Losing someone you love is hard. What makes it more difficult is all the funeral arrangements you have to make. Nobody should have to go through that kind of stress when they’re grieving.

That’s why cremation has become more and more popular. It allows for a little flexibility when planning the funeral service. This flexibility prevents the family from getting quite as overwhelmed by everything.

The benefits of cremation don’t stop there. There are many other factors that people don’t consider.

Read this guide to find out what these factors are before you become set on buying a casket for your loved one.

It’s the Cheaper Option 

Between securing the burial plot, casket, and tombstone, you’ll be out thousands upon thousands of dollars. You can get away with getting a beautiful urn for a few hundred. 

You’ll still pay quite a bit to have the cremation done but it’s not as expensive as traditional burials. You can use the money you save to have a nice memorial for your loved one later. 

Availability

One of the reasons why burials are so expensive is plot availability. Instead of having to find a remaining plot at the cemetery and paying an expensive premium, many people opt for cremation. 

You can take the urn wherever you want and many cemeteries have cremation gardens. It’s a scattering place where the ashes can be placed. Friends and family members will be able to visit the gardens the same as going to a gravesite. 

Cremation is Better for the Environment 

When a person is embalmed, tons of hazardous chemicals are used. These chemicals end up back in the environment and contribute to pollution. If your loved one was environmentally-conscious, that might not be something that they’d want. 

The cremation environmental impact isn’t as bad because chemicals aren’t used. We will say that traditional cremation still releases some emissions into the air. With advances in technology, there are green cremation options available if that’s something that concerns you. 

It’s Easier 

When planning a burial, you’ll have to make service arrangements as well. Doing both can be a bit much when you’re also going through the grieving process. Getting cremated is a little bit easier because you can hold a memorial service instead. 

After the cremation is done, you can take a little time to grieve before you even think about holding the memorial. It can be months later if you really want.

It’s convenient if you have family members or friends who live states away. It gives them time to ask for days off work and make travel arrangements. 

Religions Aren’t as Strict as You Think

For a long time, the reason why many people strayed away from doing cremation is that they believed it was against their religion. Most religions aren’t quite as strict as you may think, however. 

For example, Catholics believe that a person’s soul isn’t dependent on their body. This means that their soul isn’t damaged during the cremation process. 

Flexibility 

Once someone is buried, that’s it. You leave flowers at their headstone and visit when you can. Cremation allows you to get more creative. You can scatter the ashes at a location that they loved. 

You could make cremation jewelry that you can take everywhere with you or plant a tree. You can also divide up the ashes and send them home with loved ones. 

Cremation Jewelry 

Being able to remember your loved one is no longer limited to keeping their urns on your fireplace mantle. You can carry them everywhere with you by having memorial jewelry made. 

It’s a piece of jewelry that has a small inner chamber that can hold a pinch of ashes. You can keep them close to your heart by getting a necklace. There are rings and bracelets available as well. 

Divide the Ashes

Cremation urns come in all shapes and sizes. This includes smaller keepsake urns that will allow you to divide up the ashes. Several family members will have part of the deceased that they can take home with them. 

If you’re planning on scattering your loved one’s ashes, keepsake urns will allow everyone to participate in the event. You can keep some of the ashes in a smaller urn and scatter the rest as well. 

Plant a Tree 

Was the deceased passionate about the planet? Go for a green burial option by getting a biodegradable urn. A beautiful tree will sprout out of the ground. 

It gives a physical place to go when you’re missing your loved one and it’s honestly just a beautiful tribute to a person’s life. 

Urns are Portable 

If you’re moving to another state, you may have to take a plane home to go to a gravesite. Urns are portable. You can pack them up and take them on the road with you. 

If you don’t like the urn on the mantle, you can pick it up and move it to a side table. Going on vacation and want to take your loved one with you? Take the turn to the vacation home. 

If your loved one’s final wish before they died was to see the world, you can grant it by putting the urn in a camper and heading out. 

Benefits of Cremation You May Not Know About 

It’s hard to make burial arrangements and go through the grieving process at the same time. That’s why many are turning to cremation. It’s a lot cheaper and you can use the money you save to plan a beautiful memorial service. 

As you can see, there are countless benefits of cremation. Contact us today to make arrangements and find out more about our services. 

