Thursday, January 30, 2014

Keys To Reducing Funeral Stress

1. Even in an emergency, you have more time than you think.

One of the greatest causes of stress around planning and arranging a funeral—especially an unexpected one, is that you have to do it in a very short time. Trying to plan a funeral in just a couple of days can be extremely stressful, and frustrating. But the reality is that you have more time than you may think.
While it is true that certain aspects have to be done quickly, the actual date and arrangements for the funeral can be done on your schedule, within reason. (The exception to this is that certain religions like Judaism require strict timelines for burial.) Find a funeral home or cemetery in your area that can give you expert advice on any specific requirements.
If this is an Emergency, go to our section on Funeral Emergency or watch The Remembrance Process℠ video below for a quick overview of what needs to be done.

2. Empower your family by getting information in advance.

For many families, especially in American culture, the idea of discussing death, and funeral planning is uncomfortable. Even in families where a loved one is terminally ill, the idea of discussing funeral arrangements is often seen as morbid, or an indication that the family is “giving up” on the loved one. In addition, because information about funerals, cremation, monuments, hospice, nursing homes, has not been readily available, the subject is treated with the fear that accompanies the unknown.
The Remembrance Process℠ can provide planning materials, and information about your options and rights on-line, or over the phone, or by calling a Remembrance Provider℠. Gaining this information in advance allows families to plan in a calm and peaceful way in the privacy of their home. When you can discuss options, look at choices, and consider ways of saying goodbye to your loved one, the perspective about the funeral can change dramatically. Knowledge is power, and never more so, than about this inevitable life event. Funerals will always be stressful events, but knowing what to expect in advance, can reduce that stress tremendously.

3. Plan in advance (even shortly in advance) if you can.

Giving your family a funeral plan, may be one of the best gifts you ever give them, since it allows them to stop worrying about details, allows them to come together as a family to grieve, without distractions.
Often, a significant cause of stress in planning a funeral is the disagreement between family members over what “ dad or mom would have wanted.” Arguments can occur over whether burial or cremation is desired, what kind of casket is appropriate, what kind of service, what kind of monument, when to have the service, and how much to pay for these arrangements.
Ironically, these arguments often occur in the most loving families, where different family members have strong opinions on how to honor their deceased family member.
See information on funeral planning on this site, or find a funeral home to learn about funeral planning tools that can assist you in creating a funeral plan that is as simple or detailed as you want. You can even add information about your genealogy, choices of music, or obituary that may provide extraordinary comfort to your family not only at the time of death, but in years to come. Almost 40% of all families now choose to use hospice care as the way to make end of life a more personal and natural process. Allowing the loved one to be cared for at home, surrounded by family members, is seen by many as a tremendous advantage over a death that occurs in a hospital, that almost always has to be more impersonal.4. Explore hospice care as a way of making end of life a more natural, personal process.
In addition, many families find that the care provided by hospice nurses, chaplains, and medical and social worker professionals not only helps the terminally ill patient, but helps the family as well. These professionals are experienced in helping families say goodbye to their loved ones in personal ways, and they can also help in personalizing the care the dying person receives.
By helping make death part of a natural process, rather than a sudden and separate event, the hospice experience leads to a funeral process and event that for many is more natural, more humane, and in many cases, more spiritual than what they have experienced by dealing only with the hospital. 
For more information please visit the hospice section of this site or call one of our counselors to find a hospice or funeral home near you.

5. Budget and explore financing options for the funeral in advance.

If you have time to prepare, there are many ways to reduce the financial stress of a funeral. And your Remembrance Providers℠ can help here. Also, if you have traditional insurance, your Remembrance Provider℠ can help process this for you. In addition, Remembrance Providers℠ can discuss various approaches to making sure you get the funeral you want, in a way that matches your budget, so that you can focus on moving from grieve to remembrance. They can also tell you about final expense insurance, which is inexpensive and generally available to people 50-85.

6. Connect with a clergyman or spiritual counselor to help your family through this time.

End of life is a difficult passage, and for many families, the counsel and advice provided by experienced ministers or clergy can be a significant aid. Even for families who may not be actively involved in a church, the guidance and support of a clergyman or woman can be wonderfully comforting. In addition, many families may need advice on religious traditions that their parents observed, and which they would like to honor.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hospice and Palliative Care

In the last 30 years, hospice and palliative care organizations across the country have made an incredible difference in the lives and the last days of millions of people and their families. Simply put, palliative care is focused on the relief of a patient’s pain, rather than curing the underlying illness. It is not an attempt to prolong life or to bring about death. Palliative care can be provided along with curative procedures, or in the case of hospice, without those efforts for a person with a life-limiting condition and a prognosis of only months to live.
In this moving video below, a man provides his personal perspective on the value of hospice care and how helping his mother-in-law move from the hospital to hospice care at her home made a positive, and life-affirming difference for her and her family, even as she approached death.

