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So far Accu-Care Cremation & Funerals has created 23 blog entries.

What Do I Do Next?

If a friend or loved one has died and the responsibility for the next steps has fallen to you, you may be wondering how to proceed. This resource is available for those who know that the deceased intended to be cremated.

  1. Report the Death – Care facilities, (like nursing homes, hospitals, and hospice care), have trained professionals to handle this. If the deceased passed at home, contact their cremation provider, if one has been chosen. If no other options are available, call 9-1-1.
  2. Inform the Family – If the deceased is not related to you, you will want to reach out to any surviving relatives to inform them of their passing. If there are no surviving relatives, a well-written notice should be prepared for a printed obituary to inform other friends and acquaintances.
  3. Decide on a Service – Depending on the deceased’s wishes, you can select among a funeral or memorial service. The primary difference is that a funeral is held before cremation where a memorial is held afterwards.
  4. Plan the Service – The cremation provider you select for an at-need cremation will be happy to guide you through the details of planning a service for your friend or loved one.

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California Drought Crisis and Cremation

The current California drought crisis is receiving a lot of attention right now. With the revelation by NASA that our water reserves are at an all time low, (with just one year of stored water left), everyone, from city planners to agricultural scientists to the highest levels of state government, is hurriedly exploring actions that can be implemented immediately to spare the state from the catastrophic human and economic consequences of this desperate situation.

The land that we build upon, bury in, and use for agriculture is similar to the sponge you have at your kitchen sink. In the best of times, it is moist and pliable. As it experiences less and less water, it begins to contract upon itself, receding from its healthy state to a shallower, more brittle landscape, marked by cracking and unsightly pock marks. Any California homeowner whose residence is built upon a concrete slab foundation has likely already witnessed the steady recession of the land immediately surrounding it, often leading to unsettling and cracking of the foundation. […]

Latest Cremation Laws in California

California has always been a forward thinking state. We attract visitors from across the country and around the world with our great weather, world-class attractions, and thriving industry. Another area where Californians have led the way is the acceptance of cremation as a viable end-of-life plan. The affordability and ecologically responsible option cremation provides has driven that acceptance, making California one of the states with the highest percentage of cremations over traditional burial.

Cremation also provides a wealth of options that a traditional burial just can’t match. Memorializing a loved one at home in a decorative urn is very popular. Others opt for a beautiful and meaningful scattering service. As scattering ashes, either on land or at sea, becomes a more chosen option, it is important to understand the laws that govern this form of final disposition. […]

One in Five People Keep Ashes in their Homes

It’s no secret that the number of people who choose cremation has only been growing over the last many years, and it’s easy to see why. Cremation offers family members a wide array of options, including how the deceased will be remembered by future generations. Scattering continues to be a popular and poetic option, symbolizing becoming one with the earth. A group of crematories and funeral homes in California and Washington set out to determine just how many people are opting to be scattered over being kept in an urn. The results were somewhat surprising: One in five survey respondents said they keep the ashes of their loved ones in their home. Significantly, 85% of the survey respondents said they’ve personally arranged a cremation at some point in their life, a fact which points to the continuing rise in popularity of cremations.

Of those storing ashes in their homes, 50 percent say they’re holding on to the ashes of a parent, but a smaller 15 percent say they’ve got the ashes of their spouse stored in their home. The majority of those surveyed said they only had one person’s ashes in their house, about 76 percent, with 24 percent saying they had multiple urns in their home. According to the group which conducted the survey, these numbers simply prove how popular cremation is becoming amongst Americans. And as more people choose cremation, crematoriums and funeral homes are beginning to offer even more options for memorials. After all, those who choose cremation are afforded many options in terms of storage and memorials. What the survey conductors likely weren’t expecting to find out is how few people are aware of all these choices, however. […]

On Walt Disney’s Frozen Rumors

Walt Disney lived a life that many could only dream about. Aside from building a powerful empire that still stands today, Disney also built the most popular theme park in the world and changed the way people would view cartoons forever. Given his accolades, it makes sense, then, that many see him as part tall-tale, part living legend. On the anniversary of his death, a popular myth about Disney has been revived, but those who know Disney best, including his own daughter, say the rumors are indeed false. No matter what you may read on the Internet, Disney was not frozen and is not buried underneath the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. As a matter of fact, Disney chose to be cremated, a notable choice given that cremation wasn’t as popular in 1966 as it is today.

