Cremation San Diego

Funeral Pre-Planning: Selecting Your Burial Clothing

Funeral Home San Diego

Pre-planning your funeral gives you the opportunity to make choices both major and minor to ensure the ceremony proceeds exactly as you prefer. One oft-overlooked detail is the burial outfit. It’s common to select the most meaningful outfit you possess, such as a military uniform or even a favorite football jersey. Many people choose formal wear for this occasion, but you should feel free to choose whatever outfit you’d like to wear to your grave.

Before making your final decision, consider whether your surviving family members would regret you being buried in a certain outfit, as they’ll never see it again. Maybe you’d prefer to pass on your military uniform as part of your family’s history. The same might apply to wedding rings and heirloom jewelry. If you want to make sure that your loved ones will keep these items, instead of feeling as though they ought to bury you in them, specify your preferences in your funeral plan.

You can receive comprehensive funeral pre-planning guidance in San Diego at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary. Call our funeral home at (619) 701-6473, and ask us about veterans’ honors.

Coping with Bereavement by Exploring Your Family's Roots

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The grief you feel after losing a loved one can continue for years after the funeral service. For most people, the weeks immediately after the loss are the most difficult. When your mind clears and it’s easier to carry on with daily activities, you might feel the urge to do something to honor your loved one, like planting a memorial garden or compiling a scrapbook of family memories. Becoming an amateur genealogist is a fun way to honor your recently passed loved ones and the ancestors you never knew existed.

Gather known family documents and information.
Start by talking to living family members. Perhaps one of them has already started a family tree. Look through old boxes of paperwork and filing cabinets. You might find military service records, school enrollment forms, and old photographs. Interview family members to create an oral history record. Ask them for stories of their childhood, such as what it was like during the war.

Fill in your family tree.
There are plenty of free family tree building websites available, or you can purchase software. Begin in the present time, and fill in all of the information you currently have. (If you’re using a website, be sure to mark whether a person is still living—most websites will then keep that information private.) Use local, state, and federal archives, digitized census and immigration records, and digitized military enlistment documents to fill in the gaps in your family tree. Note that the further back in time you go, the more likely it is that not all information will be strictly accurate. A couple of centuries ago, people were less likely to record birth dates and death dates accurately, and spelling mistakes were common. You might find an old marriage record for “Mehitable Jones” and a census record for “Mahitible Jones.” Make a note of all alternate spellings and dates for each person in your tree.

Explore places and time periods.
If you create a family scrapbook along with your family tree, fill in the gaps by including interesting information about different places and time periods. For instance, if your ancestors hailed from Scotland, look for information about the various clans.

During the months and years to come, your family can gather at your loved one’s gravesite or columbarium niche at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary. Our cemetery near San Diego is a beautiful and serene resting place, full of graceful trees and gardens. Call (619) 701-6473 with your questions about our memorial park.

Everything You Need to Know About Serving as a Pallbearer

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It is an honor to be asked to serve as a pallbearer. In the past, pallbearers were strong men who were not members of the immediate family. These days, pallbearers can be men or women, and not all of them necessarily help to carry the casket. If you’re asked to be a pallbearer, get the necessary details from the funeral home representative, as your specific responsibilities may vary from the following information.

The Role of the Pallbearer
In ancient times, the term “pallbearer” actually referred to the individuals who carried the hem of the pallium, or cloak, which was draped over the coffin. Today, a pallbearer is a person who helps carry the casket from the funeral service to the hearse, and then from the hearse to the gravesite. The average adult-size casket will need six to eight pallbearers. Some funeral services have honorary pallbearers, who escort the casket, but do not carry it. Honorary pallbearers are often people who were close to the decedent, but are physically unable to help carry the casket. These individuals may walk beside, in front of, or behind the casket.

The Responsibilities of Pallbearers
Pallbearers have an important role in the funeral and burial service. It’s essential to arrive at the designated location early. The funeral director or the officiant of the ceremony will provide instructions. Before the service begins, make sure you have the following information:

  • Where to park
  • Where to sit during the service
  • When to stand up and approach the casket
  • Where to grasp the casket
  • How to appropriately transfer the casket into the hearse
  • Where to sit or stand for the graveside service

Knowing where to park is significant because, as a pallbearer, your car will join the procession. The procession is the line of cars that follows the hearse to the gravesite. If it’s necessary to transport the casket through a town, you will not have to stop at stop signs. Continue to follow the procession straight through intersections, keeping at an even speed. Municipalities allow this for the sake of keeping the procession together, so that everyone arrives at the gravesite at the same time.

