• 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.

  • 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.

  • How to Behave at a Funeral

    If you have ever been to a funeral, then you know that it is a somber event for mourners. To avoid offending the bereaved in their time of loss, you must keep a few pieces of advice in mind.

    This video offers a basic look at funeral etiquette. First, you must remember to dress in conservative, subdued clothing. If you’re having trouble coming up with something to say to the bereaved, simply say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” You might also consider sending flowers, a personal note, or making a charitable donation in the deceased’s honor.

    Valley of the Temples offers a beautiful location where you can lay your loved one to rest. To learn more about our Oahu cemetery, call us at (808) 239-8811 or visit our website.

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  • A Guide to Asian Funeral Customs

    A funeral is an opportunity to cherish the life of your loved one and mourn your loss along with friends and family. When planning a funeral, however, it is important to consider certain funeral customs. Learning about and respecting the funeral customs of the deceased’s loved ones can help you offer the right manner of support at the right time. Here is a brief guide to Asian funeral customs.

    Cremation Memorialization


    When guests attend western funerals, they are generally expected to wear black attire. In many Asian traditions, however, white is the color of mourning. Because of increased cultural exchange, attendees of Asian funerals—especially those from outside of the family—can generally wear either white or black. It is important to understand the cultural difference in funeral customs, however. In some cases, mourners who wear black attire to an Asian funeral might be asked to wear a white armband. When in doubt, ask one of the funeral organizers what you should wear or refer to the dress code on the funeral announcement.

    Views on Death

    In many Asian traditions, death is viewed in a much different light than it is in Western traditions. For example, Buddhists believe that though the physical body dies, the soul lives on through a cycle of reincarnation. Hindus generally hold a similar belief about the soul, namely that the soul goes through a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. In these particular traditions, mourning rituals and prayer during funeral ceremonies tend to focus on helping the soul in its journey after death.

    Funeral ceremonies play an integral role in virtually every culture. Although there are many differences between religions and cultures, funeral ceremonies of all types are critical for the healing process. By offering you a chance to mourn alongside your friends and family, funeral ceremonies can give you the emotional and psychological support you need. If you want to learn more about Asian funeral customs, call Valley of the Temples at (808) 239-8811 or visit our website.

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  • Selecting a Headstone

    After your passing, your headstone will mark a place where your loved ones can gather and remember how you were in life. In a way, your choice of headstone will influence how your loved ones remember you for decades.

    Before you select a headstone, you should find out whether the cemetery in which you wish to be interred has any rules regarding the size, shape, or color of the headstone. Once you decide on the basic type of headstone, carefully consider what you want as an epitaph. You might choose the traditional “beloved husband and father,” or a powerful quote that has influenced your life. For help making a decision, you might enlist the help of a family member or your significant other.


    To learn more about your headstone options, call Valley of the Temples of Oahu at (808) 239-8811. We can help you pre-plan your funeral and ensure that your wishes are met upon your passing. Pre-planning can also ease the emotional and financial burden on your survivors.