Navigating the Pandemic with Courage: Meet Alexandra Petrini

Alexandra Petrini says she prefers staying behind the scenes – so families who visit Cypress Lawn might not always get a chance to meet her, but they are certainly impacted by her work.

Petrini is a licensed embalmer and serves as the Preparation Room Manager at Cypress Lawn.

She is passionate about her work because it gives her the opportunity to provide comfort to Bay Area families during an already difficult time.

“We can do so much. A family may think they’re never going to see their loved one again. To be able to embalm them and make them look good and presentable and to see the family be so grateful for that — they remember you forever. It’s incredibly rewarding,” she said.

Working in the funeral industry during the pandemic has presented challenges and concerns for everyone across the world. As an embalmer, Petrini is in a high-risk line of work, but she said she has remained calm because of her confidence in her team and the top-of-the-line equipment at Cypress Lawn.

“When you do this job, you don’t run when it gets scary. You take an oath to take care of these families. The other girls I work with, we are all on the same page,” she said. “It’s crazy sometimes, but I think we’ve navigated it really well. I’m proud of Cypress. We’ve really come together as a team to do the best that we can.”

Petrini said that at the end of the day, even in the midst of a pandemic, caring for families remains the top priority for everyone at Cypress Lawn.

“At Cypress Lawn, we are the best of the best. Every single one of us has one job: to take care of every family. Every single person that comes through is respected and treated with dignity, regardless of how they have passed. Whatever we can do, we will. We’re here for them,” she said. “Everyone deserves to be laid to rest with dignity and respect. Our main priority is that the families are taken care of.”

Petrini was born and raised in San Mateo, CA, and earned her degree from Cypress College in Cypress, CA.

As a Bay Area native, she was extremely honored to be recognized by a local TV station for her courage during COVID-19. Petrini said her husband, who also works at Cypress as the crematory manager, nominated her for the KRON4 Heroes program.

She had no idea she was going to be honored until her daughter saw her on TV on one night.

“I was so touched. It was nice to be recognized. I don’t need or expect the praise, but it is nice during this time,” she said. “If I can shine a little light on all of us here at the funeral home, it’s great.”

Jack Jensen, managing director of funeral services at Cypress Lawn, said this about Petrini to the TV station:

“To lose someone you love in the best of times is an emotional and difficult and trying experience. To come to someone like an Alex who can offer reassurance, and who can say, it’s going to be possible for you to have a moment with your mother or father or whoever you loved and lost, that’s important, that’s why we exist. Seeing people who carry that out so well, I’m proud of certainly Alex, all of our-co-workers, and of our profession as well.”

At Cypress Lawn, we are proud to have staff members like Petrini who are making a difference in the lives of Bay Area families every single day. Click here to learn more about our experienced and trusted staff — and our values.