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

Etiquette Tips for Attending the Funeral of a Colleague

When it comes to the funeral of someone you have only a professional connection to, it’s natural to wonder what the proper etiquette is. Many people struggle to decide how to acknowledge the passing of a co-worker or acquaintance when they weren’t especially close to the person. If you are facing the funeral service of a colleague, keep these etiquette tips in mind.

Go to the Service

Unless the family has expressly requested that only people they invite attend the funeral, you should feel welcome to attend the service. Your presence at the funeral service, even if the family doesn’t know you, gives them comfort, as they see how many people want to honor their lost loved one. After losing a loved one, seeing as many supportive faces as possible helps to ease the suffering of the family of the deceased, so do attend the service if you can.

Check with the Funeral Home

The funeral home can usually provide you with answers to any questions you may have about the service. For instance, if the family has requested a specific dress code or if they prefer donations rather than flowers, the funeral home can advise you. They can also give you information about the funeral schedule and other details you need but don’t wish to ask the family directly.

Offer Condolences

During a funeral, the seating in the front is usually reserved for family and close friends, so take a seat in the back to allow them ample room. You should also let family and friends exit first and help themselves to food and drinks first at any post-funeral reception. However, don’t be afraid to step forward to introduce yourself and offer condolences. The family will appreciate knowing about the connection you had with their loved one.

Leak & Sons Funeral Homes is here to answer any questions you have about attending a service at our funeral home in Chicago, IL. We can also provide help with pre-planning funeral arrangements and other services in your time of need. To learn more, please call (773) 848-6567.


How to Request Donations in Lieu of Flowers

Both individuals and groups often wish to send a token of their support and sympathy for family members coping with grief. While this token is traditionally flowers, many families today wish to make a donation to a charitable cause in their loved one’s name instead to create a lasting tribute to the deceased. If you would like to request donations in lieu of flowers, talk to your funeral home about this request, which can be put into your loved one’s obituary. Your request may include one or more charities that you wish to support or that your loved one may have supported during his lifetime. While mourners will often send donations directly to the charities you’ve requested, you may also receive checks in sympathy cards, which you can then donate to a charity of your choosing in your loved one’s name.

At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, our goal is to help your family navigate the decisions and options associated with funeral services and funeral arrangements in Chicago, IL. Whether you need help arranging funeral services after losing a loved one or would like to discuss pre-planning funeral arrangements, please visit us online or call (773) 846-6567.


Addressing a Sympathy Card Envelope

Cards are a respectful and supportive way to express sympathy for those who are coping with loss after a death. When composing a sympathy card, address it to those you wish to support; this may include the entire family or a single individual, such as a surviving spouse or child. In your card, express your feelings of sympathy and let those coping with loss know that you are available to provide support, even if this just means talking over the phone. You can get more helpful tips for addressing a sympathy card in this short video.

Leak & Sons Funeral Homes is dedicated to helping families carry out customized funeral arrangements in Chicago, IL. We invite you to visit our website for a list of grief support services or to learn more about creating a personalized funeral; you can reach our funeral home by phone at (773) 846-6567 for further assistance.


Starting a Family Conversation About Funeral Pre-Planning

Discussing the funeral services you or your loved ones may want is an important task, but it may not always be the easiest conversation to start. Funeral pre-planning with a funeral home allows an individual to make arrangements and pay for their desired funeral services ahead of time, alleviating confusion and stress for family members coping will loss after a death. Whether you have considered the benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements for yourself, or you wish to know the type of funeral that your parents or other family members might prefer, there are several ways to start a family conversation about funeral pre-planning.

Schedule a Time

The best time to discuss funeral arrangements is well before they are needed, while you and your family can make clear decisions. Start by scheduling a time for an informal family meeting in a comfortable location to ensure that everyone is present and available for this important discussion.

Discuss Family Traditions

Funeral arrangements often encompass personalized family traditions. If you aren’t sure how to break the ice regarding funeral pre-planning, start by discussing cherished family activities, symbols, or traditions that you or your loved ones want to maintain. This type of discussion can make it easier to make a smooth transition into memorial and commemorative services.

