What Does Vin Diesel Have to Do With Communal Mourning?

When a celebrity dies, it’s hard to know how to process grief. Even if we didn’t know the person in real life, we often feel connected because of their work and look for a way to express our sadness.  

Of late, many researchers have been looking into the phenomenon known as “parasocial mourning,” paying particular attention to the way people mourn celebrities on social media. Action star Vin Diesel is just one example of someone using his celebrity to help fans mourn. 

Vin Diesel’s Facebook page, which launched in 2009, has since become one of the top three celebrity pages on Facebook. His frequent posts, which are mostly geared to his fans, feature visual material such as photos and videos of not only his public appearances but also his personal life. He’s more transparent that one might expect from a celebrity, and it’s not unusual to see members of his family featured on his page.  

In 2013, Diesel’s friend and Fast and Furious franchise co-star Paul Walker was killed in a high-speed car crash. The shocking and sudden death was especially tragic because Walker, 40, left behind a young teenage daughter. Walker was beloved by his friends and Fast and Furious costars who were very close knit, so it wasn’t surprising that they mourned publicly. A song was even commissioned in Walker’s honor for his last film, Furious 7, which was released in 2015. Many celebrities took to social media, especially Twitter, to mourn Walker’s passing.  

Vin Diesel soon became transparent in his mourning, using Facebook to share his grief and healing process. Immediately after the tragedy, he changed his cover photo to one that included his friend, and he posted an emotional tribute, quoting Scottish poet Thomas Campbell: “To live in the hearts we leave behind, is not to die.” 

Vin Diesel’s posts about Walker were not limited to the time immediately following the actor’s death. Rather, he’s continued to put up emotional content, including personal photos. Through Facebook, he has given fans permission to mourn with him and found a meaningful way to keep his friend’s memory alive.  

At Mountain View, we understand the power of technology in funerals, mourning and keeping alive the memories of lost loved ones. That’s why we offer online obituaries and tributes as well as Signature Services℠ such as internet webcasts and DVD memorial tributes. Call us at 253.948.9895 to learn more about how we can help you create a funeral service that honors the life your loved one lived.

Preparing for the Inevitable

Amazing Ways to Memorialize Your Loved One

Creating a memorial to a loved one who has died is an important process. It can be simple or elaborate, and often it is a beautiful, meaningful work of art. The most important thing a memorial can do is to tell the story of the life that was lived, creating a touchpoint for future generations to reflect and remember.  

Long ago, people piled stones atop a gravesite to mark a person’s passing. Today, there are many types of memorials from which to choose.  

  • Cremation island: Set apart from the cemetery with distinctive landscaping, a personalized cremation island tells your loved one’s story through statuary, plaques and more. It’s a beautiful and distinctive way to honor a life well lived, and provides an ideal space to visit and remember. 
  • Benches: Memorial benches offer a space to rest as well as to reflect, and can be made to hold several urns. Personalized to fit your loved one’s style, the bench can be engraved with inscriptions and designed to reflect that person’s occupation, hobbies or interests. Benches are typically made of granite, come in different colors, and are set on a foundation of concrete so that they remain level over time.  
  • Monubenches: More personalized than a bench memorial, monubenches come in a variety of unique styles, shapes, and sizes. Imagine a bench with the back carved into a fish to memorialize an avid fisherman, or half the bench shaped into a majestic stag to memorialize a hunter. A monubench can be designed as a checkers game or a rocking chair, a cask of wine for a wine enthusiast, or an airplane for a pilot. The design is limited only by your imagination.  
  • Busts: Busts are statues depicting the people they honor, whether in a formal pose or captured doing something they loved.  
  • Flat memorials: Understated and elegant or ornate and personalized, flat memorials are a timeless option for memorializing a loved one. Typically made of granite, they can also feature a nameplate of bronze, steel or anodized aluminum, and can incorporate full-color photos or sketches. 
  • Pedestal: A pedestal can feature a statue of something the person loved, or it can be something functional such as a bird bath.  
  • Pedestal bench: By merging two memorial options — a bench and a pedestal — there is a place to sit as well as a focal point that reflects the life of the person you’re remembering.  
  • Private cremation estate: This is like a miniature mausoleum —perfect for those who want a special place for families to be together forever.  
  • Upright monuments: Large and decorative, these can be large headstones or statuary representing the life they’re commemorating.  
  • Posts: Simple and beautiful, a post is perfect for someone who was understated in life and preferred simple pleasures.  

