Does the task of choosing a casket sound burdening to you?

A casket is not something you buy every day. The weight it bears can become even greater if you’re doing it in the wake of a loved one’s passing. After all, a casket is the main focal point during a funeral service.

The rising cost of caskets is one of the most obvious things to consider. However, there are other important factors involved as well.
Allow us to ease your burden.

Here are 9 things that you should bear in mind when choosing the best casket:

1. Type of Casket

Wood and metal are the two common types of caskets. The kind of casket you choose will influence how much it will cost.

The different types of metal caskets are steel, bronze, and copper.

Steel caskets are less expensive than the other two. The thicker the steel is, the more expensive it becomes. Bronze and copper are your high-end choices because of their durability.

When choosing wood caskets, you can go for oak, maple, or mahogany. Other types of wood, such as pine or walnut, are also fantastic choices. You can choose various finishes, from high gloss polish to satin.

2. Where to buy

Buying a coffin from a funeral home offers the most convenience. It makes it easier for you, especially if you’re undergoing grief.

If you’re pre-planning the funeral, you have more time to choose a different store. Some stores specializing in selling caskets can offer customization options as well. You can also choose to buy online.

You don’t have to worry about the funeral home not accepting the coffin you bought elsewhere. FTC rules impose that funeral homes don’t charge you for this.

3. Casket Design

There are pre-made casket designs, and there are custom-built ones. While the latter makes it more costly, it also helps personalize it.

You can have a traditional casket customized by bearing a logo or artwork. Some people choose to have an image of their favorite hobby. Others prefer to have their favorite character or team displayed instead.

A casket with heavy customization must be sturdy and built from scratch. These are usually called fantasy coffins. They can choose different shapes such as a car, a guitar, or any form you want.

4. Coffin Interior

All caskets come with a cloth lining inside with a standard design.

You can personalize it by choosing a different material and color. Including embroidered symbols on the interior of a casket’s lid adds a personal touch.

Satin and velvet are the most common choices. People usually choose white or purple for the color. However, you can always go with the deceased’s favorite one.

5. Special Features

Aside from the customizations, you can also add special features. These options help to personalize it further. They add heart-warming touches to honor the departed’s memories.

Memory drawers are a great option to place mementos or messages. You can choose to have hardware installed to lift the deceased when viewed.

The way the lid opens up for viewing offers two options. You can choose either a single couch or a double couch. A single couch makes it possible for the entire lid to be open for viewing.

A memory tube can help with a casket’s identification. It allows for easy identification in case of accidents after internment.

6. Casket Cost

A casket’s design is a prime factor affecting its cost. The price includes the materials used and extra options installed. The more customized the coffin is, the more expensive it becomes.

Metal caskets cost $2,000 on average but can go higher to $10,000 or more. The caveat of handling all the details is that it can get expensive. There’s also an option to rent caskets that can cost up to $1,500 only.

It’s crucial to be straightforward and discuss your budget with your funeral director. Your set budget will help determine which particular features you can afford. You need to consider your financial status after the memorial services.

7. Rent a coffin

You might find the option of renting a coffin ludicrous at first. However, you can have a beautiful casket at a much lower cost if you rent one.

Rental caskets have a removable insert that allows more than a single usage for each. They’re also made of metal or wood and have a standard yet beautiful design. While a simple container holds the deceased, the rental makes it look like the body is in a “real” casket.

The purpose of this casket during the funeral service is for viewing only. On the memorial service and burial day, a different simple container will contain the body.

8. Casket Size

There are different casket sizes available to accommodate the variety of body sizes. Except for highly-customized caskets, you’ll have to find a size that will fit the body.

Standard caskets are usually 28 inches wide and 84 inches long. Most body size will fit the standard size. If the deceased is larger than the average person, an oversized casket gives a better option.

From infants to pre-teens, children’s caskets have several different sizes too.

9. Cemetery Requirements

The requirements in some cemeteries state that concrete vaults should enclose coffins. As time goes by, caskets deteriorate because of the weight of the dirt. Heavy machinery used to dig graves can also add to the weight.

When this happens, the ground becomes uneven. To prevent the grave from caving in, grave vaults are necessary. Caskets placed on these stable structures can help bear the weight of the earth.

Ask your cemetery about their specific vault requirements. There are green cemeteries that do not have these prerequisites, though.

Choosing the Right Casket Makes Funeral Planning Easier

People undergoing grief are more likely to buy based on emotions than logic. These 9 tips will help you choose the right casket without going overboard.

You can spare yourself from any burden if you consult with a reputable funeral home service. Contact us today, and we’ll help you plan a beautiful and memorable service.

Here in the United States, we’ve become used to one common funeral practice. But in truth, burial traditions vary widely by cultural upbringing.

Grieving after the death of a loved one is never easy. However, almost every culture uses some type of ritual to help with the mourning process.

