• Using Poetry at a Funeral Ceremony

    Poetry can be a beautiful way to highlight the life of the deceased. But picking the right poetry for a funeral can be very difficult. For tips on which poetry to recite at the funeral services in San Mateo, watch this video clip.

    Establishing the poetry preferences of the deceased is an important part of the process. Read through a book of poems to help you find a poem that matches the life and purpose of the deceased. If you are not in the immediate family of the deceased, we recommend you talk to the family to determine which type of poetry or which poets would be best to recite at the funeral services.

    For more information about funeral planning in San Mateo, call Skylawn Memorial Park at (650) 445-0953. Visit our website to find out how we can help you pre-plan a funeral.

  • A Look at Cremation Ceremonies

    Cremation is one of the most popular funeral practices in the world. Dating back more than 2,000 years, cremation was embraced by ancient cultures in Greece, India and Rome. Though some cultures discourage the procedure, it is common today in places like the U.S., Great Britain, Japan and Sweden.

    Cremation ceremonies need not differ from other kinds of funeral services. You might decide to bury your loved one’s ashes in a cemetery just as you would a casket, marking the location with a headstone. It may be your choice to permanently store the remains of the departed in a glass covered niche. Similar options include benches, pedestals, or a columbarium. Some cemeteries even allow ashes to be scattered in a garden. The ceremony for all of these memorial options can take place before the cremation, or when the ashes are interred.

    If you decide that a cemetery is not your preferred location for memorializing the departed, you may decide to travel to your loved one’s favorite location or body of water to scatter the ashes. This is customary for Hindi funeral ceremonies in India, where the body is actually burned on a pyre in the Ganges River.

    Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park offers a number of options for the cremation ceremony that you are planning. You can explore our services in further detail online or by calling (650) 349-4411.

  • Answering FAQs About Green Burials

    Green burials are becoming an increasingly common option at cemeteries near San Mateo. A low-cost, personal alternative to traditional burial services, green burials are worth taking a closer look at if you are considering funeral services. Continue reading for answers to the most common questions about green burials.

    What is the Origin of Green Burials?

    Green burials were the standard way to bury people up until the Civil War, when the deceased were moved from the battlefield to home using chemical preservatives. After this, it became more common to use preservatives to bury the deceased.

    What is a Green Burial?

    Green funerals do not make use materials that are often found in traditional burials, such as chemical preservatives, caskets made of wood and heavy metals, and other costly treatments and features. Green burial is less expensive and more personalized to the desires of the family. Remains are not embalmed. Instead, they are put directly into the ground.

    What are the Advantages of a Green Burial?

    As the name suggests, green burials are more eco-friendly than traditional burials. Each year, cemeteries bury thousands of tons of steel, copper, concrete, and wood. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of embalming fluids containing environmentally harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde are buried each year in the United States because of traditional burials. Although some say that cremation is more environmentally friendly than traditional burial, cremation produces emissions—green burial produces none.

    Is Embalming Required?

    Federal law does not require embalming. While some funeral homes will say that embalming is necessary for preventing the spread of disease, the Green Burial Council has found that there are no public health benefits to embalming. In a green burial, the body is preserved with dry ice or a cooler for three to four days.

    If you are interested in learning more about green burial in San Mateo, call Skylawn Memorial Park at (650) 445-0953. Visit our website for more information about the funeral services we offer, which include green burials, cremation services, and traditional burial.

  • Memorial Day Event – May 25, 2015

    Skylawn Memorial Park invites the public to attend the annual Memorial Day event starting at 11 a.m. May 25 at the cemetery located at Highway 92 at Skyline Boulevard in San Mateo.

    All ages can honor the men and women who served and sacrificed for our nation while enjoying a family-style, picnic-like atmosphere that includes a military tribute, Stewart Tartan Pipes and Drums, an Honor Guard presentation, a dove release, and a complimentary, All-American hot dog lunch.

    Boy Scouts will volunteer to place flags on all veteran’s markers throughout the park.

    All veteran’s markers throughout the park will have a flag placed on them by Boy Scout volunteers.

    For more information, contact us here.

  • Tips for Offering Support to a Grieving Friend

    When you encounter a friend during funeral services, it is important to create the space they need to experience their grief. It can be difficult to know how to be supportive in these situations, especially when it feels like the normal rules for etiquette don’t apply. You may experience a side of your friend that you have not seen before, and it can be hard to know how to respond to their emotions in a way that gives them comfort.

    Acknowledge the Loss

    It may feel easier to avoid the topic of a recent death when you encounter someone who is grieving, but this is not necessarily helpful for them. Be sure to acknowledge the death, and go so far as to refer to the person who died by name. While it may seem uncomfortable to remind your friend of something that is painful to them, it may help them to talk about what has happened, how they feel, and to reminisce about the person they are mourning.


    One of the most helpful ways to offer grief support is listening. Don’t worry so much about what you are going to say. Try to focus your energy on them, and be as understanding as possible about the things that they want to talk about. This is not a good time to discuss your own experiences with loss. It is also not the best idea in this moment to offer clichés, or to talk about your views on life and death. It is most supportive to keep the attention on the person who has died.

    Be Flexible

    Be sure to listen carefully to what is asked of you when you offer help. This may mean giving space for your friend to spend time alone. It may also mean helping with chores or making meals. Get in touch regularly. While it is normal to endure grief for years, some people may benefit from professional guidance. If you notice that your friend is still depressed after a long period of time, consider suggesting that they seek professional grief counseling.

    At Skylawn Memorial Park, you will not only find a complete range of funeral services in San Mateo, but you can find grief support with our experienced counseling director. To find resources that will help your friend or loved one productively grieve, call us at (650) 349-4411.