 Hospice began as a way of treating terminally ill cancer patients, but soon grew to encompass palliative care for patients suffering from any life-limiting condition. Before the hospice and palliative care movement took root in this country, the dominant focus of treatment for the terminally ill was the preservation and prolongation of life at any cost. Many people who had little hope of living more than weeks or months were subjected to extraordinary and intrusive procedures in an attempt to keep them alive for even a little bit longer. An unintended consequence of this focus on treatment was a loss in the quality of life for many patients who died in pain or unconscious in hospitals, rather than in a coherent and pain-free state in the presence of their families.

Options for Care

Throughout the ages, most people have been able to die in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. In the mid to late 20th century, this changed as treatment focused on prolonging life at all costs. More and more people ended up dying, often against their own wishes, in the cold and institutional environments of hospitals. One of the most significant ways that the hospice movement has helped patients and their families, is advocating for the right of patients to choose where they spent their last days, allowing the terminally ill to once again have the option of dying at home.
Although this option remains a priority for hospice organizations, care is available in a variety of settings. In addition to in-home skilled nursing care, hospice care is available in nursing homes, hospitals, and inpatient hospice care facilities. Some organizations supplement in-home care with periods of facility-based care to provide respite for caregivers. This service allows for caregivers to recharge and enables them to continue to care for the patient at home for a longer time. Generally, the services provided to hospice patients includes nursing care, physician care, 24 hour on-call assistance, medical social services, spiritual support, trained volunteers, and bereavement services for patients in any treatment setting, as well as home care aids, and limited 24 hour continuous care for patients at home.

Who pays for hospice care?

Many see in-home care to be a far preferable experience for the patient, and it is less expensive to deliver as well. Insurance coverage for hospice care is available through Medicaid, Medicare, and many private insurers. In fact, Hospice care saves these programs and taxpayers money, as compared to costs associated with traditional treatment.

Who is eligible for hospice care?

Typically, patients with a physician’s diagnosis of a terminal illness and a prognosis of living for only another six months are eligible for hospice care. Hospice care is available to the terminally ill no matter what their age. If you or your loved one fits this description, discuss your options with your physician.

When to call

Many patients and their family members remark that they wish they had contacted their hospice care provider earlier, and providers encourage people to call as soon as they are diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Often, the quality of life experienced by the patient and the family can be meaningfully improved, and their ability to maintain care at home prolonged because of an early call to hospice.
Patients with life-limiting conditions have more options today than ever before, including the opportunity to spend their last days in a lucid, pain managed and comforted environment. The ability to spend these precious days interacting with their families and friends in a meaningful way has had a wonderful effect on their experience and that of those close to them. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, talk with your physician about all the options for your care, including hospice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why Pre-Plan Final Arrangements?


But the one decision that most of us put off talking about is the one that has to do with the inevitable day when we’re not here to make those decisions together. The discussion of dying and the decisions that have to be made by the surviving partner and children are difficult ones, but they will have to be made. And most families that have gone through that process will tell everyone that it is far better to make those decisions far in advance of death when the mind is clearer and the emotions aren’t so overwhelming. That is what pre-planning final arrangements is about. It is for you to carry out your wishes and for your family not to be burdened of deciding what you wanted. Pre-planning is about love.
In the past, pre-planning final arrangements wasn’t as important as it is today. Final arrangements used to be nearly the same for every person in a family or community, from the schedule of events, to the funeral home, to the hymns, to the cemetery. For better or worse, things are a lot more complicated today.
In this short video Mr. William Russo talks about the importance of pre-planning and the misconceptions people have about it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Products We Offer: Memory Glass

What is a Memory Glass?

Memory Glass provides a unique method of memorializing your family, friends and pets by suspending cremated remains within solid glass sculptures and keepsake jewelry.

At Memory Glass, the process of dealing with loved one's cremated remains is a delicate procedure. To ensure that the greatest of care is taken with the cremated remains entrusted to us, Memory Glass has employed safety and security measures that go above and beyond the lawful requirements.

As your trust is of our utmost concern, please don't hesitate to call/email us to learn more about our procedures.

Because Memories are Forever

Please Visit This Website For More Details!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Garden Court At Bryan-Braker Funeral Home

The Garden Court is available at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home for receptions after your loved one’s services. The Garden Court is conveniently located just outside of our chapel. By having the reception at the Garden Court we take on the responsibility of supplying soft drinks, tea, coffee, ice, paper plates, plastic ware, and a host. We take care of the clean up afterwards, not your family. Families may bring food or we can arrange catering for any size group. Our reception host will serve, attend to guests’ needs, and make you feel right at home.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Annual Tree of Memories Remembrance Service

The Annual Tree of Memories Remembrance Service was held at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in Fairfield. This year Pastor Todd Bertani, from St.Marks Lutheran Church, joined Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in remembering all of the loved ones who passed away, and to offer support to families during the holiday season. A candle light service was held to remember all loved ones. Bryan-Braker’s  remembrance service includes holiday music, the names of the loved ones who passed away being read aloud while a family member received a memorable ornament.
      The Tree of Memories Service provides an opportunity for families and friends who have recently lost a loved one to share their experiences with others who are grieving during the holiday season.

