A Guide to Choosing a Cemetery Site for Your Loved Ones in San Diego

A Guide to Choosing a Burial Place for Your Loved Ones in San Diego

When it comes to the final resting place for your loved ones, you only need the best. Here is a guide to choosing a burial place in San Diego.

You can ensure that you or your loved one rests peacefully by choosing the right cemetery site in Greater Chula Vista. 

When someone passes, the first thing that you or your family must figure out is where to bury them. 

Many people make burial arrangements while they’re alive. However, some do not. In this case, you need to consider where you or your loved one wants to go for a final resting place. 

Choosing a burial location is one of the most important parts of planning for the end of life. In these uncertain times, preparing for death beforehand can prove beneficial. 

Read on to learn how to choose the right burial place for you or your loved one.

Choosing Between a Public vs. Private Burial Place 

Some people prefer to get buried in their neighborhood. Others, however, want to rest where they grew up or where they were born. 

It’s also vital to think about how close the burial site is for family members. These are the individuals who will most likely need to get there more often. 

You’ll also need to consider any special rules enforced by the cemetery. Also, you’ll need to think about special religious requirements for you or your loved one. 

The most common type of cemetery is the public cemetery. These institutions are owned independently or by a corporation. 

It’s easy enough to connect with an area funeral home to find a local cemetery. However, you must think about things such as the location, cost, and appearance of the burial site. 

Another kind of burial place is a private cemetery. A church or other nonprofit organization typically owns this kind of plot. 

If you or a loved one wants to spend your final days in a religious cemetery, you can start by talking to a church representative. Religious leaders can direct you to affiliated plots. 

Government-Run Cemeteries 

Alternatively, you or a loved one may want to come to rest at a district a municipal cemetery. The city or the county typically owns this kind of institution. 

There are several municipal cemeteries in and around Chula Vista. However, it’s not always easy to secure a plot in one. Often, they’re full or sold out. 

Some areas use municipal cemeteries for people who cannot afford burial costs. You can find a municipal cemetery by contacting your local town clerk or city hall. 

If you or your loved one is a veteran, you can opt for a national or veteran cemetery. These are government-run institutions dedicated to burials for veterans and their family members. 

If you want a VA burial, your funeral home can make the arrangements. Typically, a veteran cemetery includes the plot, opening and closing of the burial site, and ongoing care. 

It also includes the headstone and military honors. Military honors include the presenting of the flag, the playing of Taps, and the attendance of uniformed military personnel. 

Considering Where Your Loved One Wants to Be Buried 

A burial plot is a final resting place. If you need to find cemetery plots, you must consider the location carefully. 

It’s secure, sacred, and public. A burial plot is a place to preserve the buried or cremated remains of a person.

Institutions typically mark burial plots with a plaque or headstone. The headstone includes information such as the person’s name, their birth date, and their death date. 

Even in death, human beings deserve respect. This circumstance applies whether the remains were cremated or buried as is. 

A burial plot is a way to honor the life of someone who has passed. It also celebrates a person’s life as people honored them while they were living. 

Burial sites are a special place for you, family members, and friends to gather and commemorates someone. For many, they offer a sense of closure. Burial plots give people somewhere to direct their feelings of loss. 

A burial site is also someplace that allows people to express their grief after someone passes. It’s a place that enables people to begin to heal. 

It’s important to put considerable thought into a final resting place. The right resting place enables friends and family members to mourn appropriately. 

Burial sites also provide families with a legacy. It’s a place for families to honor their heritage. For this and other reasons, it’s vital to select the right burial plot. 

People will visit this location for generations. By choosing the right burial site, you’ll provide your friends and family members with a gift that lasts for years. 

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone 

Sometimes, it’s difficult to choose a burial location. For some, it’s challenging to make decisions after the loss of a loved one. 

For others, burial planning is too much to bear. In either case, funeral home personnel can help you to select a final resting place.

They can also help you choose an appropriate headstone or plaque. Their experience will make selecting a final resting place more comfortable and fulfilling. 

How to Find Cemetery Plots in Chula Vista 

It may take a few tries to find the funeral home that you like the most. Once you find one, you should share this information with your family. 

As in life, a loss is all about family. La Vista Memorial Park is the only family-owned and operated memorial park situated in San Diego County. 

Our family will put your family first. We have served Greater Chula Vista for more than a decade and a half. La Vista Memorial Park will fulfill your family’s needs with compassion, guidance, and warmth. 

If you need to choose a burial place for either you or a loved one in Greater Chula Vista, contact us today. We are standing by to serve your needs.

Writing an obituary is a way of honoring a loved one that lives on in printed copies and online versions for years. You want it to capture the person’s essence and serve as a meaningful tribute.

The first printed death notices started in the British colonies in the 1500s. Death notices and obituaries evolved over the centuries, starting as short notices when printing was time-consuming.

In the early 20th century, obituaries were written as poems with rhyming lines. Modern obituaries often tell stories and celebrate the life of the deceased. Obituaries come in all types, lengths, and styles, so you can add a personal touch to what you write.

Paid obituaries vary in price, often based on length. They can cost $200 to $600 for a shorter obituary or over $1,000 to print a longer obituary. While you don’t want to cut the tribute short, consider the length of what you write and how it might affect the price if cost is an issue.

Use these steps below to write an obituary fitting for your loved one.

Decide on a Tone

You’ve no doubt seen viral obituaries online laced with humorous stories. Sometimes family members are brutally honest, opening up about drug abuse or suicide that took the life of a loved one. These kinds of obituaries have a very distinct tone that departs from the more formal and traditional tone.

The obituary you write doesn’t have to be wickedly funny, brutally honest, or otherwise viral-worthy, but it’s a good idea to decide on an overall tone for the piece before you start writing.