If you are looking for a funeral home for a loved one who passed away, you should know your options. Consider these factors when choosing funeral homes.

Are you searching for a funeral home for a loved one who has recently passed away? Or, maybe you’ve decided to settle on a funeral home for yourself long before it’s needed?

Choosing a funeral home can be a tough decision. And unfortunately, not all funeral homes are created equal. 

So, how do you decide?

Check out this guide to discover the top factors to consider when choosing funeral homes. 

1. Services 

Each funeral home offers different services, so it’s important to check with each funeral home to see what they offer. Oftentimes, you can find a list of a funeral home’s services on their website.

Here are some services to consider:

  • Facilities for a memorial service
  • Obituary writing services
  • Cremation/burial
  • Arranging musical requests
  • Taking care of floral arrangements 
  • Providing information to friends and family members
  • Dealing with paperwork for burial or cremation
  • Recording donations received
  • Arranging for staff and vehicles for funeral and burial services
  • Accepting donations for specified charities
  • Setting up catered meals at another location following the funeral

Of course, you’ll likely find that you don’t need all of these services for the funeral you’re planning. So, make a list of the services that are a must-have before you begin your research. 

2. Reputation

It’s also very important to select a funeral home with a good reputation. A good funeral home will be with you every step of the way through your planning. While planning a funeral is never easy, the right funeral home will help make the process less stressful. 

To find a funeral home with a good reputation, we recommend that you start by asking for recommendations from friends and family members. Once you’ve gathered a list of recommendations, go online to see what others have to say. 

People often leave reviews on Google My Business or directly on the funeral home’s website. You can also call the Better Business Bureau to make sure that the funeral home you’re considering is in good standing. 

3. Religious or Cultural Needs 

If you have certain religious or cultural customs that you’d like to observe during the funeral, it’s very important that you check that the funeral home can provide for you. 

For example, if you come from a culture that has large events surrounding the funeral, you’ll need to make sure that the funeral home you choose has the space to accommodate your needs. 

If religion is your main concern, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are many funeral homes these days that cater to specific religious needs. 

4. Location

It’s also very important to consider the location of the funeral home that you choose. 

You’re going to be in frequent communication with the funeral home, so a convenient location can be helpful when making preparations. If you’re planning the funeral home remotely, then the exact location is less of a concern for you personally. 

However, if you plan to have the memorial service at the funeral home, you’ll want to make sure that your funeral attendants can easily reach it by car. You’ll also want to make sure that the funeral home has the right technology to make planning the funeral remotely easy. 

5. Price 

Of course, price is also a factor you need to consider when choosing a funeral home. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral in the US is $7,640. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is just an average, and you could easily end up paying a lot more or a lot less. The exact price you pay will depend on a number of different factors, but one thing that can have a huge effect on the overall price is what burial option you choose. 

Typically, cremation is a lot more affordable than a burial. This is because caskets can be quite expensive. 

Before you start calling funeral homes, lay out a budget. Then, call each home you’re considering to get a price quote. Reputable funeral homes will offer you a breakdown of all of the expenses. 

6. Staff 

It’s also very important to choose a funeral home that employs caring staff members. 

Oftentimes, the best way to learn about the staff of a funeral home is to call them directly or visit them in person. When on the phone, pay attention to their demeanor and whether or not they take the time to thoroughly answer your questions. 

When visiting a funeral home in person, make note if someone greats you right away as well as how the staff interacts with you. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a good funeral home can make things less stressful, respectful and compassionate staff is the foundation of a good funeral home. 

7. Grief Resources 

If you or your loved ones are struggling with grief, you may also want to find a funeral home that offers resources to help you cope. 

Nowadays, many funeral homes offer grief counseling services, host grief support groups, offer in-home check-ins and phone calls, and provide their clients with educational content about grief. 

Your grief journey is important, and the right funeral home can help you on the path toward healing. 

Choosing Funeral Homes: Are You Ready to Decide? 

Now that you have these tips for choosing funeral homes, it’s time to start your research. Pretty soon, you’ll have the right funeral home selected for you or your loved one. 

If you’re choosing the funeral home for yourself, make sure to talk to your will and estate lawyer so you can get your burial requests in writing. 