At Mountain View, we believe memorialization is an important part of celebrating the life of a loved one. That’s why we’re proud to offer a wide variety of personalized memorials to honor those who choose our property as their final resting place. Call 253.948.9895 to learn more.  

A Greener Option: Promoting Eco-Consciousness Even in Death

As society becomes ever more eco-conscious, with more and more people trying to live “green,” there is a move to cut back on disposable items, avoid plastic with harmful chemicals, reduce, reuse and recycle — all in an attempt to be kinder to the environment and leave a smaller footprint.

It makes sense, then, that more people want to be conscientious about the environment even in death. Green burial options help make that possible.

Mountain View Funeral Home is approved by the Green Burial Council to offer green burial packages. The council believes that green, natural funerals should become the new standard for the industry, and works to educate and advocate for that purpose.

Classifying a “green” burial as one that protects workers’ health, reduces carbon emissions, conserves natural resources and preserves habitats, the Green Burial Council offers environmental certificates for funeral homes, cemeteries and product manufacturers. Mountain View has earned a certificate by offering burials with no formaldehyde-based embalming and without metal or hardwood caskets.

The caskets and alternative containers used in our green burial services to enclose and transport your loved one are made of biodegradable materials — and choosing an environmentally friendly end-of-life option doesn’t eliminate the opportunity for a traditional funeral service, although it does limit the time frame. Our green options are not limited to burial, but also include green cremation choices. We also provide alternative embalming and preparation care options.

At Mountain View, we believe in honoring each person’s unique life and respecting the wishes of every family. Whether you prefer traditional burial, cremation or a green option, we have services available to fit every need and show respect to a wide range of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. For more information, call 253.948.9895. To learn more about our alternative burial, cremation and embalming options, visit our Green Burials page.

Why Bagpipes at a Funeral?

Legendary evangelist Billy Graham passed away in March of this year, and as his casket was led from the tent where more than 2,000 mourners had gathered, a bagpiper played Amazing Grace.

It was a touching moment that would have felt familiar to many people because bagpipes are often played at funerals. In particular, military, police and firefighter funerals typically feature the mournful sound of the pipes.

Bagpipes have long been played at important ceremonies, including funerals, in Ireland and Scotland. During the potato famine, when the Irish immigrated to the United States in large numbers, they brought this tradition with them. The Irish, however, don’t favor the bagpipes that we see at funerals here in America. Rather, the traditional Irish instrument known as the Uilleann pipes became fashionable in the 18th century, replacing the harp as the instrument of choice for most Irish music. Played from a sitting position, these pipes produce tones much sweeter than Scottish bagpipes.

Why, then, are Scottish pipes played at funerals? The answer is simple: Scottish bagpipes are louder and easier to hear outdoors.

As Irish immigrants assimilated into American society, many became firefighters and law enforcement officers. It’s only natural, then, that bagpipes were soon played at their funerals.

Today, you don’t have to be a dignitary, firefighter, police officer or member of the armed forces to have bagpipes played at your funeral and the song doesn’t have to be Amazing Grace. they Bagpipes can be played before, during or after any funeral or memorial service, providing a mournful and poignant sound that seems to fit the occasion.

At Mountain View, we believe in creating memorable, life-honoring services customized for each unique person. That’s why we offer Signature Services℠, including bagpipes, to help enhance your family’s time of reflection and remembrance. Call 253.948.9895 for more information.

The Unique Beauty of Mountain View Cemetery

A cemetery can tell you a lot about the community it serves, and strolling through the grounds at Mountain View can give you a deeper understanding of this community’s history.

Incorporated in 1915, Mountain View has seen many changes in Tacoma and has grown to meet the evolving needs of local families. For example, in an innovative move designed to keep up with the times, Mountain View became the first cemetery with a funeral home onsite in 1942.

Nature is at the heart and soul of this property. We understand that progress must not disrupt the peace and beauty of nature, and as part of our commitment to preserving the serenity of Mountain View, we have developed only 100 of its 160 acres.