Do you want to keep it formal and somber, or do you prefer to make it sound more like a celebration of life? Do you want to reflect the constant joking nature your loved one showed throughout life?

Write Notes

Start with a list of facts, details, and stories from the person’s life. Start with the basic facts that you can research if you don’t already know the information. Such information should include the birth date, birth place, full name, marriage date, family members, date of death, and death location.

Include information about careers, retirement, and major life accomplishments. You might include hobbies or volunteer activities the person did.

These notes give you the framework for the obituary, but you shouldn’t simply list them. Just reciting facts skips the personal connection and doesn’t really show who the person was. Use facts to tell stories about the person in a meaningful way while giving the important details.

Start With the Basics

Most obituaries start with the basic biographical information about the person. Include as much or as little detail as you feel the person would want you to share. Some people choose to list the cause of death, while others simply list the death date.

Tell Stories

Making the obituary meaningful comes from sharing personal stories and expressing what made the person unique. Take the details of the person’s life and share them in an engaging way that makes the person’s story interesting.

Instead of just saying your mother worked as a nurse, you might relate a story of a particular patient or talk about how she changed the lives of her patients. You could share how she stumbled into nursing by accident, or you might talk about her accomplishments in the field.

Talk to Other People

If you’re the person writing the obituary, you’re likely very close to the deceased and have plenty of information about the person, but you also have a limited perspective. Talking to other loved ones and close friends gives you different stories about how others viewed your loved one.

Maybe your dad was handy around the house and always fixed things, but what you didn’t realize is that he also helped neighbors fix things in their homes. Other people may think of your dad’s generous spirit always helping a neighbor or family member in need. They may admire the way he was always able to figure out what was wrong with something and fix it.

If you’re writing about a parent, it can help to talk to older family members who may have more insight about the earlier years. Memories from your childhood are probably differently from what others remember from that period of time, and other people will know all the stories from before you were born.

Talking to other family members and friends can give you more details and more stories to share. It can help you get a better sense of how other people think of your loved one to help you capture that sentiment in the obituary.

Point Out What Is Special

If you feel like you’re just listing accomplishments, consider what makes the person special to you. What do you think of most when you remember the person? It’s probably not where they went to school or how long they worked at a certain company.

Your loved one’s personality, traditions you shared together, special trips you took and memories you made together are all what made that person special to you.

Share personal details to show what makes the person special. Remember, the obituary lives on. Think about what you want to reminisce about when you reread the obituary in a few years.

Decide Who to List

Another common part of an obituary is a list of family members and close friends. Who you list depends largely on the relationship with the person and the number of people in the person’s life.

The relatives listed are usually those who are closest, such as parents, grandparents, siblings, and children.

If someone has 35 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, you won’t likely list every one of them. The obituary would become overly long. Instead of listing everyone, you can list the number of each type of relative the person had, such as 5 nephews and 7 nieces, and so on.

Sometimes a close friend should be on the list, if the person was special to the deceased. This might include someone who was in a romantic relationship with the person who passed away, or a platonic friend who was especially close.

Writing an Obituary

Losing a loved one is traumatic, and writing an obituary can be a difficult and sad experience. Knowing what to include and adding personal touches to honor the person will help you write the obituary.

If you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, we’re here to help you make arrangements. We can help you with all of the details of the service.

She brought the tradition of Dia de los Muertos to National City cemetery

LAURIE COSKEY: The San Diego Union Tribune

She is a mother, a spouse, a friend and a businesswoman. She most enjoys bringing life to a cemetery.

Luisa McCarthy says, “When people think of our cemetery, they smile and are filled with their memories, traditions, laughter, and kindness rather than feeling pain or fear or seeing it as the last place you would ever want to visit.”

McCarthy believes it’s because 11 years ago she took a risk and introduced the tradition of Dia de los Muertos to the La Vista Memorial Park in National City that she owns with her spouse, Micaela Polanco. She had never seen the rituals observed here. This was before the jubilant animated Disney fantasy film Coco introduced audiences all over the world to sugar-skull skeletons and brightly colored altars. Many people had no idea what Dia de los Muertos was all about.

Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of life. For McCarthy, who spent her early childhood and many summers in Mexico City, it was tradition to go to her local cemetery on Nov. 1 of each year celebrating children and babies, and on Nov. 2 of each year celebrating adults. Even as a child she became accustomed to going to a party to remember family members who had passed.

They prepared for the party by creating pot luck meals and going to the cemetery, bringing with them their chairs, blankets and the supplies to make the altars dedicated to their loved ones. The cemetery was filled with families who shared their food together as they visited their loved ones and decorated the graves.

“Every one brings marigolds, cards, candles, and pictures. Bright orange and easy to see Marigolds have a potent smell and attract the spirit to the altar. The spirits are out on a long journey, they are thirsty so there is water, they are hungry so there is food, candles light their way and the burning of incense, called Copal, lures the spirits drawing them in. Together the families hire entertainment like Mariachi, Norteño and Marimba music groups that serenade each family for a couple of songs. They create a community visiting their beloveds in joy rather than sadness,” McCarthy said.

They pay tribute to their loved ones by telling stories. The younger generation learns the stories of their families that they would never have known. All the while she says, “We laugh, we cry we tell stories, we get angry sometimes because, after all, we are families.” That’s why she wanted to bring the traditions to La Vista Memorial Park 11 years ago.

She believes that the sacred traditions of Dia de los Muertos are something that can be shared with all nationalities because if there’s something that unites us: the feeling of losing someone we love.

“A skull has no sex, no religion, no gender, it’s just a beautiful soul. So this tradition can be embraced by everyone.”