While you may think that all humans grieve in the same way, the burial traditions and mourning rituals vary greatly across different countries and religions. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting and unique traditions from around the globe.

Burial Beads

In South Korea, there’s very limited space for burials. This is one reason why burial beads have become a common practice. It involves cremating a body and then pressing the ashes into jewelry-like beads.

These “death beads” are often created in beautiful colors like pink, turquoise, or black. Loved ones typically display them in a bottle or urn inside the home.

Tibetan Burial Traditions

A “sky burial” is a common tradition among Buddhists. Many who practice this religion believe that dead bodies are nothing more than a discarded shell and that they should either be cremated or given to animals as an “act of charity.” In Tibet, there’s little wood available for cremation, which is why most people choose the second option.

This tradition involves placing the deceased’s chopped-up body on top of a high peak where it’s left to be eaten by vultures or other birds of prey. While this may seem macabre to outsiders, it serves the dual purpose of eliminating the empty vessel so the soul can depart while also giving sustenance to animals.

Tibetans see the value in embracing the circle of life. In fact, despite having access to modern burial practices, 70 to 80 percent of Tibetans still choose to have a sky burial. 

Turning of the Bones

In Madagascar, one of the most common burial traditions, called Famadihaha, translates to “turning of the bones.” It’s also sometimes referred to as “dancing with the dead.”

This tradition involves opening the tombs of deceased loved ones once every five to seven years to rewrap them in fresh burial clothes and spray them with perfume.

This joyous occasion sees guests drinking, talking, dancing with the bodies, and sharing stores until just before the sun sets. The bodies are then returned back to the crypt and it’s sealed for another five to seven years.

This tradition is based on the belief that the dead can’t move into the next life until their bodies and bones have completely decomposed. Exhuming the body and going through this process is meant to speed up the body’s decomposition, thereby pushing the deceased’s spirit towards the afterlife. 

Jazz Funerals

While many American funerals are somber occasions, a New Orleans Jazz Funeral perfectly blends grief and joy. This tradition is a fusion of French, West African, and African American cultures. It begins with a marching band leading mourners from the funeral home or the church to the cemetery.

At first, the band plays somber, sorrowful music. However, once the body is buried, everything shifts to a much more upbeat vibe. The band begins to play lively music and the mourners commence a post-funeral party where they dance the day away in celebration of the life of the deceased.

Filipino Death Traditions

In the Philippines, there are several different burial traditions, which vary depending on the region and by ethnic group. For example, the Benguet people living in the Northern Philippines typically blindfold their dead, placing them next to the home’s main entrance.

Similarly, the Tinguian people dress the deceased in their best clothes, place them in a chair, and put a lit cigarette between their lips and leave them this way for several weeks. In Manila, the Caviteño people bury their dead in a hollowed-out tree, while the northern Apayo people bury their dead under their kitchens.

In Sagada, coffins are often mounted in difficult-to-reach places high up along mountainsides. The people here believe that the closer a coffin is to the sky, the easier it is for their loved one to get to heaven.

Before placing the body in the coffin, it’s bound to a “death chair” using vines and leaves and covered with a blanket. Over several days, loved ones come to pay their respects while the body is smoked to slow decomposition.

Just before the coffin is hoisted up the mountainside, mourners allow fluids from the decomposing body to drip over them, believing that this will bring them good luck.

Fantasy Coffins

A popular tradition in Ghana, “fantasy coffins” are often elaborate containers that come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. These coffins are designed to represent the deceased’s job or something that they loved.

In this culture, it’s believed that the dead are far more powerful than the living, so families want to do everything they can to ensure that their departed loved ones are happy with them, rather than vengeful. They often spend large sums of money commissioning manufacturers to create the coffins.

It’s common to see loved ones buried in coffins that are shaped like anything from a chili pepper or a fish to Coke bottles or a sneaker.

Choose the Perfect Farewell for Your Loved One

While you might not want to engage in any of these burial traditions, pre-planning your funeral will allow you to ensure that you have the type of send-off you prefer. It also takes the burden off of your loved ones. 

Our compassionate professionals will walk you through everything you need to know and help you weigh your options when it comes to choosing cremation, funeral, and cemetery options. Contact us today to learn more.

When you lose a loved one, you want to make sure they’re honored as well as possible. Here’s how to go about choosing the right funeral home.

When putting your loved one to rest, choosing the proper funeral home adds to an already stressful situation.

First impressions speak volumes when shopping for a funeral home. You want one that is in a good location, has attractive facilities, services priced to meet your financial situation, and friendly, caring staff.   

We are going to share everything you need to know about honoring your loved one through your selection of a funeral home.

Selecting a Funeral Home

Planning a funeral is a time when you must make important decisions while grieving for your loved one. Selecting the funeral home is only the first step. You must also plan the service, decide on all details such as casket or cremation vessel, flower arrangements, and the cemetery.