Also, if you’re searching for a funeral home in the San Diego area, contact us today

6 Ways You Know it’s Time to Talk About the Choice of a Cemetery

As our loved one’s health starts to deline, here are 6 ways you know it’s time to start the discussion on the choices of cemetery to lay someone at rest in.

It can be difficult to open up a discussion around planning for a loved one’s end-of-life situation. 

Whether the person in our life is elderly or young but in poor health, arrangements will eventually have to be made, and it’s best if they’re in on the conversation. While they won’t be able to see the end results (or perhaps they will, depending on what the afterlife looks like) they deserve to make some of these decisions on their own while they’re able. 

There are plenty of decisions to be made and choosing the right cemetery for your loved one to be laid to rest in is one of them. How do you know if or when this is a discussion that needs to be had? 

Keep reading to learn about ways to know when this conversation should happen. 

1. Your Loved One Is Getting Older

The sands of time don’t slow for anyone, and until medical science advances us to a point of literal arrested development, we are going to age and eventually pass away when our time is up. 

For many people, this is terrifying. For those already in the twilight of their lives, though, it may be something that’s already been accepted. You can’t let your fear of death and aging stand in the way of giving your loved one the end-of-life services and choices that they deserve.

When your loved one is getting older and slowing down, consider talking about arrangements for after their death. Remember, being “old” in your eyes doesn’t mean that they’re at all near death, but having these conversations early is far better than having them too late. 

2. Your Loved One is Experiencing Health Decline

Not everyone who passes away is elderly. If you have a loved one who is terminally ill, or who has quickly declining health, it might be in the best interest of everyone involved to discuss end-of-life plans.

This can be a touchy conversation. Younger people especially tend to have a fear of death that can be difficult to work through. Shying away from the conversation, though, means that progress can not be made. 

Even if a full recovery is made, having this conversation is helpful for making plans. 

3. They’ve Become More Invested In Faith

One thing that’s important to many people as they’re considering end-of-life plans is whether or not their beliefs are going to be respected.

Some people have specific plans for where and how they’re going to be buried depending on their religion. If they’ve started bringing these issues up, even in jest, this might be the time to have a serious discussion about how they feel about the local cemeteries. 

4. They Bring the Issue up Themselves

This is the easiest answer.

If our loved one has brought the idea up to you, you don’t have to do any guesswork. This may mean that you haven’t prepared yourself for the conversation. That’s okay because they have.

If they bring it up themself, they’re going to make the planning process a lot easier. They’re doing something responsible and making their final resting choices more autonomously. 

Just because a loved one is bringing up the topic of their final resting place doesn’t mean that they feel as though they’re dying. They’re simply planning ahead. Don’t let this be an alarming conversation. Let it be a helpful and honest one.

5. They Point Out Resting Places That They Like

If you’re driving around or taking a walk and your loved one points out a cemetery or churchyard where they’d like to visit, even just for a walk around, this might be a good opportunity to talk to them about where they would like to be put to rest. 

Do they like the cemetery that you’re in, or do they like a certain aspect of it? Is there a specific kind of headstone that caught their interest? Maybe they have a plan for what kind of cemetery that they’d like to be buried on. Maybe they want a mausoleum or an intricate statue, or perhaps just a tree. 

A walk through a cemetery is a peaceful time to have this conversation, though for those who are uncomfortable with the concept of death it may seem morbid. Don’t shy away from the conversations that you and your loved one need to have because of your own fear. 

6. They Ask About a Family or Couple’s Plot

When people start broaching the idea of a family plot or a marriage plot, they’re also broaching the idea of burial in general.

Not all cemeteries are going to have the availability for group plots like this. This is a good time to start looking at different cemeteries in your area and see what each one has to offer. Setting up a family plot can be an activity that you work on together.

If the other half of the couple or another member of the family is already buried, this is still true. Look into the cemetery that they occupy and see what’s going to be available for your loved one. 

Even if these things aren’t available, this opens up a greater discussion and shows that the family member is ready to have this discussion. 

Choosing a Cemetary Can Be Hard

Many people are afraid of death. This fear can be paralyzing and it can stop you from having the important conversations that need to be had before your loved ones pass away.

Knowing the right time to talk about these things might help make starting the conversations easier. You don’t want to do this alone after a loved one’s death, so it’s in your best interest to get this conversation started sooner rather than later.