She is glad to see people of diverse cultures, in addition to Mexican families, attend Dia de los Muertos because by learning and understanding the meanings people want to be part of it.

As the years passed, she noticed that people cared and respected the traditions, and she thought, “It’s working. Somebody cares.” Her intention is to share. She’s very proud of her Mexican and American roots.

With much reverence she tells the story of a husband and wife who had lost their baby boy. Every day since the burial his Dad would go to the cemetery — every day. He asked McCarthy about Dia de los Muertos. She took the liberty of suggesting that they build an altar to their son. He built his altar and thanked her. It was very therapeutic. He was able to talk about his son and share their son with so many people. They cried and they laughed. Now they build an altar for their baby every year.

In a world possibly tuned into technology more consistently than to matters of the heart, establishing the tradition of Dia de los Muertos at La Vista Memorial Park may be therapeutic for all of us.

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There are many ways to lay your loved one to rest. Funeral traditions and death rituals around the world are incredibly fascinating. Some are no longer practiced and some even take place here in the United States.

Here at the La Vista Park & Mortuary San Diego, we like to dive into those funeral traditions and learn everything we can. You wouldn’t believe what we’ve uncovered so far…

La Vista Park & Mortuary San Diego Presents: Fascinating Funeral Customs

Humans have been burying the dead since 60,000 BCE. Since then, superstitions have grown, beginning with the preparation of the body to leading the body to its final resting place.

Some of these superstitions involve carrying the body out of the house feet first so that the spirit could not look back or call upon a family member to follow. Mirrors were covered, family photos were turned over, feet and heads were cut off, mazes to gravesites were created—all to prevent the spirit from coming back.

There are more funeral traditions than we can count on our hands, let alone think up. Some cultures eat their dead, some exhume the bodies, and some lend the bodies and themselves to the elements.

Below are a few funeral customs far and wide, that we found the most fascinating.

The New Orleans Jazz Funeral

Right below the Mississippi River is a fusion of West African, French, and African American traditions. This funeral tradition involves a procession of pallbearers, family of the deceased, and jazz musicians parading the deceased in a disorganized pattern around the city streets.

The procession begins with melancholy tunes and quickly turns into upbeat jazz rhythms and feverous dancing led by a big horn band. This is done to confuse the spirit so that it cannot find its way back to the body once it’s laid at its final resting place.

The Tibetan Sky Burial

The Vajrayana Buddhists of Tibet and Mongolia view dead bodies as empty vessels as the soul moves on. In order to return the empty vessel to earth, the body is chopped up into small pieces and strewn across mountains tops.

This practice allows the body to be exposed to the elements as well as vultures who feed off of the parts. This is a very old practice that lives on after thousands of years.

Madagascar’s Famdihana: The Turning of the Bones

The Famadihana—the turning of the bones—is one of the most famous funeral traditions. The Malagasy people of Madagascar have a celebration every five or seven years in which they celebrate their ancestors.

Families will hold these celebrations in their ancestral crypts. The bodies of their former relatives which are wrapped in cloth are exhumed and sprayed with perfume or wine. There is live music, and the family members commence in a dance with the bones of their relatives.

This is also a way for them to “communicate” with their loved ones to pass on news or ask for blessings. It’s also a time to tell stories of their ancestors to pass on their memory.

The Lavish Cremations of Bali

Balinese tradition holds that cremation allows the soul to be released from the body.  From there, it is free to become reincarnated into a new body to live on. As a result, the Balinese people celebrate their cremations, sometimes by cremating multiple bodies at once.

This ritual is considered the most important ceremony in a person’s life, and so it is a sacred celebration. Therefore, no expense is spared.

Ghana’s Fantasy Coffins

In Ghana, a regular coffin just won’t do. The people of Ghana believe that their coffins should be a representation of their life’s work or passions. This tradition came about around 60 years ago, inspired by some very talented carpenters.

These fantasy coffins have been shaped like planes, cars, fish, boats—nearly everything you can think of.

The South Korean Burial Beads

Since the year 2000, South Korea required that graves of loved ones had to be removed after 60 years due to space issues. Since then, cremation has become a very popular method.

What’s more popular than ashes is the process of compressing those ashes into beautiful beads that take on the colors of turquoise, pink, or black. The death beads are made into jewelry or displayed in the home by the relatives of the deceased.

The Viking Funerals of Yore

This is one of those burial rites that are no longer in practice—and for good reason. These funeral traditions were said to be a very brutal affair. The ritual involved a temporary burial of the Viking Chieftan while new funeral clothes were prepared.

During this time, one of the Chief’s slave girls would volunteer to give herself to each of the Viking males in the settlement. After this part of the ritual, she was then strangled and stabbed to death by the village matriarch. She would then be laid beside the Chief’s body on a wooden ship to be set on fire and sent down a body of water.

How Would You Choose to Be Buried?

Many of us don’t think about the afterlife or how we even want to be remembered. Exploring death rituals around the world is a good way to put things into perspective. Many believe that death is not finite because the soul lives on, and all of our ancestors are around us.

La Vista Memorial Park & Mortuary San Diego believes in honoring and commemorating your loved ones with a special place that reflects the beauty of their life. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to get in touch with us.

Losing someone is never an easy process. It often feels like the end of a chapter that you might not have been ready to close. Sometimes losing a loved one comes out of nowhere which gives you little or no time to seek necessary closure. While this is an extremely difficult experience to go through, we don’t always give ourselves the care and consideration to grieve properly. Oftentimes people would rather bottle up their emotions in an effort to skip over any feelings of grief or sorrow that they might have. However, avoiding the grieving process delays the healing that the grieving process offers.

