Understanding How Different Cultures Honor Their Loved Ones After Death

Balinese offering

If you come from a family with shared traditions, you may have an idea of what funerals are like that is heavily influenced by your experience with them. Throughout our species’ history, however, several distinct funeral and memorial traditions have developed throughout the world. Recent human migration has spread these practices across the globe to places where they were once unknown. These cultural burial and funeral traditions include:

Tibetan Sky Burial

Unlike most Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists living high in the Himalayas do not cremate their dead. Instead, they make specific incisions on the bodies of their loved ones before leaving the corpses on mountaintops, where the bodies are consumed by predatory birds. Believing that the spirit that once occupied the body has transmigrated into that of another being, Tibetans see no reason to preserve the body. Leaving it for the birds is seen as an act of generosity. Zoroastrians practice a similar funeral custom.

Australian Aboriginal Funeral Customs

The aboriginals of Australia have one of the oldest living cultures on earth. Many of them still practice a burial ritual that dates back more than 60,000 years. After celebrating the loved one’s life at a ceremony marked by dancing, singing, chanting, and body paint, the aborigines leave the body out on a raised platform for months. When only bones are left, loved ones scatter the bones in an environmentally friendly manner.

Bali Fire Burial

Cremation is the norm in most eastern religions. In Bali, a predominantly Hindu island in Indonesia, the bodies of deceased loved ones are burned, but not in a crematorium. Following a symbolic funeral ceremony, a body is interred in a community grave until it is deemed that enough bodies have been collected for a ritualistic fire burial. After unearthing, cleaning, and decorating the bodies pulled from the community grave, villagers march the bodies around in a parade before burning them all together.

Skylawn Memorial Park in San Mateo is a multicultural cemetery, and we seek to accommodate the customs and wishes of all those who use our services. Regardless of the burial or cremation service you are looking to hold, we will help you plan it. To speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable member of our multilingual staff, call (650) 349-4411.

Dealing with the Anniversary of a Loved One’s Death

In loving memory

For nearly a year, every holiday and annual event you observe or attend has been the first you have experienced since the death of your loved one. Before long, the one-year anniversary of your loved one’s passing will be here. You know it will be difficult, and you are wondering how to cope.

While grief is a personal process that is different for each individual who experiences it, there are a handful of ways to honor a loved one’s memory on the anniversary of his or her death that many bereaved individuals find helpful. These include visiting a graveside memorial with flowers, watching old home videos, spending the day making a photo album or writing about your loved one, and hosting a gathering for those who knew your loved one best.

If you find the anniversary of your loved one’s death exceptionally different and would like to be in the company of others who you feel can understand you as you remember your loved one’s passing, you may wish to revisit a grief support group. To learn more about grief support and other grief and healing resources in San Mateo, call Skylawn Memorial Park at (650) 349-4411. 

Understanding the Biological Aspects of Grief

Crying woman

Funeral services give friends and family members a chance to come together and say goodbye to their lost loved one. These services often provide closure, but that does not mean they put an end to the grieving process. Learning about the biological aspects of grief can help you learn how to handle this process:

What is Grief?

Grief is a common emotion that people feel when they experience a loss or another startling and unexpected event. People often experience the grieving process after the death of a loved one. Grief is a natural reaction to loss that can show itself in sadness, anger, loneliness, and disinterest from your favorite hobbies and activities.

Is Grief the Same for Everyone?

While grief is a common emotion to experience after a loss, it does not affect everyone in the same ways. There are a few common stages of grief, such as disbelief, sadness, guilt, anger, and fear. Some people experience all of these emotions while others experience a few or just one. Grief is a unique experience for every individual.

What are the Biological Aspects of Grief?

Relationships are important for maintaining healthy lifestyles. But a side effect of having relationships is experiencing grief when they end. Many people feel sadness and loneliness for a short time after a loss but eventually learn to move on. Others suffer from long-term effects due to biological elements. Grief can lead to long-term sadness or even depression for people who do not overcome the emotions.

What Can You Do When You Are Grieving?

If you are grieving after the loss of a loved one, it is important to seek support from the funeral home. These establishments often offer support services for friends and family members after a loss. Support can help you learn how to start moving on.

Plan a wonderful funeral service for your deceased loved one with help from Skylawn Memorial Park. Our San Mateo funeral home can honor your loved one and provide grief support for friends and family. Call us at (650) 349-4411 for more information.

Honoring a Deceased Loved One at Your Wedding

Your wedding day is should be one of the happiest and most memorable days of your life! But if a certain loved one is not there to spend this day with you, it may be difficult to make the most of the celebration.

As you will see in this video, there are many ways to honor a deceased loved one while still planning a beautiful and unforgettable wedding. Ideas include saving a seat for your deceased loved one and marking it with a flower, placing uplifting photos of your loved one around the reception space, and giving a small toast to celebrate his or her honor.

Discover other ways to honor the memory of your deceased loved one during a special occasion here at Skylawn Memorial Park. Learn about our San Mateo funeral home and burial services by calling us at (650) 288-0599.