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Geils Funeral Home Frequently Asked Questions

Common question when planning a funeral

We have been answering your questions for over 100 years since 1898 and we are happy to help you find your answers here.  At Geils Funeral Home in Bensenville and Wood Dale we have listed the following frequently asked questions relating to funerals, funeral services, and funeral etiquette.

What is a funeral?

The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. This allows the mourning to begin their grieving process.  It is a ceremony that helps commemorate the life of a loved one.

What type of service should I have?

Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-arranged funeral plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family’s community and religious affiliations.

Can I personalize my funeral service?

Of course, at Geils Funeral Home, we hope to help you find the service and details that best commemorate your loved one.  A funeral director would be more than happy to discuss your wishes and special touches desired for your service.

Why should we have a public viewing?

There are several reasons as to why one should have a public viewing.  Whether cultural, ethnical or spiritual, it helps the mourning process and allows for those grieving to be surrounded by friends and family during a very difficult time.

Why do we need an obituary notice?

It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet.

What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (773) 723-4400. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it’s acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?

Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral director of choice immediately. They will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. They may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as their agent.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Is embalming mandatory by law?

No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. However it may be necessary if you are transporting the body by air travel for a service.

Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?

Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option that some families choose for final disposition of the body after a death.

How much does a funeral cost?

Funerals can cost as little as $1000 for a direct disposition but vary depending on the amount of services that you decide to choose. (Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic casket or container, and transporting the deceased to a cemetery or crematorium) For an adult, full-service funeral, consumers choose to spend an average of $5000+. This includes all professional funeral services and transportation services.

Common Questions in regards to cemeteries 

The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours isn’t listed, we invite you to call us. At Geils Funeral Home in Bensenville or Wood Dale we are here to provide with the information you need and piece of mind when you need it.

Are cemeteries running out of space?

Yes and no depending on your region.  It is often easier to find plots in a rural area compared to an urban location with regards to land.

Can the vault be personalized?

Yes, At Geil’s Funeral Home, we can show you the wide variety of personalization choices, including nameplates with customization and military insignia as well.

Are there vaults for cremated remains?

Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes, for a nominal fee. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.