For many families in the Bay Area the coronavirus outbreak dramatically changed the way they said goodbye to loved ones who died.

No more visitations with guests giving one another handshakes and hugs to offer support. No more open, public funerals as loved ones near and far gather to cry and laugh, linger, and reminisce. No more receptions filled with family and friends sharing memories and a meal.

Instead, social distancing was in place along with and ever-changing state mandates limiting the number of people permitted at a gathering. Obituaries were ending with the words, “A celebration of life will be held at a later date.” Some families weren’t sure when or how – or even if – they would pay tribute to their loved one who meant so much.

At Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary, families are now asking us if they can get together to have a funeral or memorial for their loved one who died months ago. While the answer is a definite YES, we do want families to be aware that there are still certain restrictions in place. We want to be sure those who have lost a loved one are well aware of these restrictions since they are ever-evolving. Please contact us for details and the most updated information available. That said, we always encourage families to have an appropriate send-off to bring much-needed closure. When we talk to those whose friend or family member died without a proper goodbye, the heartbreak is often palpable. During these stressful times, loved ones need to draw close however they can to offer one another love, support, and a listening ear.

We also want you to know that families can have a funeral regardless of whether their loved one was cremated or had a traditional burial. You can hold a service at any location, including our facilities in El Cerrito. No matter when the death occurred, we can plan the unforgettable farewell your loved one deserves.

Why Have a Funeral?

We know how important it is to hold a ritual where family and friends can gather to process their loss. This is an essential step in the grief process for a number of reasons.

Funerals are a way to honor a loved one’s memory.

Reflecting on a loved one’s interests, accomplishments, and hobbies is a healing experience for family and friends. Going through those old photos for a video tribute, collecting beloved items for the memory table, and selecting that perfect piece of music helps you focus on what your loved one meant to you and the world around them. A service that is highly personalized brings its own form of closure as you remember what made your loved one unique and special.

Funerals are an opportunity for support from those around you.

Visitations, funerals, burials, and receptions bring people together. This provides a measure of love and support for the family, and often, seeing that others care can help with the adjustment after a loss.

Funerals help friends and family accept their loss.

Facing the reality of death and mourning in a safe and supportive environment is critical to the grieving process. Death is complex, and the emotions involved can be tough to navigate. A funeral is a specific time to acknowledge the reality and finality of death and begin facing the pain that comes with it. 

Funerals bring closure.

Funerals bring a sense of closure, as they allow loved ones to cry, reflect, and concentrate on feelings about death. The service is also a way to publicly express how much a person meant and how deeply they will be missed.

If your loved one died sometime in 2020 or 2021, remember that a funeral can be as special as your loved one.  It can be traditional and religious – or unique and customized to fit your needs. You don’t have to follow what’s “always been done.” You can do things your way.

After such a challenging year, we want to be sure you receive the encouragement and help you need. We’ve been there for families in the Bay Area for more than 100 years now and have many options available so you can say goodbye in a way that is meaningful to you.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help anytime.