• Healthy Ways to Relieve Emotional Stress

    Support Group

    Grieving the death of someone is an emotionally and mentally draining experience. During your time of mourning—which may continue even after the funeral—it is important to take care of your physical and mental well-being. To ease some of the emotional stress and anxiety that you feel while you are coping with the loss of a loved one, employ some of the techniques discussed below.

    Meet with a Grief Counselor

    If someone close to you has recently died, you are likely to be deeply affected. You may even feel that your sorrow is so great you cannot manage it. While grief is natural and your life will certainly be different without your loved one, a grief counselor can help ease your emotional burden and assure you that you can and will heal. Many funeral homes offer grief support services or recommend professionals in your area that offer them.

    Visit a Support Group

    Another helpful form of grief support can be found at a support group where you can meet others who have recently lost a loved one. If you feel like no one in your life can relate to what you are going through, you may find meeting others who have experienced similar losses to be helpful in dealing with your grief.

    Take Up a Peaceful Hobby

    In order to get your mind off your feelings of grief, partake in a peaceful activity that you can appreciate in solitude or in the company of others, such as starting a garden or enrolling in yoga lessons. These activities are therapeutic and can bring peace and happiness back to your life.

    Write in a Journal

    Writing can also be therapeutic, and it is a good way to document and reminisce about experiences you have had with your loved one. If you are feeling anxious and emotionally shipwrecked after planning a funeral for your longtime companion or family member, keeping a journal can help.

    At Skylawn Memorial Park, our staff of compassionate and dedicated individuals understands that losing a loved one is emotionally stressful. This is why we provide you with grief counseling and a wide array of other multilingual funeral, burial, and cremation services Call (650) 349-4411 to speak with one of our funeral service attendants today.

  • What is Ching Ming?


    Many Americans have never heard of Ching Ming, but the Chinese tradition based on ancestor worship dates back 2,500 years. This memorial custom, also known as Grave-Sweeping Day, occurs on April 5th. The name is made up of two Chinese characters: ching , meaning pure or clean, followed by ming , which means brightness. This combination means “clean and just.”

    What is the Origin of the Tradition?

    China’s original religion of ancestor worship is said to be at the root of this tradition. While philosophies like Confucianism and Taoism have their roots in China, ancestor worship is the only religious principle native to China. Modern Ching Ming rituals are generally seen as happy occasions, involving a visit to the gravesite—known as “walking the mountain”—and a picnic at the site with family.

    How is the Ritual Performed?

    First, the area around a headstone is weeded and cleaned by the family. Incense or fake money is then burned as an offering to the deceased. Fresh flowers and objects specific to the deceased may also be placed on or near the headstone, and an offering of food and wine is prepared. The food is set in front of the headstone, and the wine is poured onto the ground in front of the headstone by each member of the family, starting with the head of the household, with each family member bowing three times. The food is then eaten by the family, a practice which is said to bring good luck. Sometimes fireworks are set off to ward off evil spirits and make the deceased aware of the family’s presence.

    For more information about traditional memorial ceremonies or to plan a memorial service for a loved one, contact Skylawn Memorial Park, a full-service funeral home, cemetery, and mausoleum. Our multilingual staff will assist you in all phases of celebrating your loved one’s life and putting him or her to rest in a facility appropriate for your family’s traditions. Contact us today at (650) 349-4411 to learn more

  • Ching Ming 2012

    Ching Ming Page 1

    History of Ching Ming
    The phrase Ching Ming is linked to the Chinese tradition of ancestor worship, which many consider the original religion of China dating back over 2,500 years.

    The practice of ancestor worship is based on three beliefs:

    • That a person’s good or bad fortune is influenced by the souls of his or her ancestors
    • That all departed ancestors have the same material needs they had when alive
    • That the departed can assist their living relatives

    Ching Ming is a major public festival that is generally treated as an official holiday in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

    Ching Ming Traditions
    On Ching Ming (or Qing Ming), celebrants traditionally visit ancestral graves, where special rites are held and offerings are made in honor of ancestors. This event is held on the 106th day after winter solstice and usually occurs on April 4th or 5th. Traditionally in today’s world of working families, the trip to the
    Cemetery will occur on the weekend before April 5th.

    This event is related to the Chinese tradition of receiving blessings from previous generations when undertaking a new venture. Ching Ming unfolds in a picnic-like atmosphere and is observed as a time for happy communion with ancestors rather than a somber occasion.

    Visiting the cemetery is referred to as “hang san” (walking the mountain). A series of activities; clearing the gravesite of dirt and debris, weeding around the site and repainting inscriptions on the gravestone are together referred to as “sweeping the grave”. Wine and a variety of foods may be placed around the gravesite as offerings to the spirit of the deceased. Eating the food that was offered to the deceased is considered good luck. Paper money is burned for use in the afterlife, candles are lit, and family members bow and kneel in respect. Many of today’s offerings may be simple, consisting of incense, paper money and flowers. Families may also set off firecrackers to drive evil spirits away from the gravesite.

    For Chinese Immigrant communities, Ching Ming is observed as a traditional and cultural ritual rather than a religious practice. In the United States, Ching Ming is most commonly observed in San Francisco and Hawaii.

    Wall of Honor
    What if all your departed loved ones are overseas? How do you pass on this tradition of respect to future generations? We at Skylawn and Chapel of the Chimes Hayward have erected a special Wall of Honor, where you can come and place the names of your departed loved ones and carry on the Tradition of Ching Ming that has been a part of Chinese Culture for over 2,500 years.

    For more information about this event, please give us a call at (650) 349-4411 or visit our website! If you would like to add your loved one’s name to the Wall of Honor, please visit the Ching Ming 2012 link.

    Ching Ming Page 5

  • Funeral Arrangements: Coffin vs. Casket

    Selecting and purchasing a coffin for a loved one would be difficult under any circumstances, but it can be especially trying just after that loved one has died. Learning a bit about the coffin buying process, which is described in this informational video clip, can make the experience somewhat less stressful when the time comes.

    From this video, you will learn where coffins can be purchased and why so many people opt to buy them from the funeral home where they are planning a loved one’s funeral. You will also find out about the difference between a coffin and a casket and learn about the selection of coffin materials that you can choose from when buying a coffin.

    To work with a reputable San Mateo funeral home that has a wide selection of caskets and urns to choose from, contact Skylawn Memorial Park. Call (650) 349-4411 to speak with a member of our bilingual team today.

  • Funeral Planning & Grief Support Resources from Skylawn


    If you would like to learn more about choosing an appropriate floral arrangement for your loved one’s funeral or any of our other recent blog topics, these resources may be of interest to you.

    • Find further advice and inspiration for choosing a floral tribute for your loved one’s funeral or memorial service at FuneralServicesGuide.com.
    • This HelpGuide.org article offers some information that may help you to understand your grief better, as well as tips on coping with your loss.
    • Learn more about the emotional effects of losing a loved one by reading this MedicineNet.com article.
    • Visit FuneralPlanning101.com for start-to-finish advice on planning a funeral.
    • This New York Times article , written from the first-person perspective of someone who has lost both a spouse and child, discusses the emotions he experienced while grieving and reflects on the grief process.

    For funeral services from a funeral home with a bilingual staff and a full range of service options, call Skylawn Memorial Park at (650) 349-4411.