Burial plots are available in San Diego at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary. We offer customizable funeral service and burial options, which include the use of a funeral vehicle or hearse. If you have any questions, please call (619) 701-6473.

Why Am I Grieving Before the Loss?

Love and loss are two sides of the same coin. It’s perfectly normal to grieve for the loss of your loved one, even before he or she passes away. This is known as anticipatory grief. Although it isn’t talked about as much as the grief that occurs right around the time of the funeral service, anticipatory grief is just as difficult to cope with. Some people find that anticipatory grief is actually more challenging, as they feel helpless to change anything, and anxiety-ridden about how they’ll move on with life afterward.

When you watch this video, you’ll hear a grief counselor explain what you can do during this time to avoid later regrets. It’s wise to discuss your loved one’s funeral preferences, such as whether he or she prefers burial or cremation. Your loved one should also have a DNR—do not resuscitate—order notarized.

From our family to yours, Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary would like to extend our sincerest sympathies during this difficult time. We understand it’s challenging to pre-plan a funeral near San Diego after receiving a diagnosis, but you can call us at (619) 701-6473 for compassionate guidance.

The History of Greenwood Memorial Park

Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary provides families with unique funeral and memorial ceremonies that allow them to honor and celebrate the life of their loved ones who have passed on. Greenwood’s experienced staff has developed a reputation for being caring, compassionate, and professional, and we offer a selection of personalized memorials, signature services, and veteran’s services that can enhance the memorialization experience. If you would like to learn more about Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary in San Diego, CA, read through this infographic that explores our history and heritage. Please feel free to share this information with any friends or family in need of funeral services.

Funeral Home San Diego

Spotlight on Greenwood Memorial Park's Serenity Expansion

Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary has been honored to serve local families since 1907. Although our commitment to exceptional care hasn’t changed over the years, our landscape has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community we serve. We’re pleased to invite families to stroll the grounds of our new Serenity expansion to our cemetery, which features The Mirror Lake. This beautiful addition to our cemetery offers a tranquil setting for traditional burials and the interment of cremated remains.

The Mirror Lake is artistically designed with thoughtful landscaping, a peacefully flowing stream, rustic footbridge, and water fountains that provide a comforting backdrop for families visiting their deceased loved ones. Private family estates are available, and cremation estates and other interment choices are available within The Mirror Lake Cremation Garden.

Call Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary at (619) 701-6473 with any questions you may have about our available funeral services in San Diego. Please take your time strolling along the grounds of our peaceful memorial park to reflect on your cherished memories of your loved ones.

Communicating with Children About Death

Parents understand that they will have many difficult conversations with their kids over the years, but sometimes these conversations come sooner than expected. Children can actually begin learning about death from a very early age, according to the childhood developmental specialist featured in this video. She explains that, long before you expect to take your child to a family member’s funeral services, you can begin discussing the concept of death.

For example, if you’re out on a walk with your child after a rainstorm, you could talk about how the earthworms laying around have died. In the fall, the leaves falling off the trees have died. It’s crucial to avoid using euphemisms that will only confuse or frighten your child. Instead, stick with words like “death,” “dying,” and “dead.”

As a leading provider of funeral services in San Diego, Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary is committed to helping your family through this difficult time with our grief support services and personalized funeral services. Call us at (619) 701-6473.

Advice for Coping with Grief

Grief is a collection of emotions that often come in waves. You might feel emotionally and mentally numb one day, and be overcome with rage and anger the next. Grief might make you do things that you wouldn’t otherwise do, like snap at your closest friends or walk out of the office without requesting time off. Grief doesn’t follow a timetable or a formula, and not everyone gains a sense of closure from the funeral service. The healthiest ways to cope with grief are to accept your emotions and to try to direct them in a way that causes the least damage.

Before the Death

When someone in your family has a terminal illness, you may experience anticipatory grief. This phenomenon isn’t as widely known or talked about as grief after a loss, and as a result it can be isolating. Talk to other family members about the problems you’re experiencing and ask how they’re coping with it. A terminal illness has a way of drawing family closer together. Make an effort to keep in closer contact with your family. Don’t hesitate to speak with a grief counselor if you think it might help you.