The location of the funeral home should not only be convenient for you, but also convenient for all family members that will be meeting with you to make arrangements in the coming days or weeks. This includes casket selection, dates and times of services and visitations, processional to the cemetery, grave-side service, and more.


A reputable funeral home will provide you with clear, transparent pricing. They will provide you with a price list and be upfront about what each step will cost.

Do not let a funeral home try to make you feel guilty about not selecting something that is outside our financial ability. The same goes for things that may be popular with some, but not of interest to you.

Things that factor into the price include the number of seats, size of the casket, amount of space necessary for floral arrangements, memorial displays, and more. The number of viewings and other services including the hearse, transportation of the body or ashes to the cemetery, and a grave-site service will affect pricing.

Funeral homes must follow the Federal Trade Commissions Funeral Rule that a funeral home must:

  • Provide clients with a general price list
  • Inform the client of their right to select the funeral goods and services they want
  • Must show on the price list if any item is a requirement of state or local law
  • May not refuse to use or charge a fee to handle a casket that was purchased at a different location
  • Must offer alternative containers if cremation is chosen

You need to request an itemized contract on what is included in your arrangements. This makes sure nothing is left out and you get exactly what you are paying for.

Casket Price

The casket is often the most expensive item you will pay for when planning a traditional funeral. There is a wide selection available in both style and price. According to the Federal Trade Commission, an average casket costs just over $2,000. Other caskets made from bronze, copper, or mahogany sell for up to $10,000.

The funeral home has a federal obligation to provide you with a list of the caskets the company has for sale, descriptions of each casket, and pricing before they show you the caskets. This prevents a funeral home from showing you only the most costly caskets.  

Funeral homes are prohibited from refusing to use or charging you a fee to handle a casket your purchase elsewhere.  If you are having your loved one cremated, the Federal Trade Commission also provides similar laws regarding pricing and containers for that purpose.


Pay attention to the way the phone is answered when you call the funeral home. The person answering the phone sets the tone for how the remaining staff likely behaves.

If the person on the phone is friendly and professional, you are on the right track. Every staff person you deal with should be kind, sympathetic, and respectful in their handling of your arrangements.

A funeral home will have licensed staff and experienced staff members to help with funeral arrangements. They will also have other staff or volunteers who fill other needs, such as clergy, funeral director, funeral assistant, and cemetery staff.


Make sure the facilities are well maintained, clean, and attractive. When pulling into the parking area is the landscaping well kept or is it overgrown and deteriorating? This is the first impression the mourners of your loved one will have when they visit.

Check out the facilities inside as well. Everything should look clean and neat. Take a look in the bathrooms and make sure they are clean, properly stocked, and contain no foul odors.


All families have their own preferences and needs. Does the funeral home have a side room where you and close family members can take a respite from visitors if necessary?  

Are they able to accommodate your religious beliefs and cultural heritage?  Are they accommodating to persons with disabilities? These are questions you will want to consider when selecting a funeral home.


The funeral home business is one that is always in demand. Make sure the one you select has a good reputation with former users. If their website does not contain testimonials a simple online search will usually bring up reviews of any business you are considering.

Do Your Research

Do not make a decision in haste. Choosing a funeral home that your family or friends have used in the past is a great way to go. The other option is to plan ahead by meeting with a funeral home and maybe even doing some preplanning for your own or a loved one’s funeral.

One way to plan a successful memorial service and burial is to use a full-service facility. When you are able to choose everything from a funeral parlor to floral arrangements and a cemetery plot at one location, the planning and coordination of everything is easy.

Make Your Plans Now

When you are seeking out the best funeral home, be sure to check out La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary located near the I-805 and 54 Freeway in San Diego’s South Bay Corridor.

We make arrangement preparations as comfortable as possible by providing a funeral home, mortuary, crematory, cemetery, and funeral planning memorial park.

We welcome you to stop in for a visit, request additional information online, or call us at (619) 475-7770.  

Whether you are planning services for a loved one or thinking about pre-planning your own arrangements, we are happy to help you through the process.


If you are planning a funeral for a loved one, certain decisions can hinder your progress. Here are common funeral planning mistakes and how to avoid them.

There are more than 2.4 million funerals that take place each year. And with those millions of funerals that have occurred, there have been quite a few funeral planning mistakes. If you’re planning a funeral for your loved one, the last thing you’re going to want to do is make any of these mistakes.

Don’t worry because we’re going to help you avoid these mistakes at all costs. You’re going to find a list of some of the most common planning mistakes and ways that you can avoid making them.

Read on now before you make a mistake and have to worry about undoing it.

1. Not Planning Your Funeral Before You Pass

No one likes thinking about the inevitable, and that’s understandable. But, when you don’t take the time to plan things like your funeral before you pass, you can leave your loved ones with a difficult burden while grieving.

Before you pass, ensure that you’ve taken the time to sit down with a funeral director and begin pre-planning. This is when you make all of your last wishes known. This will include the details of the funeral service to what you’ll wear and more. 