It’s important that you experience all the emotions of grief to heal correctly. San Diego funeral homes understand the weight-bearing journey you are going through as you grieve, and we at La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary would like to aid you with this article, so you might allow yourself permission to heal.

Grieving Is Necessary

Experiencing loss vicariously is a daily practice when one works at San Diego funeral homes as we sensitively work every day to help people in their times of need. We understand when we see those who choose not to show emotion in an effort to appear strong — strength certainly is needed when experiencing loss. We hear those who say emoting is unhelpful to them, as it won’t bring their loved one back. Although you can’t change the past, refusing to express your emotions leads to challenges in your future. Rather, we would like to gently guide you as you necessarily grieve, as we can help you confront your loss head-on. We believe your strength applied towards stoicism is slightly misplaced.

When it comes to healing, experiencing the ranges of emotion in grief simply has no replacement. One cannot heal their emotional trauma without showing emotion, just as one cannot heal a physical wound without physically showing it. Experiencing loss is a natural occurrence in life, and the emotions that come with this experience are normal as well. Allow us to help you normalize these emotions as you grieve, so you might heal easier.

Unpacking Emotions

On most days, we all experience small, ordinary obstacles that require small, ordinary problem-solving. Each obstacle makes you feel a particular way. This feeling can be happiness when it’s a good problem to solve, or we can feel neutrality, such as when we tie our shoes. Through our days, we typically have at least some recognition for the emotions which accompany each event we come across, and each small practice of self-awareness helps us continue through our rituals.

Experiencing loss certainly does not qualify as a daily experience, however, the emotions which accompany loss need acknowledgment all the same. Some emotions like anger, rage, or regret can fester into larger health complications if they are swept under the rug into your mind’s unconscious. These emotions left undealt follow people throughout their lives and create seemingly inescapable toxic cycles. Negative emotions can actually cause stress, tension, and other physical ailments in the body as they build to unhealthy levels.

Give yourself the green light to unpack these emotions and allow yourself to feel each one of them without restrictions. Unpacking your emotions liberates you from physical and emotional health problems in your immediate and long-term future.

Taking Care of Yourself

Staff at San Diego funeral homes understand that experiencing loss can send people into a downward spiral of depression and anxiety. This is normal. Most people lose motivation and the ability to handle basic responsibilities. Mundane activities become nearly impossible, and people begin to get behind on life in general.

The problem with this is that when you finally come up to get things on track, you’ll be faced with a mountain of extra tasks. This could cause you to go back into a depressive state. It’s important to take care of yourself as much as possible while you are healing from loss.

Before accidentally beginning a downward spiral, make a special collection of small efforts to improve your emotional and physical health. When you express your emotions with healthy outlets rather than stumbling into bad habits as a consequence of regressing, you will meet your daily challenges with vigor rather than lethargy. While it’s difficult to try something new at a time like this, life doesn’t just stop and wait for anyone.

Attempt to clean up regularly, meditate, and eat healthy meals that create the energy and positive mindset you will need as you grieve. Try new hobbies, pick up a new sport, or create a workout routine. Write in a journal and find creative ways to get the difficult feelings out of your body. Look into painting, dance, music, or other artistic forms of therapy Healthy choices, productive habits, exercise, and creative expression helps you to create more emotionally stable moments needed for leverage against despair. All these ways to take care of yourself are coping strategies to help you get back to living your daily life.

Finding Support Systems

When you’ve lost a loved one, likely you are a part of a community that has lost him or her, too. Trustworthy friends and family members grieving alongside you are the support system you need to heal.

Lean on a shoulder and cry if you need to. Allow people to make safe spaces for you to be vulnerable and receive love and comfort. This can be scary, as vulnerability necessarily opens you to potential hurt feelings. Keep maintaining healthy boundaries, but more critically at this time, don’t push others away in an effort to protect yourself. It’s a challenging balance, but vulnerability is necessary to experience the range of emotions in grief.

Grief therapists offer help to those who seek counseling. San Diego funeral homes offer amazing support for those who come to put their loved ones to rest. They know the importance of providing considerate assistance during these difficult times and make planning funeral services as easy as possible.

Meet your fear of opening up to those around you about how you’re feeling with courage, and tell your loved ones in which way each may help and guide you. In doing so, you may hear from them ways you can help them heal as well. Being a part of your support system means creating opportunities to both help and be helped.

Giving It Time

Each day is unpredictable when you lose a loved one. Also unpredictable is how long the grieving process will take; it’s different for everyone. A common pitfall to maneuver around, however, is to rush one’s grief — which will inevitably extend the difficulties of your journey. Instead, offer yourself enough time to experience each grieving stage as you need. Exhaustion from grief needs to be met with proper rest and relaxation; if you need to clear your mind, take time off work or school. Time is necessary to make the grieving process less burdensome, so long as you put in proper effort towards mindfulness.

San Diego Funeral Homes Can Help

Losing a loved one is always difficult, but you can return to normal life healthy by grieving. It takes mindfulness, habit-creation, your community, time, and added effort away from potentially destructive behaviors. While your situation is difficult, be present through it and permit yourself to grieve. You owe it to yourself to properly heal; you owe it to your wellness, your future, and your surrounding loved ones. Permit yourself to express rather than repress.

We at La Vista Memorial Park, family-owned and operated since 1868, have decades of experience helping our San Diego community in such difficult times. If you’re looking to make arrangements for a loved one and need extra assistance from San Diego funeral homes, contact us today for the care and service you and your family needs.

Honoring the memory of a loved one tests one’s endurance, as doing the best job possible requires channeling fortitude during a time of immense emotional fatigue.