If you’re interested in looking into a San Diego cemetery for your loved one, visit our site for more information on your options. 

The Cost of Cremation in San Diego

Did you recently lose a loved one? Have you been thinking about different options to lay them to rest? Check out the cost of cremation in San Diego.

Losing a loved one can be an emotional and complex process that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and not sure of the best course to take.

You want to ensure you honor the memory of your loved one and give them the send-off they deserve. This is also something that needs to be the correct decision for you and your budget. 

In this article we will go through the different options you have in the San Diego area, including the costs and the cost of cremation.

Make sure you make the right choice for you and your loved one, without feeling like you will be left out of pocket.

The Benefits of Cremation 

Many people might choose cremation for several reasons. Firstly, it is more of an economical and eco-friendly way to lay your loved one to rest. 

Burials can have many unforeseen costs that can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. On average a burial can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. 

A cremation can cost between 40% and 60% less than a burial, with prices starting from as little as $700.This is in no way detrimental to how the body is treated and mourned.

Cremation is always done with the utmost respect for the individual receiving the service. Also, many family members believe that they can’t visit or see their loved ones before they are cremated. This isn’t true.

The process of cremation only takes around two to three hours in total. And a lot of family members chose to visit their loved ones beforehand.

In terms of space and use of cemetery plots, it’s undeniable that burial takes up a lot more space than plots with individuals who have been cremated.

This is something that will become more pressing as time goes on and we think of more eco-friendly ways to preserve and mourn our loved ones.

In terms of caskets, they can often cost in the region of thousands of dollars and are made from various materials including wood and steel. This can be quite a rigid and expensive way to preserve your loved one. 

Cremation offers a much more flexible approach in terms of how you are wanting to celebrate their memory. You can use a plot, scatter it at a favorite spot of theirs or even keep the ashes at home with you in an urn. 

Choose The Right Cemetery For Your Loved One

If you have decided that you want to go with the option of cremation, now you will need to find a cemetery that is right for your loved one to reside.

It’s important to choose a cemetery with an established track record of looking after loved ones. La Vista Memorial has been celebrating legacies for over 150 years. 

They are so many options for you to commemorate your loved one, including choosing from mausoleums, benches, terraces, and family estates.

You can choose from over eight different grounds such as Sunrise Garden, Vista Knoll, or Eternal Peace. 

It is a beautiful, tranquil, and elegant memorial park where the memories of loved ones never fade. The park is a perfect tribute in San Diego for people that meant so much to you.

You are commemorating them in the right way, so you can enjoy and respectfully visit them all year round.

But even though the park is picturesque and tranquil, that doesn’t mean that it is expensive and unaffordable.

For the San Diego area, it is reasonably priced, with many options and plots to choose from. It means you can select the right spot for your loved one, with a price that suits the whole family.

Choosing A Cemetery With Pre-Planning Services

By choosing a cemetery location that has the inbuilt infrastructure, means that when it comes to the actual cremation and service you have less to worry about and deal with.

Choosing a cemetery with strong links to mortuaries or has a mortuary itself can take the pressure off when trying to organize the final wishes for your loved ones. 

It means that you will not have to visit or go to multiple places in the San Diego area which will become tiring and wearing.

Also, cemeteries or memorial parks that offer package deals including plots, flower packages, and the actual cremations themselves can go a long way in saving money overall.

If you are having to source all these different elements separately, you will often run into unexpected costs and the prices will typically be higher. Not to mention the amount of stress this may put you under, trying to organize all this at once and attempting to coordinate it all.

Using a memorial park or cemeteries that will take care of everything for you, is not only better in terms of being cost-effective but it allows you to focus on yourself and your family.

Especially if you are finding things difficult or tough having to process everything. If you are beginning the grieving and bereavement stage, delegate some of the organizing to others. 

Cost of Cremation: Where Can I Find Out More?

We hope that you have found this article on the cost of cremation in the San Diego area informative and helpful when it comes to thinking about how to commemorate your loved ones.

It can be incredibly hard to try and come to decisions and make choices when you are going through a bereavement. The more information you can get is important in helping you make informed choices.

If you have any further questions or queries about cremation, our memorial park, or any of the other services we provide, why not contact us directly?

We would love to help you with anything you might need in this difficult time.

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.