During this time, you can also begin the process of making payments to the funeral home for the use of their services. Another thing you should think about during this time is writing your will, which will document how your assets will need to be split amongst friends and family members.

This will alleviate those that are close to you from fighting over your belongings once you’ve passed. And once you’ve done all of this, the next thing you need to do is talk to your family.

Leaving them in the dark about the wishes that you’ve made will only cause further chaos and pain when it’s time for your preferences to be put into action.

2. Not Saving Money

The average funeral, including the burial, is around $8,500, and we don’t know about you, but that’s expensive. Instead of waiting to pay for a funeral after someone has passed, begin saving well in advance.

Again you’re not going to want to leave your family with the burden of figuring out where they’re going to get the money from to provide you with a proper funeral. That could cause strain that is made worse by their grief.

Instead, saving in advance will help them cover any expenses associated with planning a funeral.

3. Select the Right Funeral Package

When you’re planning a funeral for your loved one or are making arrangements for yourself before you’ve passed, another mistake that is commonly made is not selecting the right funeral package. Most people go to a funeral parlor and shop with their eyes instead of shopping with their wallets.

Before you begin looking for the funeral package, you need to be upfront with the funeral director about how much you’d like to spend. After you’ve let them know how much money you’re going to want to spend, they can then move forward with helping you make selections that will fit within your price range.

They’ll help you choose how you want your funeral to go and the length of your program and the casket you make. Not thinking about your budget before selecting a funeral package will cause you to spend more money than you want to spend.

4. Not Making Your Wishes Clear

We dedicated a sperate space for this one because of a lack of communication can cause more confusion than you know. If you’re planning someone’s funeral or your own funeral, you’ve got to ensure that you’re communicating with everyone.

When you don’t communicate, it will cause problems that you don’t want to deal with and can leave you making choices that won’t work for anyone, including the person that’s being buried.

5. Not Including Information on the Funeral Invitations

When it comes to invitations for funerals, you’re going to want to ensure you include all of the information about the funeral. Including:

  • Where the funeral will take place
  • How to RSVP
  • Time of the funeral
  • Information about the deceased

Ensuring that you’ve included all of this information will make it easier to plan how much food for guests you’ll need for the repass. And alleviate any frustrations when it comes to having people ask you questions about the invitations.

6. Allow People to Disturb the Funeral

When you’ve started the funeral, that’s when the doors need to close; there is nothing more disruptive than allowing people to come in and out of the funeral while it’s going on. Ensure that those attending the funeral understand once the funeral begins, if their late, they will have to wait until another pause in the service to enter the service.

To ensure this rule is enforced, you need to have ushers standing at the doors that understand how the service is to proceed and allow latecomers in when it’s appropriate.

Funeral Planning Mistakes to Avoid 

When it comes to funeral planning mistakes, there are various ones that you should avoid making, if possible. We understand that mistakes happen, and there are times when they can’t be avoided, but trust us, it’s going to be easier and less frustrating when you plan ahead and carefully avoid the mistakes above.

If you’re looking into making plans for the future, contact us at La Vista Memorial Memorial Park & Mortuary to make your accommodations. We can help you with everything from pre-planning to the day of plans, including the flowers. 

Make things easier and let us help you get everything done and reduce the amount of stress that you feel.


4 Things You Should Never Leave at a Cemetery

When we visit a loved ones grave, we want to leave something for them. Here are 4 things you should never leave at a cemetery.

The CDC reported that over 2 million people died in 2017.

While grief is very personal and can make you feel lonely, it is important to remember that you’re not alone.

And one way you can temper your grief is to visit your loved one’s grave at the cemetery. Although most religions teach that this isn’t where your loved one’s soul resides, it is still nice to make a connection to the one you’ve lost. Some people visit graves often, some find that this is too difficult for them. It is up to you how often, or if at all, you visit your loved one’s grave.

While most of us are aware of what we should bring to a grave, such as flowers or stones, we may not be aware of what not to bring to a grave.

In this article, we’ll discuss the items that aren’t suitable to leave for your loved ones.

Conduct: What Not To Do

Firstly, let’s go over a little bit of conduct when it comes to visiting a cemetery. Your children should know that this isn’t a playground. While they may not understand the gravity of the situation, or what it means to visit a grave, they can still behave themselves. If they don’t, you risk leaving behind everything from toys to gum wrappers, which can be left on graves accidentally.

Additionally, make sure not to litter around the area, lest you leave something behind.

If you do take pets, and they are allowed, make sure not to allow the animal to leave its waste on a grave.

1. Fencing

Historically, people used to install iron fences around graves to protect them. You may have seen these in very old graveyards and want to protect your loved one’s grave.

While it is natural to want to ensure that your loved one’s grave isn’t walked on or over, it is often a hazard. It can cause people coming to the cemetery for funerals or visits to trip and injure themselves. It may also make it difficult for groundskeepers to keep the area landscaped.