A funeral is the traditional and perhaps obvious choice, but it only lasts for one day. An online memorial, however, lasts for as long as you wish, and is an increasingly popular choice among those responsible for arrangements. Since they are a relatively new creation, learning how to create one isn’t common knowledge.

If you want to build an online memorial but don’t know how to begin, you’re in luck. We’re going to help you build one that any recently departed loved one would be proud of

Why Do an Online Memorial?

Online memorials are made to pair with a funeral, rather than to supplant one. As you make arrangements for a funeral service, you may be wondering why an online memorial is an increasingly popular choice and if it is right for you to create one, too. Overall, it’s inexpensive, simple, and lasting.

Accessibility is one benefit. Perhaps the deceased had loved ones who would like to attend the funeral, but can’t because of previous obligations or impossible logistics. But if an online memorial has been arranged, they still have an opportunity to mourn and pay their respects, absent attending the service.

Also, unlike a traditional funeral-only arrangement, an online memorial allows those who wish to pay their respects several modern ways to express themselves. With the features to share photos and publish touching stories, an online memorial works a social platform for remembering a lost one, and a choice which creates impact lasting far longer than floral arrangements.

6 Tips for Creating An Online Memorial

For those who have decided to create a moving online memorial but have no idea where to begin, in this article are 6 tips which will introduce you to and guide you through the painless process during a painful time.

One doesn’t require web design experience, nor be a funeral director to build a memorial online which will allow an ailing community to comfort and be comforted. If you’re going to create a memorial of your own, make sure you keep these 6 things in mind.

1. Buy a Domain

An online memorial is simply, at its core, a website. And like any website, one requires a domain, which is the address (or URL) of a website people can locate what is created online.

While free domains are available, buying a custom domain means one can title an online memorial anything. Some who make arrangements choose to name an online memorial the deceased’s full name, or perhaps his or her commonly referred-to nickname.

While choosing a free option has its obvious upside, you have to share the URL with the domain registrar, which makes it difficult to find the memorial. Most custom domains cost a reasonable fee, some less than $20 annually.

2. Expand on the Obituary

Online memorials offer an opportunity to publish an obituary. Traditionally published obituaries on newspapers — or more recently funeral home sites — charge fees for space and length, which restricts one who writes an obituary from expressing grief in a healthy way.

While publishing an obituary in a newspaper is still a good idea for many, one who makes arrangements with an online memorial can also publish the same obituary online, where he or she is at liberty to express themselves more fully.

Online obituaries also offer comment sections, where those in mourning may include memories of their own, or share compassionate sentiments with one another.

3. Consider Using Social Media

f your loved one has not created a social media presence, in the present day, many of whom are grieving their loss are active on social media and are searching for a profile of the recently departed to comment on.

One who makes arrangements should consider accessing the departed’s social media accounts, or create one of the behalf of him or her, to more easily facilitate those who wish to grieve on common social media platforms.

In addition, creating social sharing buttons to an online memorial makes it easy for the community to share the site amongst their own personal network, which can reach even more people.

4. Use a Quality Scanner for Photos

As previously mentioned, online memorials offer the opportunity to share photos of your loved one amongst his or her grieving community, and his or her survivors likely have a collection of cherished, photographed memories they would like to share.

However, it is likely that many in the collection of photos are physical copies rather than digital. Use of a scanner will digitize these physical copies, but make sure it performs high-quality scans in effort to honor the deceased memory.

Those who lack access to a suitable scanner can try using a scanning app on their phone before making an expensive purchase of a real scanner.

5. Think About What They Loved

The passing a loved one is an emotionally wrought affair. While one expects to attend a funeral to express grief, sadness, and anger; what is less often acknowledged are the more joyous moments experienced in a funeral that release the tension, such as a portrait of a loved one flashing a pearly-white smile, or a serendipitous story told to elicit a brief laugh.

To supplement a similar experience digitally for an online memorial, honor the memory of a loved one by incorporating what your loved one once enjoyed.

Some things to consider may be a song from their favorite musician, a plant from their beloved garden, or some art they poured the soul into. Design an online memorial that represents the joy your loved one once experienced or created.

6. Add a Comment Wall

The stories the community brings and shares when gathering together to remember a respected member who passed in a funeral can be digitally recreated as well.

As mentioned further above, a comment section is a feature in an online memorial, and it is key for the community to interact with one another.

A comment section is an easy way for people to share memories. When finding a comment feature, find one with a built-in spam detector.

Unfortunately, robots are on the web looking for comment sections on any kind of website to spam advertisements, and moderating a comment section while in any circumstance is draining work.

Reach Out

Building a beautiful online memorial is something anyone that wants to honor their loved one can do. If you follow the tips in this post you’ll have a memorial you can be proud of.

One who makes arrangements can handle creating a digital memorial for a loved one, but anyone planning their service and final resting place should have help available.

Whether you need advice on burial methods or want help planning a beautiful service, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can find the right way to honor your loved one.

Losing a parent may seem like an insurmountable challenge. While you have to find your own way to mourn, family close to you are dealing with grief all the same.

The death of a spouse can be devastating physically and emotionally. While you may be missing one parent, your surviving parent miss them just as much as you do.

You want to know how to help your grieving parent, but you aren’t sure where to start. While you endure so many difficult feelings and emotions, it’s difficult to know what you can say or do to that will help your mother or father.

Knowing the right thing to say is hard, but we can help point you in the right direction.

How to Help a Grieving Parent: Our 5 Tips

The loss of a parent can affect everyone in the family. Your siblings and your own children may have their own feelings, but the grief your living parent feels is unique.

While you’re busy helping with funeral arrangements and tending to your own grief, you need to make the time to be there for your living parent.

If you’re struggling with how to comfort your parent, we’re here to help. As your family goes through the grieving process remember to keep these things in mind.

