Time and time again, we hear from those in El Cerrito, Piedmont, and Albany who’ve had this experience: After attending a burial or end-of-life celebration for a loved one, they decide it would be a good idea to express their own preferences. After all, it’s common to have more opinions about your own end-of-life tribute than you might expect. This could be opinions about where to hold the burial itself, or the location of their final resting place. What about cremation versus a traditional burial? Have you thought about having your cremated remains scattered at a location that is meaningful to you? There’s no question that these are important decisions – and it makes sense for you to be the one making them.


There are other decisions to consider. Whether to have a large graveside gathering or a more private, family-only event. If you’re planning a Celebration of Life service, will you have an officiant, and how can you add personal touches throughout? We understand that each family’s choices are distinct, and our services are tailored to fit every need.


At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, we believe every person is unique – and an end-of-life tribute is an opportunity to express what made a life special. When you put your own burial or cremation plans in place, you’ll have confidence that your personality, passions, and accomplishments are conveyed in your final farewell. This is your unique opportunity to help your loved ones begin the grieving process as they gather together, share stories and memories, and participate in a healing ritual you designed.


That said, there are mistakes that can be made along the way. Mistakes like these:



  1. Making decisions too quickly without knowing all your options


Preplanning has never been easier. With our online process, you can put your arrangements in place from the comfort of home. You are always welcome to reach out to us to meet in person at our El Cerrito location. It is important, though, to know all the options available to you. For example, some people want to be buried in another state – perhaps their place of birth or near another loved one. Did you know Sunset View is an expert at making this happen? We can coordinate all aspects of out-of-town transfers and work to eliminate duplication of services and fees.


The old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” definitely applies to end-of-life preplanning – and we want to be sure you’re making informed decisions every step of the way.


  1. Minimizing the importance of preplanning


Many of us have heard a loved one say, “I don’t want any end-of-life celebration.” Or “After I die, just take care of things as quickly and cheaply as possible.” Here’s what you need to remember: A proper cremation or burial brings closure and is an essential part of the healing process. Whether you plan a witnessed cremation or a graveside burial service, paying tribute to the life lived is essential. An opportunity to offer and receive comfort from loved ones helps people accept a death and begin to walk through grief. This is also why expressing your opinions and adding personal touches is so special for your loved ones.


Your end-of-life arrangements should reflect how you want to be remembered. If you simply go through the motions as fast as possible just to get preplanning “over with” – you’ll miss out on an opportunity to give your friends and family the gift of a beautiful memorial.


  1. Failing to ask questions about costs and other details


It’s a common misconception that if you choose to preplan, you also have to prepay. At Sunset View, that is not the case. If you’d prefer, we can simply keep all of your preferences on file for when the time comes. There are advantages to prepaying, such as locking in the costs of today’s burials and cremations and taking the burden of paying for the service from your family’s shoulders. It’s important to know the breakdown of costs and what each service entails. We are planning experts and are happy to answer your questions. Our reputation in the Bay Area is unsurpassed, and this includes transparency as we help families make decisions for their loved ones – and themselves.


The most important thing is that you get started preplanning. Think of it this way: You plan for every other important event in life; why not your own funeral? Reach out to us today or begin the process online. Trust us – you won’t regret it.