2. Anything Made of Glass

While it may be a nice idea to put a bouquet in a vase and place it on your loved one’s grave, this can cause serious problems to those who come to the cemetery after you. The vase will more than likely topple over at some point, and will probably break. As you can imagine, this can cause people to trip and may even be the source of an unnecessary cut or injury.

If you wish to leave flowers, that’s fine, but ensure that they’re either in a vase attached to the grave itself, or tied together with twine.

You should also not bring anything made of glass, such as lanterns other glass objects. Like vases, these can topple over and injure mourners.

3. Lights

It is natural to want your loved one’s grave to stand out, especially if the death is recent or on special occasions. You’re encouraged to leave flowers, stones and other non-breakable items as often as you like, as well as visit. But don’t light up the grave with little lights that you plant in the ground.

While it might look cool at night, it is not fun for the groundskeepers who need to keep the area looking neat. It’s also a hazard for other mourners, who may not see the lights and trip over them.

4. Food Wrappers and Drink Containers

Before you leave food at a cemetery, discuss this with the cemetery itself. Leaving food on a grave that a loved one enjoyed in life is a tradition in many different cultures and is part of the grieving process.

Some people may also come to a loved one’s grave and eat a meal there, making sure to leave items the person liked to eat and drink on it.

While this is definitely a long-held practice, you should discuss with the cemetery what their policies are. You may be allowed to leave the food on the grave for a short while, or you may wish to leave it for the duration of the visit.

Be mindful, however, that this can attract ants to your loved one’s graves and to the graves nearby. It can also attract other wild animals and predators.

If you do leave food on the grave, make sure that the food is not wrapped up in plastic or is in the original wrapping. This can cause waste and litter.

The same goes for drinks, so it is best to avoid leaving them at a gravesite. Drinks can spill if left open, and if in a bottle or can, can cause litter and possible injuries.

Visiting a Cemetery

Visiting a cemetery is a great part of the healing process and something that is highly encouraged. As stated above, how often you visit the grave is up to you. For many people, it is a cause for comfort. Often, families will visit the grave of a loved one when they are able to get together, especially if they all live far away from one another.

While we encourage visiting us, we do encourage you to be mindful of other mourners who are also visiting their loved ones and to be respectful of our rules and regulations.

If you would like to contact us regarding arranging a funeral or your future plot, don’t hesitate to reach out.

If your looking for attentive funeral planning services close to where you live then check out our guide to the benefits of using a local funeral home.

Have you lost a loved one? Are you wondering how you can plan the most tasteful goodbye for them?

There’s so much to think about after a loved one passes. Besides your own sorrow, there are logistical concerns to think about. You may need to worry about the will, property arrangements, and telling friends and family.

Funeral details may be the last thing you’re concerned with. Yet the right local funeral home can help you make the process as smooth as possible. 

Here’s why you should be looking close by for funeral services in San Diego.

1. Knowledge of Local Regulations

There are regulations when it comes to funerals that vary from state to state and city to city. A local family business could be your safest arrangement in making sure that all restrictions are carefully observed.

There may, for example, be regulations in terms of the funeral procession or burial plots. You will also need a death certificate and permission to transport the body.

A local funeral home will have made arrangements multiple times before in your area. They will know exactly which procedures need to get made, and what rules need to be followed. At a time when you have so many other things to think about, it helps to know that your funeral home will handle these details without you needing to stress over them.

2. Knowledge of Local Vendors

A local funeral director will have worked with many local vendors to secure excellent service, and they can recommend local vendors to suit your unique needs.

You may, for example, need specific flower arrangements or someone to host a meal after the funeral. Or you may be looking for a crematorium.

A local funeral home can recommend businesses that have supplied wonderful service to their customers in the past. You can let them know what you would like to spend, and they can give you several recommendations.

3. Preplanning Options

Local funeral homes offer you the option of preplanning funerals. This gives you an opportunity to lock in prices before they go up. 

Preplanning enables a person to customize their funeral service. It also keeps surviving friends and family from incurring an unnecessary financial burden. Preplanning also allows flexibility in case plans change.

4. Personalization of Service

Funeral services are often personalized with cards, poems, readings, scriptures, and quotations that reflect the personality and values of the deceased. 

You may want a memorial tree prepared with photos or a tribute video. Or you may wish to have a special service with grandchildren playing special roles.

In a local funeral home, you can reach out to local organizations that the deceased may have been involved with. An Elks club or veterans organization, for example, may have a special service they can contribute to the funeral.

A local home can reach out to local groups who can give special honor to a life well-lived. Local funeral directors can personalize the room and service so it pays a unique tribute to the one who has passed on. If you want a truly customized service, local funeral home services can provide you with exactly what you are looking for.

5. Access to Local Acquaintances

You may have relatives that are helping to foot the bill of the funeral who are out of town. It can be tempting to hold the funeral service elsewhere.