The beautiful grounds are home to 181 varieties of trees, 575 rhododendron plants, and prize-winning rose gardens. Birds and wildlife abound in a wide variety of species.

Tacoma is also a progressive, sophisticated city. People’s tastes have changed over the years, and a walk through the cemetery will show many different areas designed to serve different needs.

  • Our Veterans Memorial is a longstanding tribute to the men and women in military service. In all, there are five gardens set aside for veterans as well as a First Responders Memorial in the Garden of Honor.

  • The chapels blend harmoniously with the area’s natural splendor. They’re designed in a variety of styles to accommodate not only funeral services but also gatherings and receptions.

  • The Ching Ming Wall of Honor allows people to honor their departed ancestors by placing their names on the wall.

  • The Heather Pool is a peaceful place to sit and reflect. Flowers bloom, ducks swim by, and you can be alone with your thoughts.

  • The Valley Rose Urn Garden is beautiful and serene, featuring memorial benches and a tranquil pond. We are adding additional cremation gardens to meet the needs of families in our community.

  • The upper grounds are perfect for strolling. As you walk the tree-lined paths, you’ll notice a variety of monuments and markers designed to honor each individual life. Rest for a while on a memorial bench or shelter in a pagoda as you take in the beauty of the grounds.

Come and see for yourself what makes Mountain View so unique. Drop by for a tour or call us at 253.948.9895 to learn more about all we have to offer. You can also visit our website, where you’ll find plenty of information and a virtual tour of the property.

Unique Funeral for a Unique Woman: The Legacy of Barbara Bush

Modern funerals can be tailored to fit a unique personality and honor the unique life that was lived. Recently, there have been some wonderful examples of this in the funerals of public figures: notably, former first lady Barbara Bush who passed away in April.

Although she never held office, the legacy of family she leaves behind is extremely powerful. Her longstanding marriage to President George H.W. Bush has been well documented. He was her first kiss, and their 73-year marriage —the longest of any presidential couple — produced four sons and two daughters. Having lost a daughter to leukemia in childhood, the family pushed through this tragedy and went on to be one of the most powerful families in the United States. While first lady, Bush worked tirelessly to promote the cause of literacy, and at her funeral, her husband wore socks with books on them as an acknowledgment of the work that was so important to her.

Barbara Bush was a beloved public figure, so it’s not surprising there was so much interest in her memorialization. A public visitation was attended by nearly 8,000 people, with many wearing blue, Bush’s favorite color. The funeral was attended by 1,500 guests, including heads of states, dignitaries, former US presidents and first ladies, and the current first lady, Melania Trump. Political differences were set aside as people came together to honor a woman who was well respected by all.

The service itself was touching and planned to perfectly reflect the life she lived. Held at her home church, St. Martin’s Episcopal in Houston, it featured a choir singing My Country Tis of Thee. Bush’s pastor spoke, as did her son, Jeb, who read a love letter she’d once received from her husband, George. There were also eulogies by her biographer and a longtime friend. There were tears as well as laughter as family and friends recalled the former first lady’s good-natured humor.

During the service, an ivory pall graced her casket. At the viewing and after the service, it was adorned with a large spray of her favorite flowers, including pink and yellow roses, snapdragons and hydrangeas. Her eight grandsons were pallbearers, and the final song of the service was Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, sung by the congregation. Bush was laid to rest in a gated plot at her husband’s presidential library at Texas A&M University, just outside Houston.

Not every funeral will be as elaborate as Barbara Bush’s, but each can be tailored to honor the unique life that was lived. At Mountain View, we’re happy to help you preplan your end-of-life services. Call 253.948.9895 today to make an appointment with a preplanning advisor, or visit our website for your free preplanning guide.

Why is a Reception Important?

For many of us, being uncomfortable about death means that a funeral service is something to be endured instead of a meaningful time to reflect and say goodbye.

Some people don’t want a funeral service at all and don’t understand why a reception matters. In reality, the reception can be a vital part of the healing process.

The funeral itself typically happens very quickly, and the planning can be extremely stressful as family members work through their grief while trying to make decisions they hope would please their loved one.