Keep the Conversation Ongoing

Once you have begun to discuss the topic of funeral pre-planning, remember that not every decision must be made right away. One of the major benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements is the opportunity to explore different funeral services and options, especially if your family has questions. In many cases, letting this discussion evolve over time by coming back to it in the future can help families ultimately choose a more personalized and meaningful funeral service.

At Leak & Sons Funeral Homes, our funeral home in Chicago, IL, can help your family create a personalized funeral through funeral pre-planning services. If you have questions about pre-planning funeral arrangements or are ready to get started with the pre-planning process, you can reach us by phone at (773) 846-6567 or find more information on our website.


Answering Questions About Cemeteries

Many traditional funeral services end with the burial of the casket and body in a cemetery; however, cremated remains may also be buried as well, according to the wishes of the deceased. Cemeteries themselves are meant not only as a final resting place for those who have passed away, but also as a place for families, friends, and other mourners to find support and peace of mind, even many years after a loved one has passed away.

What Is Required for Burial?

The requirements for burial often vary by cemetery; while there may be no laws requiring the purchase of a burial vault, the cemetery you choose may require a burial vault or grave liner to stabilize the casket. Caskets are typically required to bury a body, but cremated remains may be buried in an urn or other cemetery-approved container. Furthermore, embalming is not required for burial—this option is a personal choice that your family may make, depending on the funeral services you want or the time between death and burial.

What Are Mausoleums?

Mausoleums are above-ground buildings that house caskets or cremation urns. Unlike traditional graves, mausoleums are kept clean and dry, and are an option for those who do not wish to be buried underground in a cemetery.

What Is Perpetual Care?

Perpetual Care, also called Permanent Care or Endowment Care, refers to the ongoing maintenance of the cemetery and the personalized interment space or grave. This fee is calculated by the cemetery and is part of the cost of purchasing a gravesite, ensuring it will be cared for in the future.

If you have questions about burial or funeral services in Chicago, IL, Leak & Sons Funeral Homes can help you find the answers you need, whether you are making funeral arrangements for a recently-lost loved one or pre-planning funeral arrangements for yourself. Please visit our website for more information about our funeral home, funeral services, and the support we offer for those coping with loss and grief, or call us today at (773) 846-6567 to speak with a staff member.


Catholic Beliefs About Cremation

Coping with loss begins with making funeral arrangements that are sensitive to the decedent’s religious beliefs and preferences. If your loved one did not pre-plan his or her own funeral, then you will need to make a choice about whether to choose traditional burial or cremation. When a Catholic passes away, it’s often thought that burial is the only correct solution. But in fact, this is not necessarily the case. You can hear why when you watch this video.

This video features a Catholic priest and scholar. He explains that cremation is indeed an option for Catholics. However, it’s important that the cremation not take place until after the funeral services.

For personalized, compassionate funeral services in Chicago, IL, you can trust Leak & Sons Funeral Homes. Call (773) 846-6567 to discuss how our funeral arrangements may be modified to meet your family’s spiritual beliefs and preferences.


An Etiquette Guide to Post-Funeral Receptions

It’s customary to hold a reception after the funeral service, although it’s certainly not required. Usually, the reception is held at the family home. Some families find it easier and more convenient to hold the reception at the funeral home, if a space is set aside for this purpose. The reception is a wonderful opportunity to share a meal and enjoy fellowship while celebrating the life that was lost.

Don’t Attend Without an Invitation

Post-funeral receptions vary widely from family to family. Some receptions are small, intimate gatherings that consist only of the immediate family members, while others are large affairs that include family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. Take your lead from the funeral service itself when determining if you are close enough to the family to attend the reception. A family member might approach you to ask that you fellowship with the family after the service. Or, the family might issue an open-ended invitation to all mourners at the close of the funeral service. If neither types of invitations are forthcoming, you can share your condolences in other ways, such as by sending a sympathy card.

Do Bring a Dish to Share

While the family is coping with the loss, it can be difficult to spend enough time planning the reception. If you’re invited to attend, ask whether it might be appropriate to bring a dish to share. Some receptions are catered affairs, in which case bringing a dish is not necessary. And of course, if you’re given a last-minute invitation, there probably won’t be time to prepare a dish. However, you could offer to help the family by picking up a pre-ordered deli platter for them.