If you use a local funeral home, however, you can reach out to all of those who were close to the deceased in the area. You can also contact school chums or friends from the past who may be interested in paying tribute. The funeral procession can involve driving past places that may have been cherished by the deceased.

Local funeral homes have the advantage of being close to the people and places that your loved one held dear. 

6. A Good Price

Funeral costs do not simply involve renting a room for a memorial service. You will also have to think about the casket, embalming, burial costs or grave liners, and preservation products.

Get estimates from a few local funeral homes to make sure that what you’re paying is reasonable for your area. Local funeral homes are dedicated to providing affordable services for local clients.

7. A Memorable Experience

You’ll want to give your loved one the most uplifting good-bye possible. You can light candles, play their favorite board games, or create “fun fact” cards. You can hand out your loved one’s favorite candy or create “coloring stations” for kids.

The point is to remember all of the best parts of the deceased’s life so everyone can have a sense of peace and closure. 

The right funeral home will be able to arrange the service so it tastefully respects the wishes of the deceased and their closest friends and family. Details such as arranging chairs, planning the order of services, and preparing the body will all get handled professionally and with little worry to you. 

Those closest to those who have passed can focus on what is most important at this time. That includes meeting with all those your loved ones held dear and making sure their life is honored in a respectful way.

Choosing a Local Funeral Home

A local funeral home can provide the knowledge, experience, and contacts you need to make a memorial experience run as smoothly and respectfully as possible. You won’t regret choosing an established local business to handle all of the details of an important time.

For more information on funeral services in San Diego, contact us today.


If you want some help finding the right headstone for your San Diego cemetery then check out our tips for choosing a headstone.

Whether you join the 50% of American families who opt for cremation or the 50% who go the route of a traditional burial, it is your right to select a headstone that holds meaning for you.

At La Vista Memorial Park, we offer services that make planning a funeral and selecting a San Diego cemetery easier. We understand that these preparations are emotional and difficult. 

To get started, we suggest taking a look at some of your headstone options and begin to narrow down your choice.

Read on to learn more about headstones and how to select the perfect marker for your loved one.

Selecting a Type of Headstone

The first thing you will want to do is decide upon a type of headstone. There are four distinct headstone designs to choose from, including flat and raised-top flat headstones, upright headstones, and kerbed headstones.

Flat headstones or markers are small, rectangular stones that are laid flat along the ground. Raised-top flat headstones are similar in size, though the top or back end is usually higher than the bottom or front end, giving it a slanted appearance.

Upright headstones are what we call traditional headstones. They’re usually around 45″ in length and sit vertically on a thick concrete base. Kerbed headstones span the length of the casket and lay horizontally on the ground, typically accompanied by an upright headstone.

Keep in mind that cemeteries often have regulations regarding the size and type of headstone they permit. Discuss this during the planning process before you settle on your ideal headstone.

Selecting a Shape

The majority of upright headstones follow the classic arched or domed shape. However, you may consider further customization. It’s not uncommon to see upright headstones constructed in the shape of a heart, open book, or cross. 

Materials to Consider

In addition to the type of headstone you choose, you will need to consider the materials used to construct it. Options range from granite to marble to limestone and occasionally even bronze. 

Granite tends to be the best choice in terms of durability and price. In fact, we often think of marble and limestone as durable stones but they are actually soft stones, meaning that they are damaged and eroded by acid. Granite, on the other hand, is a hard stone that is acid-resistant.

While you may find some very handsome bronze headstones in some cemeteries, it is the priciest option and some cemeteries do not permit the use of it. 

Deciding on an Inscription

Many families find that deciding on an inscription for their loved one’s headstone is the hardest part. In some cases, your loved one may have specified what they wanted their headstone to say and what other elements they want their headstone to feature. However, this is not always the case.

In addition to the wording and additional features, you will need to decide on the lettering (or font) and style of engraving. Let’s take a look at all three elements of choosing your inscription.

Lettering and Engraving

If you’re choosing your lettering, pull up a Microsoft Word document and take a look at the fonts available there. Most headstones utilize Serif fonts, which include the classic Times New Roman. These fonts are easy to read and the spacing prevents the inscription from becoming worn and illegible over a short period of time.

If you’re looking for something more ornate, like a cursive font, make sure that it will transfer well to the stone. Cramped lettering is discouraged.

There are a number of ways to engrave a headstone, the most common of which is incised. Incised lettering entails a simple engraving process during which the letters are carved out of the stone.

There are also a few ways that you can use raised lettering, or lettering that appears raised. Embossed lettering involves sandblasting the background of the engraving in a manner that makes the lettering appear raised. Lead lettering involves adhering letters carved from lead to the stone so that they are tangibly raised.


There are a few key elements to a headstone’s wording. You want to include your loved one’s full name (including, if relevant, their nickname). You should also include the date of their birth and the date of their death.

