Many who have attended a service at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary would agree that funerals here bring people together – some of whom may not have seen one other in years. But it’s the reception after the funeral that really provides the opportunity for connection.

We see how true this is as our team works with families every day in El Cerrito, Kensington, Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland. Whether traditional burial or cremation is chosen, the reception is where family and friends laugh and cry together and lean on one another as they grieve. This kind of support and understanding can mean the world to those going through a difficult time.

Maybe you’re thinking of preplanning your final arrangements, or perhaps someday you will have a hand in planning a final farewell for someone close to you. Whatever your personal situation, consider these ways Sunset View can help make the reception truly memorable:

Serve a favorite food. Over the years, our professional staff has observed that something special happens as friends and family gather together around food. As stories are shared, bellies are filled, and both food memories are savored, healing can begin. Instead of trying to arrange something in your home or a local restaurant, come to us for help arranging a funeral reception. We can help connect you with catering services, and our dedicated host can help with set-up and anything else you might need.

Include personal decorations. There are little touches that will help your loved one’s personality shine, like a photo board or slideshow featuring favorite moments throughout his or her life. Think about setting up a table with scrapbooks and other personal items, like a beloved collection or article of clothing. This provides wonderful opportunities for sharing stories about the person who meant so much to you. Or you could feature a “memory tree,” where family and friends jot down memories or words of encouragement on a leaf, which is then hung on the tree for the family to read later.

Provide a keepsake for guests to take home. Handing out a special keepsake allows family and friends to hold their loved one close long after the funeral is over. Items can be heart-warming or humorous; it’s all about honoring your loved one’s personality and what they valued. If your mother enjoyed her garden, hand out seeds of her favorite flower for guests to plant in their gardens at home. Was your dad a diehard Raiders fan? You could distribute a Raiders pin or ornament to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Or imagine serving your grandmother’s famous fruit tart, then passing out the recipe card as guests leave. These simple gestures add fun and hope to your time together.

Our ultimate goal at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary is to help you tell your loved one’s story in the most meaningful way possible. Even when circumstances feel difficult, and there’s hesitation about having a gathering or featuring personal touches, know we are here to help every step of the way. These details add so much, and with Sunset View, the options are nearly endless. Contact us with questions or to get started planning a funeral to remember.