Do Dress Appropriately

If the post-funeral reception is held immediately following the service, then you’re most likely dressed appropriately already. Occasionally, a reception is held at a later date. Dress as you would for the funeral itself. This doesn’t mean that you must wear all black clothing, but you should dress in a somber fashion.

After someone you love has passed, you can turn to Leak & Sons Funeral Homes for compassionate service. In addition to our flexible and affordable funeral arrangements in Chicago, IL, our locations offer full kitchens with repast rooms for mourners to fellowship without having to worry about preparing the family home for a gathering. Call our funeral home at (773) 846-6567 to discuss coming in to make arrangements.


Making Funeral Plans When a Death Occurs at a Hospital

When a loved one is in the hospital or a skilled care nursing facility with a terminal illness, then it is quite possible that your family will have already chosen a funeral home to work with. When the individual passes, the staff at the facility will notify your family immediately, along with other necessary authorities. If your family has chosen a funeral home and provided this information to the hospital staff, then the hospital will likely contact the funeral home after notifying you of the passing.

Many people with terminal illnesses are under the care of a hospice program. If this is the case with your loved one, then the hospice providers can guide your family through the initial steps of coping with the loss. When the funeral home director arrives at the hospital, he or she will set up a time for you to discuss the arrangements. During such a difficult time, it’s often a good idea to have someone go with you to the funeral home to make the arrangements.

Since 1933, Leak & Sons Funeral Homes has had the privilege of serving Chicago, IL families with compassionate funeral arrangements. If a loved one has passed, please notify us by calling (773) 846-6567 and we will guide you through the next steps to take.


The Comforting Power of Personalizing Funeral Services

After the loss of a loved one, many individuals find that coping with grief is almost too difficult to bear. During these trying times, it can be a great comfort to families to rely on a family owned and operated funeral home. When you meet with the funeral director to discuss how your family will honor your loved one, you might find some solace in knowing that the arrangements can be personalized in a way that celebrates your loved one’s life.

Respecting Your Loved One’s Religion

If your loved one was a faithful member of a congregation, then it’s quite likely that your family will prefer to make funeral arrangements that are in line with those religious beliefs. Some religions specify that their adherents must be buried, while others lean toward cremation. The funeral home director can provide guidance if you are unsure which type of service your loved one might have preferred.

Honoring Your Loved One’s Preferences

Regardless of your loved one’s religion or lack thereof, respecting his or her preferences is of the utmost importance. Speak with the funeral home director about whether your loved one might have made pre-need funeral arrangements. If this is not the case, then consider whether your loved one might have mentioned funeral service preferences to you or another family member. Many families take solace in knowing that they have made arrangements that their loved one would have approved of.

Accommodating Out-of-Town Mourners

Flexible funeral arrangements allow family from out of town to pay their respects to the decedent. Consider asking the funeral director about delaying the funeral service until these individuals have had a chance to make travel arrangements. In some cases, it might be appropriate to have the decedent cremated and then to hold the funeral service at a later date. This is not disrespectful to your loved one; rather, it gives your family the chance of fellowship with all mourners. During such a difficult time, fellowship is more important than ever.

Personalized funeral arrangements are a specialty of Leak & Sons Funeral Homes. When you choose our funeral home in Chicago, IL, you can feel comforted knowing that we will treat your loved one and your entire family with the utmost in respect and courtesy. Call (773) 846-6567 any time of the day or night to discuss your family’s needs.


How to Notify People About a Funeral

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to invite fellow mourners to funeral services. After the loss of a loved one, you may find that you are simply unable to handle much beyond making the funeral arrangements. This is why many mourners delegate the task of notifying individuals. After losing a loved one, you’ll likely want to call your closest family members such as your siblings to notify them of the death. Compile a list of names of everyone else that needs to be notified. With the help of a few other family members or close family friends, you can divide the list of names so that no one person must bear the burden alone.

Generally, mourners will make these notifications before making the funeral arrangements. Once the date and time for the funeral has been set, you may choose an alternative method of communication to make your fellow mourners aware of the arrangements. Many people choose email, although some families prefer printed notification cards.

For the answers to your questions about making funeral arrangements in Chicago, IL, you can call Leak & Sons Funeral Homes at (773) 846-6567. Coping with loss is never easy, but our compassionate and caring funeral directors can help guide you through the steps that must be taken.


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