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    Advice for Supporting a Grieving Friend

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Even if you have endured the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to support a bereaved friend. Each person’s experience of grief and loss is unique. However, your friend is likely to appreciate your emotional and practical support during the funeral planning process and beyond.

    Offer Non-Judgmental Support

    You and your friend may come from different backgrounds and share different beliefs. Offer emotional support to your friend without imposing your own beliefs on him or her. For example, if your friend is not religious, it’s best to avoid saying something like, “Mary is with God now.” It’s also a good idea to acknowledge the gravity of your friend’s emotions without inadvertently judging them. For example, you might say, “I know how much you cared for John,” rather than, “In time you’ll be able to move on.” Likewise, support your friend’s customs with regard to the funeral service and burial or cremation, even if they are choices you would not have made.

    Provide Practical Assistance

    After a loss, many people find it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks. Your friend might appreciate an offer to accompany him or her to the funeral home to make the final arrangements. You can also provide support for your friend by offering to run errands, prepare meals, or provide childcare. If you’re unsure of what your friend needs, tell him or her that you’d be glad to help in any way you can.

    Extend Thoughtful Invitations

    Your friend may still struggle with grief long after support from other friends and family members has faded away. Offer your ongoing support by checking in with your friend periodically to ask how he or she is doing. Extend invitations to activities when your friend is ready to participate in social events. Remember important dates, such as the deceased’s birthday, and extend an invitation to your friend during those days.

    At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we provide traditional and custom funeral services to meet the needs of families from all different backgrounds. The professionals at our funeral home would be glad to direct you to grief support services, including national and local support groups. Chicago-area families can reach out to our funeral home by calling (877) 265-0352 or visiting us online.

    How to Deliver a Meaningful Eulogy

    Last updated 11 days ago

    A eulogy is a spoken remembrance of a loved one at the funeral service. Often, family members or friends are asked in advance to deliver a eulogy at the funeral. Sometimes, those in attendance will be asked if anyone would like to step forward and share a few words about the deceased. If you know ahead of time that you will be delivering a eulogy, spend some time reflecting upon your memories of your loved one, write an outline and notes, and practice speaking before the funeral.

    Determine Your Focus

    Typically, each family member and friend who wishes to say a few words will be given three to five minutes to speak. Focus your eulogy on a few key traits of your loved one. You can state a short list of your favorite qualities or traits about your loved one. Try to think of some personality quirks to share. For example, rather than saying, “John was a very kind man,” you might say something like, “John never passed a homeless person without distributing a few dollars and some kind words.” Or, you may wish to share a story about the time the two of you spent together. It’s alright to share a humorous story about the loved one at the funeral service, despite the solemn nature of the event. Write an outline or notes of what you wish to say to guide you during the delivery.

    Practice Delivering It

    It can be difficult to speak about a loved one who has passed. You might find it easier if you practice delivering the eulogy in private a few times. You can practice looking up from your notes occasionally while you speak.

    Speak at an Even Pace

    There’s no shame is getting choked up occasionally as you speak. Try to maintain an even pace, insert pauses in your speech, and give yourself time to breathe instead of rushing through the eulogy.

    Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago is a full-service funeral home that specializes in pre-need arrangements, obituary support, aftercare, and many other end-of-life services. Our compassionate professionals are dedicated to helping family members bid their loved ones farewell in a dignified and respectful manner. Please contact our funeral homes at (877) 265-0352 and let us know how we can help you during this difficult time.

    Choosing the Right Funeral Make-Up

    Last updated 18 days ago

    The general guidelines for funeral-appropriate make-up are much the same as the usual recommendations regarding clothing choices. To maintain respectfulness, choose a conservative, neutral color palette and avoid edgy or overpowering make-up.

    As you’ll learn by watching this make-up demonstration, a neutral eye shadow palette is ideal. Choose light browns or taupe colors to blend on your eyelids, or any other neutral colors that work well with your skin tone. This professional make-up artist also offers helpful recommendations for choosing the right mascara and lip gloss.

    Leak & Sons Funeral Homes can help you arrange a beautiful and respectful funeral service for your loved one. We invite you to call our funeral homes in Chicago at (877) 265-0352 to learn what sets us apart.

    A Look at the Different Types of Funeral Services

    Last updated 25 days ago

    When you’re planning a funeral, you may be surprised at how many different options are available. The decisions people make about the type of funeral services to have are based on everything from religious traditions to budget. Leak & Sons Funeral Homes can tailor the funeral service you are planning specifically to your needs. Here is an overview of some of the most common types of funerals.

    Traditional Funeral

    Traditional funerals are full-service memorials with several different parts. Usually, these kinds of funerals combine a viewing, formal funeral service, and transportation of the deceased to a second site for burial or entombment. You can have a traditional funeral whether you opt for burial or cremation. With this option, if you choose cremation, it is typically performed after the service. Basic funeral home services, like embalming and use of vehicles for the funeral services, are also included with traditional funerals. Traditional funerals tend to be the most expensive, since so many different services are provided.

    Direct Burial

    With a direct burial, there is no viewing and usually no formal service. Burial takes place a few days after a person passes. Sometimes, burial is a simple affair, and in other instances, families hold a ceremony at the burial site. Because there are fewer components to this kind of service, the cost is less than traditional burials.

    Direct Cremation

    Direct cremation is similar to direct burial. Cremation is performed shortly after someone passes. The cremains can be given to the family in an urn, or they may be buried, entombed, or scattered. There is no viewing before cremation is performed.

    Whatever type of funeral you decide is right for your loved one, Leak & Sons Funeral Homes are here to help you take care of every detail. If you want to save your family from the burden of making decisions about your final wishes, we can even help you pre-plan your own funeral service. Find out more about our Chicago funeral homes by calling (877) 265-0352. 

    What Financial Assistance Is Available for Funerals?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    When you lose a loved one, it can be difficult to deal with practical matters such as finances. This is why it’s important to work with a funeral home that offers comprehensive assistance with every aspect of the funeral planning process, including providing helpful information about affording the funeral. The cost of a funeral can often be offset by your loved one’s life insurance policy, if he or she had one. You may also explore survivor’s benefits from the Social Security Administration. You could be eligible for a lump sum death payment if you’re the surviving spouse or surviving child of the deceased.

    The professional at the funeral home can direct you to other sources of funding for your loved one’s funeral. Various organizations, including those for unions and veterans, offer assistance with funeral costs. You may also be eligible to receive public aid allowance from the state or local municipality.

    At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we take great pride in our long history of giving back to our community and we will work closely with you to ensure your loved one has the funeral service he or she deserves, despite your finances. We invite residents of Chicago to connect with us by calling (877) 265-0352.

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