Honoring Tradition: The Healing Power of a Personalized Funeral

At Cypress Lawn, we see your loved one’s funeral as an opportunity to tell their unique story. To paint a picture of the passions, hobbies, and accomplishments that set them apart, and remember the wisdom, beliefs, and life experiences that made them who they were. In fact, psychologists and psychiatrists suggest that the best way to pursue healing during grief is by celebrating your loved one’s life and leaning into your connection with that person. Great comfort can be found in gathering together and reflecting on the life that was lived.

There are endless ways our caring team helps families in the San Francisco Bay Area plan farewells that pay special tribute to their loved ones. Recently, we had the honor of helping plan a funeral for Giants Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey. For 22 seasons, McCovey wowed Major League Baseball fans with a career 521 home runs and a quiet leadership on and off the field. He will forever be thought of as one of the most feared hitters in the game, and his place in baseball history was cemented after his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986. When his family came to us, we knew we wanted to help them celebrate McCovey’s life in a way that honored his memory and his story – and that’s exactly what we did.

Our grounds crew donned Giants jerseys and hats, while additional members of our staff wore orange scarves and ties reminiscent of the Giants’ colors. Orange roses were distributed and orange tassels adorned the casket. A large photo was displayed at the graveside service in an effort to capture McCovey’s warm and upbeat spirit, and a dove release represented the freedom McCovey has now that his health issues are no longer.

It’s our hope that these details honored a man who brought joy to every fan, young and old, who enjoyed the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd. We also hope it brought healing to his family.

We’ve been doing this special work of telling life stories for well over a century, and we have seen firsthand how a highly personal celebration keeps memories alive while providing a comforting experience for those left behind.

As you can tell from Willie McCovey’s tribute, we offer many ways to create a personal farewell. Your loved one may not have been a baseball legend, but he or she has their own story to tell and their own passions and accomplishments. We can set up a beautiful display of photo albums and video tributes. You can present her artwork or his beloved collection for family and friends to admire. We can coordinate an environmentally friendly balloon release at the graveside or design remembrance keepsakes so everyone has a memento to take home with them. Did your loved one have a favorite food they couldn’t get enough of? We can arrange to serve it in our reception center, which is the ultimate in comfort and convenience. If your family member was an honorably discharged veteran, our team can coordinate a complete traditional funeral with full military honors.

Remember that these personalization and memorialization options are available with both cremation and traditional burial. Plus, every family who chooses Cypress is provided a family website, so you’ll have a way to record and share their story, your family legacy, generational family portraits, and more in a safe, permanent way.

At Cypress Lawn, we know that a personalized service infused with your loved one’s spirit is the best way to begin the healing process. It captures their memory in a way that will stay in people’s hearts long after the funeral is over. For help with telling your loved one’s story – or your own, if you would like to preplan with us – contact a member of our caring staff today.