The number of people choosing cremation has grown exponentially over the years, from 25% in 1999 to more than 50% in 2018. Even with this surge in popularity, our staff here at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary realizes many of our neighbors in El Cerrito, Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond have questions and misconceptions about cremation.

As the most trusted funeral home and crematory in the San Francisco Bay Area, we strive to present accurate information that will help families make informed decisions. Here, we’ve dispelled three of the most common myths about cremation.

Myth 1: You can’t have a funeral or memorial service with cremation.

Fact: You can celebrate your loved one’s life in many ways before or after cremation occurs, including with a funeral or memorial service, a visitation, or a reception. Some families have a service prior to the cremation, with their deceased loved one present. Others spend time privately with their loved one before the cremation, with a service at a later date. This may or may not include the presence of the cremated remains.

Both services can resemble a traditional funeral, with elements such as opening greetings, prayers, eulogies, and music or readings chosen with a loved one in mind. Our professional staff is here to help families personalize a funeral service, telling a story that reflects the individual’s culture, values, and personality.

Myth 2: Cremated remains must always be kept in an urn at home.

Fact: There are nearly unlimited creative ways to memorialize with cremation. While some families opt for permanent possession with their loved one’s cremated remains in an urn, we can offer you a number of different options, including interment in a columbarium niche or burial in our beautiful cemetery with its pristine grounds and stunning Bay Area views. If your loved one requested scattering in a meaningful location, know that there are local and state regulations that need to be followed and permits that need to be acquired in most cases. Contact our professional team anytime for ideas or advice. We will also help you obtain any permits needed.

Myth 3: Cremated remains are mixed together.

Fact: We own and operate our own private crematory, and as such, promise your loved one will never leave our care. We oversee the entire process, ensuring all procedures and equipment meet our rigorous standards. Most importantly, we promise your loved one will be treated with dignity. Families are invited to witness the beginning of the cremation if they so choose, as another way to assure the complete integrity in the process.

Whether you’re considering a traditional funeral or cremation, it’s important to be well-informed about your options. We want you to know you can always count on us for professional, compassionate care. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.