Founded in 1963, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has served the community by providing a place of peace and serenity for loved ones.

Helping Someone Cope with Grief and Loss

Grief is one of the most universally experienced emotions, especially after the passing of a friend or family member. It can be hard to deal with the loss, but it can be just as hard to watch someone you care about fall into a pit of despair after they lose a loved one. While it is normal to grieve for weeks or even months following the funeral or memorial service, you should provide as much comfort and support as you can to help your friend or partner through this incredibly trying time. Here are a few tips for helping someone cope with grief and loss:

Grief - Funeral and cemetery

Listen With Compassion

Most people worry about what to say to a person who is grieving the loss of a loved one, but knowing how to listen is just as important. When a person is grieving, he or she needs to feel that they can openly talk about their emotions and what they are going through. Acknowledge the situation and express your concern, but listen with compassion and allow the bereaved to talk honestly about the grief they are experiencing.

Offer Your Support

Because it can be hard for grieving people to ask for help, offer your support instead of waiting for your loved one to ask for it. Even simple things like shopping for groceries or helping with funeral arrangements can go a long way in helping the bereaved recognize that they are not alone in this trying time. And remember that your friend or family member will need your support for as long as they are grieving, which can be months or even years.

Be Patient

There is no timetable for grieving, so be patient and do not try to force your friend or family member to get over the sadness they feel. Your ongoing support is important, as it may be the only thing keeping your loved one from sinking deeper into depression. If normal grief turns into depression, encourage your friend or family member to seek professional help.

Valley of the Temples has been serving Oahu with a place of peace and serenity for loved ones for almost 50 years. We offer touching funeral and memorial services, and our grief counselors are here for your support. To learn more about our memorial park, visit our website or call us at (808) 239-8811.

Tips for Choosing Sympathy Flowers

Sympathy flower arrangements are a traditional way of offering condolences after a person dies. While any arrangement you choose will be appreciated, there are special flowers that help convey consolation and sympathy more than others. Calla lilies, roses, gladiolas, and snapdragons are traditional funeral flowers, but it is also appropriate to choose flowers that the deceased may have liked. Talk with a florist for help selecting flowers with empathetic meanings, or consult with a funeral planning professional about the type of arrangement that will be appropriate considering the type of memorial service. 

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Since 1963, Valley of the Temples Memorial Park has provided compassionate funeral and memorial services for the Oahu community. Visit our website to learn more about the services our memorial park offers, or please call us at (808) 239-8811 with any questions you may have. 

How to Comfort Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One

It can be hard to cope with the loss of a friend or family member, but it can be just as hard to watch someone you care for deal with the grief that follows death. If someone you care for has lost a loved one, provide comfort and support to help lessen the pain and despair they are going through.

In this video, a licensed marriage and family therapist offers advice on helping friends through the grieving process. If you need additional support, the grief counselors at Valley of the Temples in Oahu are here to help. We also offer funeral planning and memorial services that can help your friend give a meaningful tribute to the loved one he or she lost. Contact us online or call our memorial park directly at (808) 239-8811 to learn more. 

Funeral Customs Among Japanese-Americans in Hawaii

While tragic, death is an important part of life that all people must face. Different traditions from around the world have developed different views of death, which are reflected in their funeral customs. Japanese-Americans in Hawaii are no different. This article will discuss a few of the common funeral customs among Japanese-Americans in Hawaii.


Buddhist Traditions

The Japanese-American community in Hawaii is comprised of individuals of many different faiths, Buddhism being one of the more predominant. After a loved one passes away, the family may take the remains to a Buddhist chapel or sacred place, where a Buddhist priest says a few words to help the spirit of the deceased finds its way. Some Buddhists consider the Byodo-In Temple replica on Oahu to be a sacred place.


As with many other traditions, hospitality is very important among Japanese-Americans. This hospitality extends to the funeral service, during which the organizer may ensure that the guests are comfortable and well fed. The guests are in turn hospitable to the survivors as they make offerings of incense and prayer.

Recurring Ceremonies

After the initial ceremony, the family may host additional ceremonies months or even years after an individual’s passing. These ceremonies are to help the deceased’s spirit as it navigates the afterlife, and often involve food and a prayer from a Buddhist priest.


Traditionally, many Japanese people have had a stoic attitude toward death—an attitude that has influenced many Japanese-Americans in Hawaii. Grief is barely present or absent at some Japanese-American services, as many believe that an individual achieves a more exalted existence after death. Also, many Japanese-Americans are raised with an unwillingness to burden others with their emotions, and often do not express grief as openly as others.

Valley of the Temples can be your loved one’s final resting place, regardless of his or her religion or heritage. If you’re interested in pre-planning your own funeral or learning more about the Byodo-In temple, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811. You might also visit our website if you have further questions about our Oahu cemetery.

Common Misconceptions About the Bereavement Process

Considering how everyone on the planet thinks and acts a bit differently, it should come as no surprise that there are many ways to cope with grief. Still, popular culture has long dictated how people should mourn the loss of their loved ones, resulting in several persistent myths surrounding the bereavement process.

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Survivors need constant company

While many people find it soothing to be surrounded by love and support after a loved one’s passing, others find it overwhelming. Some people would rather absorb the loss independently and share their feelings later, if at all. Sometimes it’s best to respect an individual’s privacy following a tragic event.   

You must put on a strong face

After losing a loved one, some people insist on “being strong,” and putting on a brave face for their family. However, crying is a completely normal to reaction to loss, and being honest with your emotions carries with it a different kind of strength.

A year is too long to grieve

Losing a loved one is the most emotionally difficult time for most people. Given the impact of such an event, a mourner shouldn’t be expected to “get over” the death of a loved one in a set amount of time. For many people, the bereavement process never ends; it merely changes over time.  

The pain will go away if ignored

Wouldn’t it be nice to completely forgo the bereavement process and go on living life normally? Unfortunately, few people have the capacity to put aside strong feelings of loss. Most people need to explore their emotions, ask tough questions, and seek help until they come out the other side. Experts agree that ignoring one’s emotions does more harm than good.  

For help getting through the bereavement process, contact the compassionate staff members of Valley of the Temples. Our Oahu cemetery offers numerous funeral services designed to help others find closure and move on. Call us at (808) 239-8811 to find out how you can plan a loved one’s funeral or pre-plan your own.

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