest possible components, the process makes remains incredibly portable. This means that, unlike with burial, cremation allows you to bring your lost loved one with you if you so choose, whether that means on a hike for you to scatter them in a favorite spot or even when you go on vacation, so they’ll be always near you.
  • No Embalming – Embalming is almost always required for burial, but many embalming techniques use a chemical called formaldehyde that’s very bad for the environment. Cremation allows you to skip embalming entirely, which helps the planet in the long run.
  • Cost – In many cases, a full-service funeral with a cremation can cost about half as much as a full-service funeral with a traditional burial. Direct cremations and cremations with memorial services can bring that total cost down even further.

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Remember, there is nothing wrong with burial and it’s still a wonderful final disposition method if it’s what you want.

These are just a few of the many benefits of cremation over traditional burial. Do you want to learn more about Oakland, CA cremation services? Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.