Leak & Sons Funeral Home
Leak & Sons Funeral Homes is a full service funeral home.
We provide traditional funeral services, custom funeral services, and cremation services.

Adhering to Proper Funeral Etiquette

Funerals are a way to celebrate the life of a loved one or friend and get closure once they’ve passed. Family members appreciate the guests who come to show support, especially if they bring flowers or words of comfort. When attending a funeral service in Chicago or a vigil it is important to remember that it is a formal event and a certain level of etiquette involved.

Watch this video to learn the appropriate ways to dress and behave at a funeral. It is recommended that you stay at the service for at least 15 minutes, in order to pay your full respects. Attending the burial is another way to show the family support.

Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago is here to help with all of your funeral needs. For more information about our grief support and funeral services, please call (773) 358-1584 or visit us online.

Steps for Pre-Planning Your Own Funeral

It’s important to have an idea of what you want for your funeral in case the time comes before expected. There can be a lot of planning that goes into a funeral, and the responsibility often falls on the survivors. It can help tremendously if you’ve already laid out a plan for your loved ones ahead of time. If you’re thinking about your own funeral arrangements in Chicago, read on to learn how to navigate the process.

Talk to Your Loved Ones

The first step to planning your funeral arrangements is to bring home the conversation about possible plans. Death is certainly a hard topic and it is easy to put off having the conversation with those who might be responsible. Talking about it sooner rather than later is best. Planning ahead can save you and your family a lot of potential costs. You can discuss different cultural or religious traditions you’d like to include, as well as what kind of burial or visitation you want.

Look at Your Different Options

It is your right to be cared for when you die in any way that is meaningful to you. When it comes to funerals, there are a lot of options for how the deceased are cared for and buried. You can look at a wide range of caskets, urns, embalming options, and gravesites. It is a good idea to get a sense of what you’d like before talking to a funeral director, but the director can help you find more options, too.

Finalize Your Plans

Once you’ve decided on a funeral home and what you’d like your funeral to look like, it’s time to discuss your plans with your family. Let them know your wishes and what you’ve learned from talking with a funeral director. Put your ideas into writing and include it in a funeral planning kit so that your loved ones know where to find it. Remember that there are plenty of services available to help you and your family plan, as well as to cope with grief.

When you’ve decided it’s time to plan a funeral, the staff at Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago is here to help. We offer pre-planning services, as well as grief support for all involved. For more information about our services, please call (773) 358-1584 or visit us online.

A Look at Catholic Funeral Traditions

Funeral traditions have changed in many different ways over the years. Modern practices have evolved past religious ceremonies, but many people still choose a traditional Catholic funeral. Even though the deceased and family may not be Catholic, this type of funeral follows the usual traditions. If you’re thinking about funeral services in Chicago, here’s what you should know about Catholic funeral traditions.

Vigils and Mass

The vigil, or wake, is a ceremony held before the service where friends and family gather to pay respects to the loved one. It is commonly held at a funeral home or church, but can also be held in the family’s home. A casket holding the deceased is often available for visitation, and a priest is present to lead prayer. Flowers provided by the guests or funeral home adorn the casket, and some families may choose to display photos. In the Catholic tradition, a mass, which is the funeral service, will follow the next day. Here, a priest will read opening rites, the liturgies of the word, and final concluding rites.

Type of Music

Music is an important part of Catholic funerals, as the music serves as a way to usher the deceased into the next stage of life. There is some debate about whether secular music should be played, and most funerals in this tradition feature religious music. The chosen music is preferably uplifting and hopeful, with images of resurrection and everlasting life. Often a funeral will have a choir or small orchestral group perform, and the audience is usually invited to sing along.

Kinds of Burial

In the past, the Catholic tradition banned cremation and displaying cremated remains at the funeral, but that ban has since been lifted. Body burial is still the most common practice in Catholic traditions. At the gravesite, a priest will officiate a short ceremony. Then the priest leads prayers and a blessing of the grave with holy water before the body reaches its final resting place.

When it is time to arrange a service with a funeral home, get in touch with Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago. We gladly support any type of funeral service. For more information about our services and grief support call (773) 358-1584 or visit us online.

The Meaning Behind Funeral Floral Arrangements

Floral arrangements are often a part of funeral services in Chicago, IL, including both traditional funeral ceremonies and more personalized funeral options. While flowers unarguably bring beauty and serenity to a funeral, floral arrangements also hold special meanings as well.

In this video, you will learn more about the meaning behind the floral arrangements seen at funeral services. Understanding these meanings can help you choose the appropriate flowers when making funeral arrangements. Carnations hold various meanings based on color, such as strength, remembrance, and truth. Chrysanthemums are often used in funeral arrangements as a sign that the family is coping with grief over the loss of their loved one.

At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we are here to help you create a dignified and personalized funeral to commemorate the life of a loved one. Please visit us online or call (773) 358-1606 for more information about our Chicago funeral home.

Simple Ways to Personalize a Funeral Service

Losing a loved one gives family members the opportunity to create a funeral that highlights the life and legacy of the person who has passed. A personalized funeral can also help those coping with loss manage their grief. If you are making funeral arrangements in Chicago, IL, you have many options for coordinating a memorable and touching funeral.

Ask Guests to Contribute Stories

The people who attend funeral services are there to not only pay their respects to the family, but also come to terms with their grief. Having your guests share their memories of your loved one can be a beautiful way to remember your family member through spoken or written word. As each person recalls his favorite stories, you can record them for posterity. If you have your guests write down their thoughts, you can bind them together in a book.

