Our Code of Ethics Regarding Cremation
Since the loss of a loved one is not something we experience often, it is only natural that our knowledge about funerals and cremations might be somewhat limited. It would understandably follow, that one might be a bit fearful, or at least skeptical because, after all, with any type of business, there are known differences in levels of service provided, differences that arise due to many factors, not the least of which are the ability, sensitivity and acumen of those individuals actually performing the services.
We know first-hand that the manner in which cremation services are carried out is a genuine concern for most people, as it should be. This is not something that can be accomplished a second time. For these reasons we at Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English wish to share our own standards regarding cremation services.
Because we are a full-service funeral home in downtown San Francisco, where ordinances prohibit crematories within the city limits, we act as the family’s agent to contract with a local crematory in one of our close neighboring communities. Our role in the cremation service includes an arrangement conference with one of our licensed personnel, bringing the deceased into our care at the funeral home, refrigeration and sanitary care as required by California Health and Safety Code, enshrouding or dressing the deceased as the family may prefer, placement of the deceased in a suitable cremation container as selected by the family, transportation to the crematory by one of our funeral home personnel, retrieval of the cremated remains from the crematory after cremation, then, delivery back to the funeral home for the family to receive, or to a local cemetery or columbarium of the family’s choice. We also have a large selection of urns on-site in the event the family wishes to purchase one.
As we mention elsewhere on our website, Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English has served our Bay Area Community for more than one-and-a-half centuries. For many years, we have been a proud member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, a membership-by-invitation-only organization which has its own strict funeral service code of ethics and standards which must be actively practiced as a requirement for continuing membership. Of the many thousands of funeral homes in the United States and Canada, only a select few are invited to participate in this organization’s activities. We are also a AAA-rated, 80-year charter member of the Bay Area Better Business Bureau. Our staff is comprised of individuals with many years of experience, who have made career commitments to funeral service. All are professionally licensed to serve in their respective capacities. We have always staffed our firm with highly-qualified, caring career professionals who have both the ability and willingness to do whatever it takes to provide needed closure for every grieving family. The same level of service is extended to families, whether they desire a direct cremation or a full traditional funeral service.
Our cremation operations tracking process has many tiers and our people are well- trained to meticulously monitor and exercise strict control over all stages of the cremation process from beginning to completion to assure that all is accomplished in a professional, caring manner and in accordance with not only existing regulations, but our own high personal standards as well.
We offer families the option to accompany us to the crematory and witness the placement of their loved one in the actual cremation chamber. In addition, we feel it is important for the immediate family members to have an opportunity for a final viewing if they select a direct cremation with no services. We encourage the family to come into our facility and spend a few minutes with their loved one at no extra charge if they wish to do so. Once the death certificate is filed, we are usually able to have cremated remains back at our funeral home within two or three days for the family to pick up. Our direct cremation price also includes assistance in writing and placing obituaries in the publications of your choice. Also at no added cost, we produce a memorial page for your loved one on our website where guests can share condolences with the family. They may also submit pictures to place on the memorial page. We obtain from the county of death, as many certified copies of the death certificate as are needed and add the cost of these to your statement.
We hope we have provided material here that will assist you in making a more informed, comfortable decision in the event that cremation becomes your choice. While each person’s needs and desires can be very different, it has been our experience that everyone who walks through our doors seems to care deeply about the manner in which we go about our activities. Our staff is adept at identifying and responding to the differences in the ways people react to a personal loss and possess the necessary flexibility and resources to help a grieving person or family begin the healing process, assisting them in determining what type of cremation service is going to be right for them. That we truly care enough to do the best job possible seems clearly a significant factor for most people with whom we come into contact. They want to be assured that the deceased is cared for individually, with reverence, and that details take place in a precise and timely manner. To that end, we insist that our clients are fully informed of pricing, policy, regulations, operations, etc. prior to entering into any cremation agreement with us. Each of us at Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English has personally experienced losing someone we love. For this reason, it is paramount to us that we seek always to truly merit the trust others place in us during this very difficult occasion.