Now, it’s time to decide on an epitaph. This is a short phrase that speaks to your loved one’s life or legacy. 

Think of the things most important to your loved one. You may consider pulling inspiration from religious texts, poems, or other pieces of writing that bear personal significance.

In some cases, epitaphs have more to do with you and your living family. For example, you may use an epitaph like, “Gone, but not forgotten,” or, “Loved in life and mourned in passing.” 

The length of your epitaph will likely come down to two things. The first is the size of your headstone and the second is the price. Oftentimes, engraving is priced by the letter, although the size and style of engraving of the letters will also factor in.

Additional Features

Additional features to consider are engraved photographs or significant imagery. Many people choose to engrave religious iconography, hearts, or symbols of their loved one’s work or life’s passion.

Once again, your choices here may be limited by your budget and the size of the headstone. However, it’s always possible to include a few small, final touches that will give your headstone a beautiful look.

Find the Perfect San Diego Cemetery

Picking a headstone is one of the most difficult parts of planning a funeral or burial. There are a lot of factors to consider and we hope we’ve made your decision-making process easier.

La Vista Memorial Park is here to help you plan the perfect funeral and lay your loved one to rest in a beautiful San Diego cemetery. Contact us so that together, we can begin making arrangements as soon as possible.


San Diego Obituaries: An Easy Guide on How to Write a Great Obituary

Looking through the San Diego obituaries may not readily give you the tools you need to write a great obituary. Our easy guide will put you on the right path.

Writing an obituary that sums up a person’s life might seem overwhelming. If you have a loved one or close friend who has passed away and you are planning their funeral, trying to adequately honor them in an obituary might seem like an impossible task. 

This guide can help. Follow these tips and steps on creating San Diego obituaries to give your family member the send-off they deserve. Read on to learn more. 

1. Include Their Biographical Information 

This is called the announcement of death or the death announcement. Many newspapers will print this a day or two after a person’s death and then print the full obituary a day or two later. Newspapers will include this information, so people are aware of recent deaths in San Diego, for example.

The full obituary will also include this biographical information. Things to include are: 

  • Their full name
  • Where and when they were born
  • Current place of residence
  • Date of death
  • Cause of death (this is optional)

2. Details and Life Events

Many obituaries include information about a person’s life events, such as:

  • Date of marriage and name of their spouse
  • The city where they were born and currently live (this can be included in the biographical information in the beginning of the obituary or further down)
  • Schools attended and degrees earned
  • Names of employers and the roles they held
  • Military service (include the branch and rank)
  • Notable hobbies or interests
  • Church memberships and if they were particularly active in their church
  • Membership in other organizations 

You can include anything you deem relevant here.

3. Personalize It

Sure, you can include a listing of the events of a person’s life and their involvement, but what really makes the obituary special, is personal information about the deceased person. 

Much of the obituary is focused on what the person did, but if you really want to make it personal, make it about what they were like. Share information about things that they were especially passionate about, including organizations, volunteer work, or any activism they may have been involved in. 

Think about what you admired most about your loved one and what you want others to know about them, whether they were incredibly kind or an amateur comedian. This obituary, written by the daughter of a man who died in 2019, went viral and really captured his spirt for those who may not have known him. 

4. List Family Members 

The listing of family members usually includes those who have preceded the person in death as well as those who survive them. You don’t need to include every family member who is deceased or surviving, but general practice is to include immediate family (spouses, parents, siblings, children, and grandchildren). If there were other family members that they were particularly close to, those can be included as well. 

Ultimately, who you include is up to you. Most newspapers charge by the inch, so the more you include the more expensive the obituary will be. If you are on a strict budget, keep this in mind.  

5. Funeral Information 

Include information about the funeral services, such as the day and time and location for the various events, such as the wake or visitation, church services or mass, and burial information. 

If the service is private or if no services will be held, make that clear as well. If there will be a memorial service at a future date, that can also be noted here. Providing this information publicly will let people who you may not know to contact know when the services are and give them the opportunity to attend. 

It also saves you from contacting a large number of people to notify them when and where the events are happening. 

6. Special Thanks or Requests 

If there are any organizations that were particularly helpful in your loved one’s life or their last days, or a caregiver that they were close to, you may want to mention them and thank them here.

You can also include any special requests, such as a charity or other organization to donate to in lieu of flowers or a request for funeral attendees to wear a specific color that was the favorite of the person who passed away. 

7. Photo 

A San Diego obituary usually includes a photo of the person who has passed away. If they are elderly, some family members will choose to use a photo of them from when they were young.

Alternatively, you can include a recent photo, or both (keep in mind that some newspapers may only allow one photo or charge for multiple photos, so check with them before the obituary is submitted). 

What Not to Include 

In the past, obituaries often included the address of the person who died. Unfortunately, this information can be used to burglarize a house while everyone is at the funeral and the home is unattended. 

