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Cremation Is On The Rise

If you haven’t already heard, cremation is trending up. According to reports from CANA (Cremation Association of North America) in California cremation is more than 55%. In Sacramento County it is reportedly as high as 72%.
The reasons people are choosing cremation vary from person to person. What’s most important to know is that cremation services are not all alike. You have the cremation societies or cremation store fronts that advertise cremations as low as $699. And at a funeral home you may be quoted anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500.

Why such a difference? In Sacramento County there are only a handful of crematories (about 14)….to handle a huge volume of cremations. Most are warehouse facilities that do cremations for many different funeral homes. And when they are busy, they often ship the deceased to another city to do the cremation.

However, if you use a firm such as East Lawn, we own our own crematory and it is strictly for use by our families (we do not loan it out). This ensures the chain of custody of your loved one is maintained because they never leave our care. Just one of many things to think about if you are considering cremation for yourself or a loved one.

Lisa West
Community Outreach Director


Hello Procrastinators

I’m probably the biggest procrastinator on the planet. But I actually hate putting things off, so I’ve given myself a new challenge in the new year to do all the things I don’t like to do BEFORE I allow myself to do all the things I really want and like to do. We’ll see how it goes. I’m optimistic!

When I go out into the community I hear many people say, “I’m too young to plan my final arrangements” or “I’ll get to it some day.” Trust me when I tell you that it’s one of the most important tasks out there and should be on the top of your priority list. The main reason I say that is because it is so much easier than people think it will be. Yes, big decisions require some thought – but after that, sitting down and getting it done is a breeze. And, we’re here to help. We have more than 30 Free Luncheon Seminars titled “The Privilege of Planning” coming up in 2017. Go to our calendar page on the website and sign up for one today. You’ll be glad you stopped putting this off!

Lisa West


The Community Says Goodbye to K9 Officer Bodie

On 11/14/2016 K9 Officer Bodie was interred at Sierra Hills Pet Cemetery following his death from an infection. Bodie was the 51st K9 Officer to be buried at East Lawn’s pet cemetery. His service was well attended by both law enforcement and the community.

Although Bodie’s obituary is too long to print here, we want to give you a few highlights of his life and his connection with the Sacramento community. K9 Officer Bodie was born in Bergen Germany on 3/27/2008 and he came to the USA in 2010 to be partners with Sacramento Police Department Officer Randy Van Dusen. He made a name for himself on the streets as a hardworking police dog and loving family pet.

On 5/18/2012, K9 Officer Bodie was shot in the face and immediately rushed to VCA Veterinary Referral Center where they saved his life – after he had just saved the life of his partner. Although he would never return to active duty as a police K9, he lived an amazing life as a police ambassador within the community. He visited school children and received numerous awards and went on to sire puppies – one of which now serves as a K9 Officer with the Citrus Heights Police Dept.

K9 Officer Bodie was a fierce protector and will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.

Courtesy of: Sgt. Randy Van Dusen


To Scatter or Not to Scatter

As the cremation rate is on a steady rise, many people have questions about scattering the cremated remains of their loved one. First, the picture below – that’s illegal. So the first thing you want to do is find out what the rules are. For scattering in the ocean, you are supposed to be several miles offshore. Did you know a permit is required? Your county must issue you a permit so they have a record of what happened to the cremated remains of your loved one. While scattering can be a meaningful choice for many, here are some things we have learned from the families we have served. Consider the fact that scattering is irreversible and the land where you scatter can have it’s usage changed in the future (in other words, something could be built there that you don’t like and you may no longer enjoy visiting your loved one in that place). Others who scatter in the ocean for example, later regret the decision because they now have no significant place to visit on special holidays like birthdays and Christmas. Think it through, then examine all the options available before committing to scattering.

