• Should You Send Thank-You Notes to Funeral Guests?

    Businesswoman Writing Notes

    When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to think of anything else. However, during your time of sadness, it is important to show gratitude for the kindness and support afforded you by friends and family members. A simple thank-you note is an easy way to express your gratitude to those who go out of their way during the funeral, doing things such as bringing flowers, assisted with child care, or helped with transportation. It’s also a good idea to send thank-you notes to those who make memorial donations in honor of your loved one, and to the pallbearers and any musicians involved in the funeral. Though there is no hard and fast rule about when to send these notes, two or three weeks after the funeral service is generally deemed appropriate.

    Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging times in your life, which is why Skylawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park is here to help you through the funeral process. Contact us at (650) 349-4411 to speak with one of the caring staff members at our San Mateo funeral home

  • What Are the Best Ways to Offer Condolences?

    Cemetery Flowers

    Hearing the news of someone’s death can be very saddening, even if you didn’t know the deceased very well. When someone close to a friend or family member passes away, they may rely on you for support during their grieving process. It’s normal to feel a little uncomfortable at a wake or a funeral, as every person deals with death in his or her own way. Keep reading to learn what the best ways are to offer condolences to someone you care about.

    Acknowledge the Death

    Because death can be an uncomfortable topic of conversation, some people will choose to ignore it altogether when talking to a bereaved friend or colleague. It is better etiquette, however, to acknowledge this person’s loss. This lets the person know you are thinking about her, and that you are not just callously ignoring the death. You can send a card or flowers if you are unable to speak to your friend in person; the important thing is that you make the gesture of condolences to communicate your sympathies.

    Be a Good Listener

    When your friend tells you of the death of someone close to her, the best thing you can do is to be a good listener. Reflect what she says about the deceased’s life and her feelings about the death back to her to show that you are truly engaged in your conversation. Always refer to the deceased by his or her name to make the situation grounded in reality, and not an abstract occurrence. Feel free to ask if you can help with arrangements for the wake, funeral, or burial, and ask if there is anything you can do to help your friend in her time of need. Let your friend focus on her loss without bringing up your own experiences, and you may find yourself with a stronger friendship once she has moved through the grieving process.

    At Skylawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, we pride ourselves on being San Mateo’s top choice for burial and cremation options. Our courteous staff will work with you and your family to make sure that your loved one is honored with respect and dignity. Contact us at (650) 349-4411 to learn more about our services. 

  • Skylawn Memorial Park’s Annual Pajama Drive

    PJ Drive 1

    “Over 60,000 California children find themselves living in foster care at any given time, many of which have entered with little to no possessions. Many have suffered the effects of poverty, neglect, and even abuse. Studies show that for many foster children, these challenges are just beginning.” The article went on to say: “Bedtime is when all children should feel safe and warm. But for California foster children, nights spent in a new home can feel long and lonely. To help make bedtime a little cozier, Sleep Train is collecting new pajamas for children of all sizes.”

    This statement caught the attention of the Staff at Skylawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home in late January.  Over the next 30 days, employees donated over 40 pair of new pajamas to be distributed to the California Foster Children.  These new pajamas may seem like a little thing in a vast system but these little things often make a big difference for these children. Pictured above is Funeral Director, Cindy Naras and Staff Associate Lisa Huerta.

    Skylawn will continue to participate and offer support during future drives as Sleep train strives to help foster children beat the odds.

    PJ Drive 2

  • Ways You Can Offer Support to a Grieving Teen

    conversation with a therapist

    By the time your child is a teen, he understands the finality and consequences of death. After the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to know how to support your grieving teen in ways to which he will be receptive. Skylawn Memorial Park is here to help by offering 24/7 grief support services to families in the San Mateo area.

    Listen and Watch

    Even if your teen is not open about his emotions, you can learn much about what he is feeling by listening and watching his behavior. A teen may be hesitant to drive after a peer or loved one has died in a car crash, or he may act fearful of becoming sick if a loved one suffered from a terminal illness. Parents can find ways to help their grieving teen by taking cues from his behavior. If your teen is worried about driving, take some time to discuss safe practices on the road. Teens who are concerned about illnesses can speak with a physician about maintaining healthy lifestyle habits that can put his mind more at ease.

    Don’t Force Discussion

    While finding support is important, you must recognize that your teen may feel comfortable discussing feelings of grief with a friend or adult community member rather than a parent. If your child seems reluctant to speak with you about the loss, encourage him to seek out others, such as a teacher, counselor, or religious figure, who can offer a supportive ear instead. If your teen does come to you to speak about his feelings, give him your undivided attention and be as honest and open with him as possible.

    The staff at Skylawn Memorial Park is here to help you and your family through the days following the loss of a loved one. We offer grief support services, funeral planning and pre-planning, cremation memorialization, and more to meet your family’s unique needs. You can reach us by phone at (650) 349-4411 or by clicking on our web contact form. 

  • Exploring Funeral Etiquette


    A funeral service is a special occasion during which the life and memory of a lost loved one are celebrated. During this time, it’s important to observe appropriate etiquette to express your love and support to friends and family members. Taking your cues from the service itself will ensure you act appropriately and respectfully during this time.

    Appropriate Clothing

    It’s important to choose clothing appropriate for the occasion when attending a funeral. Most funerals call for conservative business-appropriate attire. Wear muted dark colors such as blacks, grays, and blues. Keep jewelry to a tasteful minimum and avoid large or flashy pieces. Some funerals, however, call for more festive attire. If you are attending the funeral of someone with a very different cultural or religious background than your own, check with the family or close friends regarding appropriate attire. In some cases, the memorial announcement will state the type of clothing the family wishes attendees to wear.

    Appropriate Behavior

    A funeral or memorial service is a time for respectful behavior. Once you are seated, remain quietly seated unless you must quiet a crying child or have a fit of sneezing or coughing. In these cases, leave the room quickly and quietly to avoid disrupting the service. Silence or turn off your cell phone—it is not appropriate to text, talk, or take pictures during a funeral. Don’t be afraid to cry if you are sad, and bring tissues or a handkerchief if you believe you will need them. Laughter is perfectly fine during a humorous eulogy, but keep your mirth in line with others’ reactions. When offering words of consolation to the family, try to express your sadness and desire to provide support without making the conversation about yourself.

    Skylawn Memorial Park offers a tranquil resting place as well as a community gathering center atop the Monterra mountain rage of San Mateo. Contact us by calling (650) 349-4411 to learn more about our multi-use community facility appropriate for funerals, meetings, and other important events. You can find out more about our dedication to providing personalized service on our website.