Ideally, the service will be meaningful and life-honoring, but it is often so emotional that family members may feel they’re collectively holding their breath until it is over. At the reception, they finally get a chance to breathe and have time to look around and appreciate the people who have come to pay their respects in a setting that’s far more relaxed than the visitation or funeral service.

The reception provides an important opportunity for connection, serving as a family reunion of sorts for loved ones who may not see each other often. As they come together to support each other in a time of grief, they’ll tell stories about the person who has died. New bonds will form, old connections will be reinforced, and the family will benefit from hearing the memories of others who had a different perspective on a cherished family member. This interaction can help people begin to find closure, and set them on the path toward healing.

At Mountain View, we understand the importance of a funeral reception. We have beautiful, comfortable reception areas and a wide range of catering options so that you can plan a meaningful gathering. Call 253.948.9895 to learn how we can help you plan a personalized reception.

Funeral Flowers: Is It Possible to Get Them Wrong?

Sending flowers after someone has died is a thoughtful gesture as well as a longstanding tradition. The right flowers are very meaningful and can be comforting to the bereaved family.

But is it possible to get it wrong when you’re sending funeral flowers? In a word, yes. The missteps people sometimes make include:

  • Sending an inappropriate arrangement. Large standing sprays and showy arrangements are only appropriate if you’re a close friend or family member, or if you’re sending the arrangement on behalf of the company for which the person worked. If you’re an acquaintance or coworker, it’s best to stick with a vase arrangement, flowering plant or gift basket.
  • Forgetting to send a card. It can be hard to know what to say when someone has lost a loved one. It’s important, though, to say something, even if it’s just a heartfelt, “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”
  • Thinking you can only send flowers to the funeral home. Funerals happen quickly after a death, and there are cases in which you might not even know about the funeral until after it has passed. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still send flowers. They’ll be comforting to the family if you send them to the house after the service is over. In fact, flowers that come to the house are often more fully appreciated after the initial rush of attention is over. Feel free to think beyond cut flowers, perhaps sending a gift basket or a potted plant that can be enjoyed for years to come.
  • Neglecting to think about the person you’re honoring. When you’re ordering flowers, never lose sight of the person whose memory you intend to honor. If you know the person’s favorite colors or flowers, incorporate those aspects into the arrangement. If you are familiar with favorite songs or poems, use a line or two in the card if it’s appropriate. The most comforting thing for a bereaved family is to know that people truly cared about their loved one.
  • Using a florist unfamiliar with the funeral home. It can be tempting to order from a “big box” florist, but local florists who create and hand-deliver fresh arrangements are far preferable to corporations that ship from warehouses. Often, the funeral home will be able to point you in the right direction and may even be able to help you order the flowers.

At Mountain View, we understand the importance of choosing the right flowers to send to a funeral. We can help you choose the perfect arrangement, and we make it easy to order right from our website . Call 253.948.9895 to learn more.

Your Loved One, Remembered: Life’s Journey Biography

Funeral Home Lakewood

At Mountain View Funeral Home and Memorial Park, we are committed to helping families honor their loved one’s lives. It’s why we provide Signature Services℠ that allow you to customize end-of-life services in a unique, life-honoring way. With services ranging from musical tributes to keepsake jewelry, one of our favorites is the Life’s Journey Biography.

We offer Life’s Journey Biography as a complimentary service for families who would like to have a written history of their loved one’s life, along with pictures and video that will evoke happy memories while preserving special memories for generations to come.

The Life’s Journey Biography is professionally written and based on information we gather from family members and friends of the person who has died. It’s easy to share because it’s presented online as well as hand delivered in a booklet. When you’re planning your loved one’s funeral, be sure to ask your counselor about this meaningful complimentary service. You can also incorporate it when preplanning for your own end-of-life service.

Preplanning is just another way to ensure that your ceremony truly reflects your life and personality, and it’s easy to incorporate Signature Services℠ that you find meaningful. Preplanning will also make it easier on your family because they won’t be faced with challenging decisions during an already stressful time, and they won’t have to wonder what kind of service you would have wanted.

At Mountain View, we’re proud to offer unique touches such as the Life’s Journey Biography. Call us at 253.948.9895 to learn more about what we have to offer. You can also visit our website for more information and to request your free preplanning guide.

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