Lisa West


Serving our Veterans

Although Veterans Day has just passed, I wanted to take a moment to thank all veterans out there for their service to this great country. And I wanted to be sure you (veterans) knew you were entitled to a free burial in one of many national cemeteries across the nation. Be sure to check you eligibility by finding your DD-214 and contacting us (or any funeral home) for all the details. Coming in 2017 will be several Veterans Only Free Luncheon Seminars you can attend to find out more about your burial options and what the VA does and does not pay for. Our first one is coming up on Thursday, February 16 at our East Lawn Sierra Hills Memorial Park location at 5757 Greenback Lane. Go onto our website and scroll down to the calendar page and you can give us your RSVP right there. And, thank you again!

Lisa West


Experiencing a loss…

Recently, Dr. Jerry L. Cook, PhD and CSUS Professor graciously agreed to give a lecture series at East Lawn using topics from his book, I Survived: Now What?

From the book, Dr. Cook writes, “Loss” is more of an experience than an event. If you have experienced a loss in your life, you know that the aftershocks of a traumatic event can be as devastating as the event itself. Whether we experience the loss of health, the loss of a loved one, or the loss of hope, loss follows us wherever we go and with whatever we do. It affects our judgement, our ability to trust, and our willingness to take risks.

Dr. Cook will deliver the last of his three-part lecture series on Thursday, November 10, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, and we invite you to attend. No RSVP is required.  Refreshments will be served following the lecture.

Lisa West


What’s in a name?

A person’s name and what it represents to that person is extremely significant. If you’re like me, remembering the name of everyone you meet can be challenging.

Everyone regards his or her name as important. It is human nature, and everyone dislikes having their name mispronounced or mis-spelled. We live in such a diverse society that there are many different types of names and spellings. The best practice to remedy this situation is simply to ask how you pronounce their name and then repeat it back to them. This will help you remember their name in the future.

When a person passes away, they maintain their name and identity. When referring to that person, continue to use their name in a dignified manner – especially when writing an obituary or making a comment to an obituary. This will help keep their memory alive and be of comfort to the family.

Lisa West


The Art of Listening…

Author Todd Van Beck recently wrote, “The human ear is a marvelous organ. In its intricate construction lies the priceless gift of hearing. By means of it, the brain is enabled to catch impressions and information vital to success, happiness, and physical well-being. But many blessed with hearing lack the ability of listening”!

People who are dealing with intense emotions, and especially grief don’t expect you to fix it. What they want most is for you just to listen. Listen with compassion. Don’t tell them stories about you and your past or present grief; practice instead what some often refer to as “sacred silence” and just be there.

Being a good “listener” is really not difficult. It simply means that a person stops talking and starts listening. Being an effective listener requires intentional discipline and practice. When you listen intently, it pleases the speaker and invites his/her confidence. That person feels that you appreciate their words and…is encouraged to tell you more.


Is East Lawn “expensive” ?

Sometimes I hear people say they love East Lawn but that we are expensive.  First, let me dispel part of that myth… East Lawn is not the least expensive. But, we are definitely not the most expensive if you compare us to other funeral and cemetery firms in our area. And we can accommodate whatever budget you have to work with.

Marketing professional Dan Katz recently asked, “What does expensive mean? And what is the point of reference, in other words, expensive compared to what? Example: Are cars expensive? Yes, at least the ones that don’t break down before their first oil change, provide genuine safety and make you feel good behind the wheel.”

While I’m not comparing East Lawn with car sales, I think most people see the meaning in that example. With funeral services, we get just one opportunity to do it right. We don’t mind being thought of as expensive, if expensive means unsurpassed service, honoring lives lived, and accepting our responsibility to care for families with our utmost emphasis being on integrity, dignity and compassion.

Lisa West, Community Outreach Director


Empathy vs. Sympathy

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between empathy and sympathy? Both empathy and sympathy are feelings concerning other people.  Sympathy is literally “feeling with” – compassion for, or commiseration with another person. Empathy, by contrast, is literally “feeling into” – the ability to project one’s personality into another person and more fully understand that person. You feel empathy when you’ve “been there” – and sympathy when you haven’t. Empathy is the ability to mutually experience the thoughts, emotions, and direct experience of others. It goes beyond sympathy, which is a feeling of care and understanding for the suffering of others.

Please share with us some ways you show empathy towards others.

Lisa West, Community Outreach Director