Planning to Say Goodbye

Death is a part of life, but few people plan for their final goodbyes. However, planning ahead for your final arrangements can help alleviate tough decisions for your loved ones, like choosing a cemetery, an appropriate interment locations, or planning cremation services. Pre-planning can even help to relieve some of the financial burdens on the family members who are left behind.

Watch this video to learn more about the importance of planning for a goodbye. Advanced medical directives, pre-purchased interment rights in a cemetery space, and funeral pre-planning can all be tremendously comforting to loved ones after you’re gone.

At Inglewood Park Cemetery, we can help you make decisions about cemetery and memorial services to take the burden off your loved ones. Contact our cemetery in the Los Angeles area today by calling (310) 412-6500.

A Look Back at the History of Cremation

Cremation is a popular choice today, but you may be surprised at just how long a history the practice has. In fact, cremation dates back to the Stone Age, and after an extended period of falling out favor, has become increasingly popular again over the past century. Take a look back at the history of cremation here.

Stone Ages through the Roman Empire

Historians believe that it is likely that cremation began as a practice during the Stone Age, probably in Europe or the Near East. The practice is thought to have spread relatively quickly throughout Northern Europe and the western portion of Russia and then to Greece, the British Isles, Spain, and Portugal during the Bronze Age. In Greece, cremation was encouraged as a means of slowing the spread of disease. In the Roman Empire, with the exception of early Christians, cremation was the preferred method of handling the decreased.

Christianity and the Decline of Cremation

After Constantine Christianized the Roman Empire, cremation fell out of favor. As Christianity spread, the decline in demand for cremation followed. From approximately 400 A.D. until the 1800s, burial was significantly more popular in Europe than cremation, while its popularity increased in other parts of the world. During this period, cremation was only embraced in Europe in response to the outbreak of illness or war.

Modern Cremation

In Europe and North America, cremation began to increase in popularity in the late 1800s. Medical professionals advocated for cremation to reduce the spread of disease and improve public health. Over the next century, the demand for cremation steadily increased. By 2009, over 36% of deaths led to cremations, with projections indicating that over 50% would be dealt with using cremation before 2020.

Roman Catholics and Cremation

According to a 2012 article in The Catholic World Report, “In 1963, the Vatican lifted the cremation ban. Since 1997, cremated remains have been allowed to be present at funeral Masses, and are given the same respect as remains in a casket. Cremated remains must be buried, just like a body, in a cemetery, crypt, or other appropriate burial place. Scattering ashes or keeping them at home is not permitted.” Ask us about the many beautiful Alcove settings we have for placing cremated remains.

Inglewood Park Cemetery is pleased to offer cremation services in the Los Angeles area alongside our other cemetery services. Whether you need help pre-planning your cremation or burial or need assistance planning service for a loved one who has passed, please call us at (310) 412-6500.

Get the Facts About Going to the Cemetery in a Funeral Procession

After a funeral service for a loved one, you may be part of a procession going to the cemetery for a graveside service. If you have never been part of a funeral procession, you may have some questions about what to expect. Here are some of the facts you need to know.

You will need to adjust your speed.

When you are part of a funeral procession, you will need to drive slower than you normally would. In most cases, funeral processions don’t exceed 35 to 40 miles per hour on secondary roads and 55 miles per hour on highways. It is important to maintain the same speed as the rest of the procession, neither pressuring the car in front of you to go faster or leaving a large gap between you and the car in front of you. It is important for funeral processions to remain tightly together, so that other cars cannot inadvertently enter the procession.

Funeral processions have the right-of-way in traffic.

Funeral processions always have the right-of-way in traffic, so follow the procession closely, even if you reach a stop sign or red light. Other traffic should yield to you. Often a military, police, or other motorcycle escort, will block cross traffic at major intersections to allow the procession to pass. ( Never insist on the right of way if someone simply will not stop, or tries to cut in line to make a turn. An accident will delay the entire procession and could cause a serious injury or fatality.) Generally, you should not stop during a funeral procession unless the entire procession has stopped or there is an emergency that prevents you from going forward.