Omitting the person’s birthday is also wise, as including their birthday could put them at risk of identity theft. Criminals can use that information to open accounts in the deceased person’s name. Including their birth year is usually sufficient. 

It’s also a good idea to have the obituary proofread by someone else as it’s often difficult to find errors in your own writing. They can also verify if names are spelled correctly and if dates are correct. Don’t assume that the newspaper will proofread for you.

San Diego Obituaries That Are Heartfelt and Honor Your Loved One

Keep these tips in mind as you craft San Diego obituaries for your loved ones. Try to capture all of the good you remember about the deceased and convey that in your obituary.

If you are planning a funeral for a loved one or pre-planning your own, La Vista Memorial Park is a family-owned business that has served the San Diego area for over 150 years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can honor your loved one or help you plan your own funeral services. 

Military Funeral Etiquette: Everything You Need to Plan for a Service

You want to give your loved one the honor he/she deserves. Learn everything about military funeral etiquette to put your mind at ease.

If you’ve recently had a loved one pass away while serving, the entire country is indebted to their sacrifice.

While it might be hard to grieve and plan a military funeral, your loved one deserves to be honored properly.

Many people that are tasked with organizing a military funeral will find themselves overwhelmed. They don’t want to do it injustice but have no prior experience with military funeral etiquette.

If you’re not sure where to start, be sure to use this article for reference. See below everything you need to know to plan a service.

Make Venue Arrangements Beforehand

Perhaps this is your first time planning a funeral of any kind. If so, it can be extra intimidating to plan one with military ties to it.

But there’s one secret to planning a funeral and making sure it pays a proper tribute to your deceased love one: finding the right venue. The venue you select can help you plan the service, choose intricate details, pick a vessel, as well as the burial spot.

To have the funeral abide by all military funeral etiquette, you need to choose a trusted memorial park with experience. The more years of service they have, the more military funerals they’ve participated in. 

They can help answer all your questions and help you cross off things like military funeral honors, flag folding, saluting, and so much more.

DD Form 214

To properly honor those that die in the line of duty, their loved ones are required to hand the funeral director a DD Form 214. This will prove that the deceased person actively served in the military.

The DD Form 214 is the same form that’s given to anyone that retires, separates, or is discharged (honorable or dishonorable).

The form holds a bevy of valuable information such as when and where they entered the military, their last rank and assignment, and what they specialized in. It also includes their decorations, and foreign service, and all the services they accumulated.

Be sure to hand this to the director of your loved one’s future funeral home, mortuary or cemetery.

Request Military Funeral Honors

After you choose the venue where your loved one will be buried, you may either choose a funeral director or have one appointed to you by the venue. Either way, be sure to request military funeral honors for the ceremony.

These honors are used to pay tribute to those that served for the United States Military. 

They include having two active members of the armed forces attend the service, at least one of which is from the branch in which the deceased person served. These members will fold the U.S. flag during the ceremony.

The folded American Flag will then be handed off to the deceased person’s loved one and have “taps” played from a trumpet. The military funeral honors bring tremendous pride to the loved ones of those that pass on. 

Choose the Final Resting Place

San Diego is home to many amazing cemetery sites, but you need to find one that invites you in as a family. Somewhere that won’t just treat your loved one with respect during the service, but for many years beyond so that they can rest in peace.

This decision is more extensive than many people imagine. For starters, you have to decide between a public or private burial place. Both have their pros and cons such as cost, location, and exclusivity.

Then you also have to consider where your loved one wanted to be put to rest. Of course, they wanted to be buried in San Diego, but would they want to be buried facing the ocean? Do they want room for their loved ones to one day to be buried as well?

You’ll also have to consider whether your loved one wished to have their remains buried or cremated. The answer will help you decide how and where to commemorate your loved one’s military service and life.

Consider the Head Stone

No matter what method of burial or commemoration that you choose, you’ll have to decide on a headstone (if applicable) or a grave marker. The materials that they’re made of can provide a beautiful representation of their life.

For example, you can choose between granite, marble, and bronze to write their name for all to see. If you’re doing a headstone then you can also choose to include a quote or message.

To some, this might seem to be a minute detail, but it’s important for showing your appreciation and acknowledging the sacrifice that they made. Whether or not they gave their life for this country… they were willing to, and that’s bravery to celebrate!

Communicate Proper Military Etiquette With Those Attending

Odds are that some (if not most) of the people you’re inviting to the funeral have never taken part in a military funeral before.

Therefore, it’s important that you communicate proper military funeral etiquette to them beforehand. Tell them whether or not you’d like them to salute, what they should wear, whether or not to bring their children, etc.

Those attending will respect your wishes. Let them know of any rules that the funeral home has as well to avoid complications.

Consider Military Funeral Etiquette as You Plan

You aren’t in this alone. The cemetery site you choose will help you integrate proper military funeral etiquette into your plans.

Be sure to read this article on finding the right cemetery site in San Diego for your loved ones.

For more inquiries, please be sure to reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

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.