1. Let Them Know It’s Okay to Open Up

You may be an adult with your own spouse and family, but to mom or dad, you’ll always be their child.

Some parents may feel like they need to put up a strong front when they’re dealing with the death of their spouse. They may feel like they can’t express their sadness because they’re worried about how you would react.

Let them know that even though you may personally feel sadness, you still want them to be open and honest about their feelings.

They need to know they always welcome to cry around you or talk to you. Let them know that it’s okay to express their grief to you, and that there’s no need to appear tough.

2. Make Sure They’re Taken Care Of

Your parents may have had a way of doing things for decades, and now their day-to-day activities have been disrupted.

Perhaps the recently departed may have been in charge of paying the bills and doing repairs around the house, or they may have been in charge of keeping things clean and cooking meals.

In the weeks immediately following their death, it may be easier for you to assume some of those duties. Helping out can put your surviving parent at ease, and it also gives you a good idea of what needs to be taken care of.

Some may find that it’s easier to take on the roles that were left open after the death of their parent, but some of the work may be too much for one person to handle.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for extra help once some time has passed. Sometimes hiring a maid or even a home care nurse can help both you and your parent retain some independence.

3. Get Ready for Candid Talk

Remember, you’re an adult now, and your surviving parent may be eager to talk to you on a different level now that their spouse has passed. Be prepared for some difficult conversations about relationships.

Your surviving mother may express some regrets about how their husband worked long hours. It’s possible that your surviving father may talk about how he wished your mother was more nurturing or loving towards you and your siblings.
If things are getting too intense for you, feel free to ask to change the subject. Just be prepared for some potentially difficult conversations about the lives you all shared.

4. Let Them Grieve Their Own Way

Some people may spend days or weeks crying, others may not shed more than a few tears. Your mom or dad may throw themselves into volunteering work or clock long hours at their job, and others may go from being active to staying in.

It’s important to let them express themselves freely and to not pressure them to feel or act a certain way. Grieving takes time, and they’ll need plenty of time and understanding in order to mourn the loss of their spouse.

What you think is right for your parent may not be what they actually need. It’s important to let them figure out this new chapter of their life on their own without additional unneeded pressure from you.

There is no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a loved one, especially the loss of a spouse. As long as your parent isn’t acting in a way that could harm themselves or others, let them express their emotions. Just the same as you need to find your own way to grieve, allow them to give their own way, too.

5. Be Prepared for Special Occasions

The first year can be especially tough when special occasions roll around. For your surviving parent, expect that their first time experiencing a major holiday or milestone without their spouse will be a difficult.

Ask your parent what they want to do when the holidays or birthdays roll around. For example, you may find that a parent who traditionally plays host may want a break this year, or perhaps he or she could be looking for some extra help to get things ready.

Be prepared for their needs for change as they navigate a changed environment. Be open to new traditions and accept that things will be a little different going forward.

Next Steps

There’s no definitive guide on how to help a grieving parent. Every family and family member, including parents, create their own ways to grieve. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is to simply be there for your surviving parent and be open to whatever comes next.

Do you have questions about how to plan a beautiful memorial service for your deceased parent? Are you curious about what burial options are available to you?

We’re always here to help in your time of need. Be sure to contact us today so we can talk about the best way to honor your loved one.

Over 2.6 million people pass away each year, leaving their families to figure out what sort of memorial they would want. If you’re loved one has recently passed, we first want to offer condolences. 

Now you’re faced with the decision of cremation vs. burial. It can be overwhelming to try and make an important decision like this during a time of grief. 

We’ve created a comparison to allow you to consider the pros and cons of each. This way, you can make an informed and logical decision during this emotional time. 

Comparing Costs 

People often opt for cremation over burial because they perceive it to be the cheaper option. In most cases, this is true. However, some extras can increase the cost of the cremation. 

The resulting price will make the cremation equivalent to a basic burial. 

Basic Burial Service 

When you pay for a basic burial service, you will have to pay for a list of services and items: 

  • Base service fee 
  • Embalming  
  • Hearse 
  • Transportation of the body to the funeral home 
  • Preparation of the body 
  • Use of the location and staff for services 
  • Memorial print packages 

Then there are additional curial costs that you can add on. These will increase the cost of the basic service. 

  • Burial vault 
  • Grave plot 
  • Opening and closing fee 
  • Casket 
  • Headstone 

Basic Cremation Service 

You’ll notice that cremation requires a lot fewer services. This is because many of the services included in the burial services are simply not needed for a basic cremation. 

  • Casket rental 
  • Urn 
  • Cremation 

The basic cremation cost will increase as you add on additional services. 

Benefits of Cremation 

Even if you choose cremation, you can still choose to have a funeral service and burial. This gives you the freedom to honor the memory of your loved one in a way that you prefer. 

The process for cremation tends to be faster. Making several decisions can become a difficult and time-consuming process in this time of grief. A cremation can speed up the process because you have fewer decisions to make. 

Once cremated, your family has time to decide what should be done with the ashes. You have a wide variety of options: 

  • Burial in a cemetery 
  • Kept in an urn 
  • Scattered 
  • Internment 
  • Cremation jewelry 
  • Cremation diamonds 

For those concerned about the environment, cremation tends to be the more favorable option. There are environmental contaminants associated with the burial of a casket. 

It will also require a smaller plot of land should you decide to bury your loved one after cremation. This can help address the problem of overcrowding in cemeteries. 

If you don’t want to bury your loved one, cremation allows you to keep your loved one with you. Should your family decide to move, you can bring the urn to your new home. 

Disadvantages of Cremation 

Some religions do not condone cremation. You’ll want to be sure that cremation doesn’t go against your loved one’s faith. 