You should use your headlights

Typically, cars in a funeral procession have magnetic flags placed on their hoods, or yellow banners on their windshields, that identify them as part of a procession. However, don’t rely on the flag or banner to alert other drivers. Every car in a procession should also have their headlights on. Don’t use your hazard lights unless asked to do so. The last car in a procession usually puts on their hazards to signal the end of the line, so using yours could confuse other drivers.

At the cemetery, the procession will be directed to the appropriate parking area for the service. At Inglewood Park Cemetery, we offer a variety of cemetery burial and cremation memorial options to help families honor their lost loved ones. Get more information about our cemetery services in the Los Angeles area by calling (310) 412-6500.

Planning a Post-Burial Reception

To give friends and family of the deceased the opportunity to catch up and offer emotional support to one another, many people choose to have a reception following a funeral and burial. If you would like to hold a post-burial reception after your loved one’s cemetery service, continue reading for some planning tips.

Choose a Location

The right location for a post-burial reception can depend on the number of attendees. After determining how many people to expect, you can then consider different options for hosting the event. Some people choose to book a reception room, and others opt to host the gathering in their home. Inglewood Park Cemetery can offer space for a post-service repast or reception, accommodating up to 150 guests. For smaller groups, we offer our Celebrations of Life Center. Larger groups fit nicely at Freeman Court, Sunset Mission Mausoleum. No need to leave the cemetery grounds. Ask your Memorial Counselor about scheduling one of these spaces for after the interment or memorial service. Other locations to consider for the post-burial reception include a park, church hall, or restaurant.

Ask for Assistance

As with planning the funeral and burial, you can benefit from asking for help with the post-burial reception arrangements. For instance, instead of finding the venue or planning the catering, you can delegate tasks like these to other family members. Or, if you will not be using a catering service, then you may want to ask each of the attendees to bring a dish or beverage to the reception. Post-burial receptions do not need to be elaborate events, but no matter what type of gathering you end up planning, asking for help from others can be a practical decision.

Make It Personal

You may find that the post-burial reception is an ideal time to create lasting memories of your deceased loved one’s final services. To do this, you may wish to have a guest book for attendees to sign, cameras available for photo-taking, and a video camera on hand so that you may record any toasts, speeches, or stories that are shared. Also, consider serving some of the deceased’s favorite foods, or playing songs from his or her favorite artists.

Inglewood Park Cemetery offers cremation services, interment spaces, and gravestone memorials serving the Los Angeles area. To contact a member of our experienced and compassionate staff, please call (310) 412-6500.

Your First Holiday Season After a Loss

The holiday season is when many families come together, so it can be a particularly difficult time after the loss of a loved one. Read on for some advice on getting through your first holiday season following the cemetery or cremation service of someone close to you.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

For some individuals, the holidays are no more difficult to endure following a loss than any other time of year. For others, this season can be painful and cause feelings of grief to resurface. No matter what emotions you end up facing this time of year, it’s important to remember that every person grieves in his or her own way and it’s okay to struggle during the holidays and any other time of year. Acknowledging that the upcoming months might be difficult may help you find acceptance for the feelings you face during the holidays.

Face Your Grief

You may find yourself trying not to think about the person that you have lost as the holiday season approaches. Many people do this because they are hoping to avoid the pain that they expect they will feel. However, you may find that facing any grief that emerges during the holidays and consciously addressing the loss in some way may help you move through your pain. For example, you might consider sharing stories with your family about the one you have lost.

Focus on Yourself

Finally, the holidays are the time of year when it’s typical for people to push themselves a bit too hard as they busy themselves with gift giving, party planning, hosting holiday guests, and so on. While you may be tempted to distract yourself in ways like these to help make it through the holidays after a loss, remember to take care of yourself by not overdoing it and getting enough sleep and exercise.

At our cemetery serving the Los Angeles area, Inglewood Park Cemetery offers grave markers and a clean and well-maintained location for you to put the one you have lost to rest. Please call (310) 412-6500 to learn more.

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