|May 22, 2017 • VOL. 55, NO. 10 • Oakland, CA|
Memorials offer personal link to loved ones
Memorializing a deceased loved one can be one part of grieving, and a way to remain emotionally connected.
Costs can run from $1,500 to more than $25,000 in the case of a stained glass window. That money is paid up front, Pollard said, but the cemetery bears the cost of perpetual care — maintenance of the memorial.
An added feature privately owned cemeteries may not be able to offer that a church-owned cemetery can, is that the memorial cost may be tax deductible.
For most people though, the tax advantage is not a motivating factor, said Deacon Dave Holland, parish relationship manager for Catholic Funeral & Cemetery Services. "For one or two of them, but the vast majority say, 'Yeah, that's fine,'" but are more interested in celebrating their loved one, he said.
Holland, who managed Holy Cross Cemetery in Antioch for a dozen years, said sometimes the loved one's remains are far away or were unavailable for burial.
"People want somewhere to go," he said. A bench in a park-like setting offers family and friends a place to sit and reflect; trees provide a living memorial.
Holland recounted how one family, whose loved one was buried in another country, took a bench at Holy Cross, and along with family inscriptions, put that nation's emblem on the bench.
Most diocesan cemeteries offer burial in ground and columbariums for cremains in urns. The cenotaphs (it means empty tomb) allow for a memorial to those lost or who are interred elsewhere.
At Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Hayward, where photos for this story were taken, 85 of 200 acres are developed, with about 84,000 graves.
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