Cremation is also a permanent decision. There is no open to exhume later on. 

Advantages of Burial 

One of the most significant benefits of having a burial is that it allows the family to grieve and gives closure to them. It also gives them a peaceful place they can come to for a visit with their loved one. 

A burial is considered the traditional and more natural option. Some religions also require it. 

Should a question arise, the body can be exhumed later on. 

Disadvantages of Burial 

One of the biggest disadvantages for people is the bost of a burial. However, a burial can vary significantly in cost. It comes down to how fancy you chose to make the burial and how many extras you opt for. 

Another disadvantage is that once your loved one is buried, it will be difficult for family members who live far away to visit. This will also be the case should you decide to move away one day. 

Respect for the Remains 

One central question that often arises when people are trying to decide between cremation and burial is one of respect. For many, it is about honoring their loved one’s memory, and by extension, their body. 

There are two methods of thinking behind this concern. Some people feel that burial is appropriate to preserve the integrity of the body. Others think that it is disrespectful to allow their loved one’s body to decay underground. 

Before you choose, you need to decide how you, your family, and the individual who passed away would feel about this issue. 

Cremation, Burial, and Religion 

When it comes to religion, each faith has their own take on whether cremation or burial is preferable. 

The church used to say that Catholics should be buried. However, in recent years they have deemed cremation acceptable, but only after funeral rites are performed. 

Most Buddhists chose a cremation because Buddha was cremated. But there is no requirement one way or the other. 

Hindus believe in reincarnation, so at the time of death, the soul leaves the body and enters another. Cremation can help the soul reach Mukti quicker. 

For those who practice Judaism, the Jewish law is explicit; burial is a must. Islam takes this belief and intensifies it. The belief is that cremation is impure. 

Both Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses commonly choose cremation. In fact, cremation is encouraged by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society.

Time to Decide Cremation vs. Burial

When comparing cremation vs. burial, it is important to think about what your loved one would have wanted. After all, this is about honoring their memory. 

Think about what their values and religious beliefs were. This will help you decide which option is the best choice for your loved one. 

Contact us today and let us help you honor your loved one. 

The loss of a loved one can be a tough thing to deal with. In this state of grieving, it is easy to be lost on how to make funeral arrangements.

However, with proper planning, your loved one can be given an honorable last send off. Here, we guide you on what to do when faced with the challenge of planning the whole process of sending off a loved one.

1. Making the Official Announcement

The first step in funeral planning is the official announcement of the passing on of the person. This communication needs to be made to all family members in the most convenient of ways.

It is always advisable to have the family together before making the first announcement, although distance might be a major hindrance in this.

Factoring in this, it may be inevitable to announce some of the family members and friends via the phone. If doing so, ensure that the person is not driving at that particular moment or in a situation that could pose harm in case they are overcome with grief.

For the person making the phone calls, it is also advisable to have a written script to help communicate well.

2. Get The Necessary Documentation

Different states will have different laws that govern how funeral preparations and what steps to take in the event of a death. Here, it is essential to establish if the deceased had any pre-planned funeral plans. If so, reach out to the funeral service that the deceased had registered with.

For the most part, the funeral service will handle most of the things that follow after death has occurred.

If not then register the demise with the local authority or follow any other procedure that might be available to get the death registered.

Additionally, here is where if the deceased was living in a nursing home or any other care for the elderly, you can clear out their remaining stuff and sign any necessary paperwork.

3. Decide on the Type of Service

One of the most crucial aspects of how to plan a funeral is deciding on the type of service the whole ceremony will have.

Essentially, despite our differences in beliefs and culture, there are three major types of service that you can choose from;

a) Funeral service – This is a type of service where there is a religious ceremony held in a place of worship before the body is transported to it is to be interred.
b) Memorial service – This is a type of service that is held after the body has been interred. It usually occurs a few days after the burial or cremation has taken place.
c) Graveside service – This is the most common type of service in funerals. Here, a religious service will be held by the graveside of the deceased shortly before the body is buried. The same also happens before the body is cremated.

4. Choose a Funeral Service and Make Cemetery Arrangements

To help make the funeral planning smooth, it is highly recommended that you go for a funeral service to help you with the crucial planning of the final send-off. For the most part, this type of service is especially important in handling matters such as the transportation of the body and its preservation.

Depending on the culture; whether there will be a body viewing or not, this will determine how the body will be prepared. In most cultures where body viewing is done, the body will be embalmed to preserve it.

In other instances, cosmetic reconstruction might be necessary, but this is costly. The funeral service will help you estimate these costs and therefore come up with the most appropriate option to suit your budget.

The most important thing about a funeral service is that it will be in collaboration with a cemetery. This makes the burial easy. Religious organizations also have such collaborations as nursing homes and hospitals as well.

The funeral service will also handle the transportation of the body. For transportation of family members to attend the burial or cremation ceremony, it is advisable to have a good grasp of the funeral guide offered by the funeral service to know if they have such an arrangement in place.

If not, then this will be upon the family, and it should be assigned to a particular individual to handle.

5. Funeral Arrangements for the Day of the Ceremony

The day of the ceremony is a crucial one. Emotions are high on this day, and it’s therefore advisable that the vital decision should be made before this day arrives.

It would help if you had a checklist of things that need to be done on that day and who will do it. Among the items that need to be on the checklist are;

a) Ushers for the day – Ushers will help in organizing those who are attending the funeral ceremony. These ushers will help with sitting arrangements as well and the distribution of programs.
b) Speakers – The people that are going to speak at the funeral ceremony also need to be pre-selected early on. Not all people called upon to speak will want to. Moreover, it is a good thing to expect the least expected of people to step up.
c) Eulogies – Eulogies need to be written and made available early on for those that will read them.
d) Pallbearers – The pallbearers need to be selected early on. You may have to solve a dilemma if a person requests to be pallbearer but cannot hold the weight of the casket. These people can be arranged for, to walk beside the casket or behind it.