Immediately After the Death

Funeral customs may be comforting once your loved one is gone. Some people find that the tasks necessary to put a funeral service and reception together are pleasantly distracting. You should take as much time off work as you think you need, but you shouldn’t feel as though you must sit at home doing nothing—unless, of course, you’re sitting shiva. Keeping busy with minor tasks or distractions may get you through the initial grieving period.

During the Next Few Months

As time passes and you return to your usual routines, albeit without your loved one, it’s normal to experience recurrent emotions like anger, guilt, and disbelief. Try not to make any major life decisions, like quitting your job or buying a house, since you probably won’t be thinking rationally for a while. Instead, try to take care of your physical and mental health by exercising, eating well, and practicing mindfulness. Talk to your doctor if you feel like you can’t cope by yourself.

The funeral home professionals at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary want you to know that you’re never alone in your grief. Our grief support services are available online to comfort you any time of the day or night. When it’s time to make funeral arrangements near San Diego, call us at (619) 701-6473 and we’ll walk you through every step of the process.

Deciding Between Cremation and a Traditional Burial: What You Should Know

It can be challenging to choose options for a funeral service, especially if you’re making arrangements for a deceased loved one, rather than planning for your own funeral. Perhaps the most significant decision to make is the choice between cremation and traditional burials. There is no right or wrong choice, as both are respectful options. When making the decision, consider factors such as your family’s cultural background, personal beliefs, and religious preferences, if applicable.

Your loved one’s preferences should be prioritized.

If you’re arranging funeral services on behalf of a deceased family member, the preferences of that individual should be respected. If the decedent did not create a formal, pre-planned arrangement, you may have to talk to other family members to find out if he or she ever expressed a preference for cremation or burial.

Some cultures consider burial to be more respectful.

Today, cremation is widely accepted by many cultures and belief systems, but some cultures still consider cremation to be less respectful. India, Japan, and Taiwan, for example, have some of the highest cremation rates in the world, whereas Ireland has one of the lowest.

Cremation is acceptable for many faiths and cultures.

Although some faiths strongly condemn cremation, such as Islam, other faiths embrace it, such as Buddhism. Even faiths that previously disapproved of cremation, such as Catholicism, now accept it as a respectful option. If faith strongly influences your family, consider speaking with a spiritual leader about this decision.

Cremation offers greater flexibility.

The funeral home professionals will do everything they can to ensure your loved one’s arrangements exceed your family’s expectations, regardless of whether you choose cremation or burial. However, cremation does tend to offer greater flexibility. With cremation, it’s possible to hold the visitation and funeral service prior to cremation, with interment to follow. Direct cremation is at the other end of the spectrum. It involves cremating the body first, and holding funeral services later.

Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary provides respectful and thoughtful funeral services in San Diego, which include traditional burials and cremation ceremonies. If you’re pre-planning your own funeral or making funeral arrangements for a loved one, we invite you to speak with one of our compassionate funeral directors about your choices. Call (619) 701-6473 for more information.

A Non-Theist's Guide to Funeral Pre-Planning

Funeral Home San DiegoMany people think of religious ceremonies when they think of funerals, but in reality, there are no set rules. Non-theists can plan the appropriate funeral service for their loved ones without pressure to incorporate religious symbolism or tradition. If you are a non-theist, funeral pre-planning can become more important than ever, so that your loved ones are aware of your wishes. Here is what you need to know about planning a non-theist funeral.

Start by Choosing a Funeral Home
You will need to select a funeral home to help you with the funeral pre-planning process. Be sure that the funeral home you choose is experienced in dealing with a variety of different types of funerals, including non-theist ceremonies. Most funeral homes welcome people of a variety of belief systems, but you may be most comfortable with a funeral home in which there is no standard type of funeral, so you can be sure that they have the knowledge and services to create the ceremony you want.

Be Specific About Your Wishes
Funeral pre-planning is a wonderful gift to your loved ones because it alleviates the burden of worrying about whether they are honoring your life in the way you would have wished. Give them the tools to plan the funeral ceremony you want by being specific. You may wish to discuss the type of officiant you want, select family members and friends to participate in the ceremony, and choose music and readings you would like to include. You should also state whether you prefer burial or cremation.

Consider Pre-Payment Options
Another benefit of pre-planning your funeral is that you can also make pre-payments. Because funerals can be expensive, you can give your family the peace of mind of knowing that they can focus on supporting each other instead of worrying about finances.

At Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary, we embrace families in need of funeral planning services, no matter what their belief systems are, and we can assist with planning any kind of service that is right for you. To learn more about funeral pre-planning in San Diego, please call (619) 701-6473.

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