Walt Disney passed away on December 15, 1966 at 65 following a brief bout with lung cancer. Just as he did with his 3-pack-a-day habit, Disney largely hid his cancer from the public, a fact that would later add to the overall secrecy and conspiracy of his death. Just 34 days after he found out about his cancer, Disney passed away and was later cremated, his ashes interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. Some conspiracy theorists point to the way Disney died and the way the news was released to the public as proof that the famous Mickey Mouse creator had, in fact, been frozen to ensure his immortality. […]

Ashes of 1,400 Individuals To Be Buried in L.A. County Cemetery

When an individual is cremated, typically the family collects the ashes and plans a meaningful memorial, perhaps returning the ashes to a decorative urn or planning a scattering service. However, for 1,400 individuals cremated in Los Angeles in 2011, such a memorial never marked their passing. According to the L.A. Times, these remains will be interred in a mass grave at Boyle Heights Cemetery by the end of the year if still unclaimed.

By October of this year, only 440 of the 1,868 remains had been claimed by family members, leaving over 1,400 remains to be buried by the county cemetery. In 2011, the L.A. Times digitized the handwritten register that had kept track of every single individual cremated by L.A. County, hoping it would help connect family members with their loved ones. However, since the digital database’s inception, not many have come forward in search of their lost family.

How could the ashes of such a large number of individuals go unclaimed? For some, it was a case of a family member having died out of state. A son of one of the individuals cremated by L.A. County in 2011, Aaron Wheelock, wasn’t able to come pick up his father’s ashes when he died in the middle of his last trip out West. The county would not ship the remains to Idaho, where Wheelock lives. […]

California Honors 31 Vietnam Veterans

The names of more than 30 Vietnam veterans will soon be added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento. The California Vietnam Memorial Name Committee recently agreed to add the names of 31 U.S. service members who sacrificed their lives during the Vietnam War. These names will be unveiled in a special ceremony held at the memorial in Capital Park on March 29, 2015. Ten of the service members are already recognized at the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. There consideration by the name committee now means they will finally be honored, too, by their home state of California.

Also announced by the California Vietnam Memorial Name Committee were the names of 21 sailors who perished aboard the USS Frank E. Evans as it sank in the South China Sea during a training exercise on June 3, 1969.

In a statement, Peter Gravett, secretary of California Department of Veterans Affairs said, “We are honored to formally recognize the service and sacrifice of our brave men in uniform. Although our recognition is decades late, California’s salute is equally heartfelt and deserved for all of our fallen service members and their families.”

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New Mixed-Use Facility For Veterans In Bay Area

The island city of Alameda, home to a former Naval Air Station at what is now called Alameda Point, received welcome news this week when the Bay Area town learned the Department of Veterans Affairs officially took ownership of 624 acres with the intent to develop the area into a large mixed-use facility for veterans. In addition to providing expanded and modern medical facilities and a benefits center, the VA also dedicated land for the development of a new national cemetery and wildlife preserve.

Reported this week on SFGate, the sister website to the San Francisco Chronicle, Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore stated, “We are proud that the new One VA facility will call Alameda home.” The mayor’s statement was made during a public ceremony that included a color guard, architectural renderings of the new facilities and a video that detailed the former Naval Air Station’s history.

Originally opened as Alameda Airport in 1927, the facility was not long after recognized for its strategic value. In 1938, Congress appropriated funds for the transition of the field into a naval air station. It remained an important installation through World War II and the Cold War that followed. Strict budget cuts in the late 1990’s affected the naval air station and it was selected for closure in 1997. […]

What Happens When We Die?

What happens when we die? The answer depends on one’s philosophical belief system. Often, the daunting part about considering this great unknown is that we may never truly know the answer to this question.

However, when the question ‘What happens when we die?’ is refers to actual events on the physical plane — such as, what it is like to be placed in a coffin or having our physical bodies reduced to ash — humans are able to conceive and understand more fully.

This past August, we learned how this trend of understanding more intimately what happens to us when we die spurred the Shukatsu Festa funeral expo in Japan, where attendees had the opportunity to experience the entire funeral process, including coffin and clothing selections, lying in state, and having friends and family offer eulogies. As noted in many news stories at the time, Japan’s aging population paired with a severely declining birth rate has aided in driving this trend of ‘try before you die’ in the nation’s death industry. […]

California Cremation Laws

California leads the nation with the highest number of cremations (currently 56 percent), and cremation is expected to grow in popularity among Californians needing end-of-life services. As the practice becomes more common, more people are learning about the cremation process and guidelines for a safe, simple, and natural final disposition.

California cremation providers must comply with federal rules regulating cremation. Additionally, California’s Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau provides guidelines for arranging a local cremation. They are as follows:

Who can make disposition arrangements?

California law lists a number of persons who may legally make disposition arrangements for the deceased, including a spouse, child, parent, or other family member. An appointed conservator, an agent under a California power of attorney for health care, and a domestic partner who is registered with the Secretary of State are also allowed to make arrangements. The law gives priority to the final wishes of the deceased, if they were laid out ahead of time. […]