Bidding Goodbye

Once the funeral ceremony has been completed, it is important to finalize on the whole funeral arrangements.

Usually, this will involve bidding goodbye to the people that had attended the funeral ceremony and also decision making on the estate. The guidance of a legal officer is highly recommended in this case. You can invite a lawyer or a funeral director to guide you on this.

Please visit our website for more helpful funeral planning information and news.

Nearly 3 million people die in the US every year. Most families will hold a funeral service to remember the deceased, and it can be a difficult occasion for many.

When you plan to attend a funeral, you’ll want to prepare for proper etiquette and formalities. Wondering what to wear to a funeral? Not sure what to say to the bereaved? Here are some funeral etiquette tips to follow.

Funeral Etiquette Rules to Follow

Funerals are complex occasions that can often be difficult to navigate. Proper rules and customs can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re grieving.

But a funeral is an essential occasion to uphold decorum and show respect. If you’re preparing for going to a funeral, here’s a list of etiquette and funeral protocol to follow.

1. Short and Sweet

Wondering what to say at a funeral? It can be difficult to find the right thing to say. People often find themselves getting tongue-tied when talking to the bereaved.

As a rule, you should keep the funeral talk short and simple. You can say, “My thoughts are with you all” or “My condolences to you and your family” and offer a hug.

2. Wear Something Tasteful

Traditionally, black is the safest color choice to wear to funerals. You can also opt for gray, dark blue, and eggplant but make sure to avoid statement colors.

Remember, attending a funeral isn’t an opportunity to make a bold fashion move. Keep your funeral attire tasteful, simple, and choose muted colors. Avoid overly-casual clothes like shorts, flip-flops, or T-shirts.

3. Send Cards or Flowers

Sympathy cards and flowers are a good idea to send to the bereaved. It shows that you are thinking of them and flowers can be placed near the grave site or used during the service.

You can even send meals to the family to help them as they adjust to life without their loved one. Remember that any small gesture helps when an individual is in mourning.

4. Do Your Research

Funeral ceremonies are ancient rituals that may change according to religious customs. Although death happens to all, the funeral service won’t always be the same.

If you’re attending a religious funeral, you should do some research to avoid a faux pas. For example, flowers aren’t generally sent for a Jewish funeral but instead charity donations are accepted.

A religious funeral happens at a place of worship and may entail customs that are different from yours. As a rule, make sure to be respectful of the customs even if they’re unfamiliar or different.

5. Don’t Treat It Like a Family Reunion

Although you’ll likely be seeing family members for the first time in a long time, a funeral isn’t an opportunity for a family reunion. Avoid taking pictures or joking and laughing as though it’s a fun family gathering. Be respectful of the situation, and definitely skip the social media posts.

6. Keep Children in Check

You may want to bring your children to see distant family members, which is okay as long as you’re being considerate of others. Locate a place to go if your infant starts crying or a toddler gets restless. Be mindful of any noises your kids make during the service.

7. Don’t Answer Your Phone

Most Americans will never go anywhere without their phone in a pocket, but a funeral is the most important time to ignore a cellular device. Make sure your phone is turned off or put into silent mode. Never, ever answer a call during the service or burial.

8. Be on Time

It’s important to arrive on time for a funeral because sneaking in late can cause a disruption. If there are no ushers and you’re not sure where to sit, remember that the seats closest to the front are normally reserved for immediate family.

If you end up being late, enter quietly from a side aisle instead of the center aisle. Anyone taking part in the service should show up 30 minutes early to meet the funeral director or coordinator to review the schedule.

9. Understand the Processional

At most funerals, the coffin will be brought in as part of the processional. The officiant leads, followed by the pallbearers who carry the coffin. Next comes the chief mourner, immediate family, and sometimes close friends.

The service will begin once everyone is seated. Ideally, you should be seated before the formalities begin.

If you’re running late, don’t try to squeeze in during funeral processions. Instead, you should wait until it’s over and then sneak in from the side.

10. Attending the Burial

Unless the family has chosen cremation, the site of the interment will be announced after the service. Either the grave site will be on the place of the worship ground or a processional of cars will drive to the cemetery.

Usually, everyone is welcome to attend the burial unless otherwise specified. If you choose to attend the burial, remember to show the same level of respect during this service as you did during the last.

11. Continue to Check-In

The weeks following a funeral are often the hardest. It’s important to show your sympathy during the event, but don’t forget to check in even after life has returned to normal.

You can ask the bereaved to lunch or give them a call to see how they’re adjusting. Remember that holidays and special anniversaries can often be the most difficult.

12. Don’t Say This…

It’s normal to get tongue-tied when you’re not sure what to say at a funeral. As a rule, avoid platitudes like “He’s in a better place” or “It’ll get easier with time.” Such phrases can often feel insensitive, even if you mean them kindly.

Telling the family that you’re there for them or asking if there’s anything you can do for them is a great way to show that you care. If you’re really struggling, a smile and a hug can go a long way.

Use Empathy and Be Respectful

How we act and what we say during a funeral can either help or upset the bereaved. Death is a difficult thing for everyone, and it’s important to remember to be sensitive to those who are in mourning.

Be careful with what you wear, and prepare your kids for a few hours of quiet listening. Remember that your job is to use empathy towards those around you and to follow funeral etiquette in a respectful manner.

Need more help in preparing for a funeral? Read our list of top funeral planning tips to ease some of the stress of planning a funeral.