Coordinate a Musical Arrangement

Was your loved one a fan of music? Did he have a particular artist or band that he followed? If music had a special place in your family member’s life, have it be part of his funeral services. To create a musical tribute, gather together the albums of the artists that your loved one enjoyed and play them during the funeral services. You might also consider having someone sing a song to honor your family member.

Create a Memorial

Many families find solace in the creation of a memorial for their loved ones. A memorial can be as simple or elaborate as you would like. Prior to the funeral services, you might ask your expected guests to bring a photograph of your loved one so that you can put them together in a collage. You can also have a bench placed in a favorite location of your family member. Whatever you choose, a memorial can provide great comfort for family and friends alike.

Leak & Sons Funeral Homes can help you create a personalized funeral that honors your loved one in a meaningful way. Call (773) 358-1606 to learn more about our funeral home services. Our website also provides information on funeral personalization options.

Tips for Choosing Pallbearers

Funeral with casket carried by coffin bearer

The pallbearer serves the important role of carrying the casket at funeral services. There are usually six or eight total handles on a casket, which allows for one pallbearer for each handle. Typically pallbearers are family members or close friends of the deceased. It’s common for adult children, siblings, grown grandchildren, close friends, nieces, nephews, and colleagues to be asked to serve as pallbearers during a funeral service, but there are no rules on who can serve as a pallbearer. Being chosen as a pallbearer is an honor; but make sure to choose someone who is physically capable of carrying the casket. If you want to choose someone to be a pallbearer but have doubts about their ability to carry the casket, make them an honorary pallbearer instead; this way, they can walk beside the casket during the funeral service without carrying the casket.

Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago understands that planning a funeral can be overwhelming. We are here to help you with the pre-planning of funeral services if you need it. Simply call us at (773) 846-6567 or visit our website to speak with a compassionate and helpful member of our staff.

How to Incorporate Your Personal Memories into a Eulogy

A eulogy gives you the opportunity to reflect on your loved one’s life and remind everybody about his or her best qualities. Many people say that writing a eulogy that incorporates personal memories is fairly easy. If you had an intense emotional connection with the deceased, however, delivering a eulogy with lots of personal memories is typically quite challenging. Watch the video clip for tips on how to incorporate your personal memories of your loved one into a eulogy.

Writing and delivering a eulogy is one of the central components of traditional funeral services. If you were asked to write a eulogy or want to know how to ask someone to deliver a eulogy at your loved one’s funeral, call Leak & Sons Funeral Homes in Chicago at (773) 846-6567.

How to Avoid Sibling Conflict After a Parent Passes

young african couple having conflict

Many adult siblings find that they become closer to each other following a parent’s death and subsequent funeral services. But others find that unresolved issues and past rivalries come to the surface. At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we would like to offer the following tips for avoiding sibling conflict following the loss of a parent.

Communicate Openly

In some families, parents serve as the middleman between siblings. In these families, one sibling shares news with the parents, then the parents share this news with the other siblings. Following the death of a parent within these families, the siblings tend to lose contact with one another. Calling or writing a message to siblings directly shows that you want to stay in touch. Don’t be discouraged if your efforts are met with little response initially; new routines take time to be adopted.

Show Appreciation for Your Sibling’s Efforts

If you want a more positive dynamic to come from your sibling relationships, you must make an effort. You need to also recognize efforts your sibling has made, as this is very important for neutralizing conflict. 

Step Outside Your Role

Lots of siblings grow up feeling like they have a role in the family. As an adult, these roles can cause resentment and tension. Step out of your role to offer assistance and gratitude. Give your siblings an apology for any responsibility you had in causing your siblings stress, whether it was decades ago or a rift that occurred before or after the funeral services. In many cases it can be helpful to seek the service of a mediator or counselor. Going through past issues can help foster perspective and empathy.

Dealing with loss typically involves tension of some sort. At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes of Chicago, we want to help in any way that we can. In addition to our funeral memorial services, we offer grief and support services. Call us at (773) 846-6567 or browse our website for more information.

Leak & Sons Gives Back

Diving back to first

When Spencer Leak Jr heard about Jaheim Benton's story-a Jackie Robinson West Little League champions player that was a superstar on the field, but had no place to leave, he decided to give them a great gift-a year's worth of rent paid for Jaheim's family.

For more information check out the full article.

Coping With Feelings of Guilt After the Loss of a Loved One

Family Support for Sadness & Depression

Following the loss of a loved one and experiencing their funeral service, it’s common to feel one journey has come to an end and a new one has begun. People often ask themselves lots of what if questions, pondering the possibility that if they had done something differently or better, they would not have lost their loved one. Coping with these feelings of guilt are not easy, but the following tips should help you during your healing process.

Take Time For Yourself

The feelings of guilt can be profound after losing a loved one. With 20/20 hindsight, you may realize that you could have been a better person to the deceased. Simmering in feelings of guilt can be very draining, which is why it helps to take time away to decompress and recharge after the loss of a loved one. Consider leaving town for a vacation with your family or friends, whether it’s a week off or just a weekend.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Like physical wounds, emotional wounds take time to heal. It’s a given that some days will be good, while others will be bad. Allow yourself to cry if you feel like it. If you don’t feel like talking, don’t answer your phone. During this time you may want to refrain from making serious or drastic decisions. This is a transition process that may take periods of alone time and time with loved ones. If the transition is unbearable for you, find a support group or therapist that can help.

Be a Caregiver to Yourself

Self-care is easy to neglect when you’re feeling blameworthy. But this is the most important time to be kind to yourself. Do not repeatedly ask yourself what could have or should have happened, because this will only increase your guilt.

At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, we offer a wide variety of funeral memorial services in Chicago that can help you say goodbye to your loved one. To learn more about our custom funeral services and cremation services, call us at (773) 846-6567 or visit our website.

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