For further information please contact Bryan-Braker Funeral Home at (707) 425-4697, email,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bryan-Braker Adapts to the Needs of Families

Fairfield - Bryan-Braker adapts to the needs of the families they serve. While providing funeral, cemetery and cremation services to local families for over 50 years there have been some changes.

Bryan-Braker realizes the value of personalization and its value to the families we serve. Celebrating a life lived through gatherings that allow more family participation and stories about how we remember our loved one are much more common today. Families are encouraged to bring in photographs of different times in their lives, doing what they loved to do for hobbies, fun, traveling, or being with family and friends. The photographs help to create a fuller picture of the person’s life. The times that made us laugh and times that made a difference in other people’s lives. From customized memorial folders to video tributes, we want to create a memorable service for everyone. This personalization will have them talking, laughing, crying and sharing memories. Helping families gather these life mementos, photos, memories, and to plan the gathering or celebration of one’s life is what we do at Bryan-Braker.

To help deliver this service we have invested in state of the art audio/visual equipment and have well trained staff that can scan a box of photo memories and turn them into a 6 to 10 minute video production that is a beautiful mosaic of the person’s life. This production would be accompanied by music and is a beautiful tribute to a life lived. Additional copies of the production can be given to family and friends. Also, we can create slideshows that can be continually shown on wall mounted LCD screens throughout the lobby areas during the visitations.

By staying up to date on technology, we have yet another tool for us to use to meet the needs of today’s families. We know that you only get to plan the service once and whether the family chooses a small or a grand send off, Bryan-Braker can help with all the details with special care of your loved one, assisting with hotel rooms for out of town guests, to the reception planning after the service.

Another trend is, more and more families are choosing cremation and we have our own crematory at our cemetery Fairmont Memorial Park and this is comforting to families knowing their loved one never leaves our care.

I often hear people say ….“There is nothing new in funeral service.” But that is only true if you’re not open to new ideas. We will always strive to be the best funeral service provider by having the best funeral directors and the necessary technology to meet the needs of the families we are privileged to serve.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Webcasting Available At Bryan-Braker

Bryan-Braker Funeral Home has been providing the families that they serve with options of custom printed books and programs, DVD video tributes, and slideshows on multiple screens in their chapel. Over the past years, families have been asking for a way that far away family members can view the services as well via the internet, so Bryan-Braker has setup webcasting in their chapels.

Too often the only way distant friends and family can remember a loved one is by a phone call, sending a card or flowers along with heartfelt sympathy and remembrances. These gestures can never replace actual participation in celebrating the life of someone close. Bryan-Braker Funeral Home introduced Memorial Webcasting in the Bryan-Braker’s Chapel in Fairfield and Vacaville. Webcasting enables family and friends to remember the life of a loved one. Funeral directors are able to broadcast a funeral or memorial service via the internet.

When family and friends cannot attend in person – due to distance, illness, finances, or other reasons, they can now view a live video stream of the funeral service on the internet. This allows friends and family members who are unable to come to the funeral to feel included.

Along with each live webcast, the service is saved to their memorial obituary page,, for on-demand viewing. This way those who couldn’t watch it live will still have a chance to view the services. And often times, families would like the opportunity to view the services at a later time to reflect on the eulogies, music and the celebration of life. Each service will remain on Bryan-Braker Funeral Home’s website for 90 days.
Also on their website, you can find service times, directions to the service, sign the condolence book, post photographs for the family to see, and view a video tribute if one was produced. Bryan-Braker added a secure page for anyone who chooses to make their own pre-arrangements on the website. To start your pre-arrangements it will ask you to setup a user name and password that is only know to the user. The information sent to Bryan-Braker Funeral Home will be placed in a confidential file in their office. The user may also sign on and make any changes necessary at any time.

Webcasting, by Bryan-Braker, expands their services to the families they are privileged to serve by enabling loved ones to take part in the visitation or service at anytime, anywhere over the internet. If you want to learn more you can contact Bryan-Braker Funeral Home at (707) 425-4697, or email at

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Congratulations Craig Bryan On The Lifetime Achievement Award!

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Craig Bryan by the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight - Rotary Club for 2013.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fairmont Memorial Park Chapel

The stained glass chapel seats 70 adults comfortably and is adjacent to a beautiful courtyard. Equipped with a tape/cd player, and an organ, you may play your loved ones favorite music. The chapel is available for day and evening visitations and services.
Families may choose to have an outdoor service. This ceremony is conducted in front of the Birch Dormitory. This type of service is ideal for those who love the outdoors or those having military honors.
  • Military Services
  • Pre-Arranging Available
  • No Interest Payment Plans Available