Do You Have Questions?

Do you have questions surrounding the funeral planning process? Here are some of our most common questions. Our family is here to answer any of your questions or concerns, 24-7. Do not hesitate to call us at 847-741-1128.

A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, honoring and remembering the life of a person who has passed away. While specific customs, traditions and practices differ across cultures and religions, all funerals serve the key purpose of giving survivors a special time and place to say goodbye and find comfort and healing in each other. Every funeral is different, and we believe it should reflect your loved one’s unique personality and life experience.

A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects of funerals and related services. They provide support to the family, guide the arrangements of visitations and funeral ceremonies, prepare the deceased according to the family’s wishes and ensure everything goes according to plan.

Funeral directors also coordinate the transportation of the deceased and file all the necessary legal paperwork associated with receiving a death certificate and necessary burial or cremation permits.

Are there some things you could potentially do on your own? Sure, but would you really want to? Grief is an incredibly overwhelming feeling. It can be very hard to think clearly while you are processing the loss of someone close to your heart.

Our professional team thrives on lifting that burden for you by handling a long list of details, so you don’t have to. We bring decades of experience and compassion to help you through this difficult time.

A visitation – also known as a viewing or a wake – can involve an open or closed casket, and is a vital part of the grieving process. Having your loved one physically present can help family and friends accept the reality of their loss, especially if they had not seen the deceased for some time. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell is an important step on the road to healing.

Yes, we offer cremation services. Cremation is a popular alternative to burial, and it does not limit your options for a funeral service. You can have a visitation with a body present before the cremation, or you can have a Celebration of Life or Memorial Service after cremation, with or without cremated remains present. You can also do a service at the cemetery if you choose to bury your cremated remains or place them above-ground in a niche. We also offer the opportunity to witness the cremation, which is important in some cultures and traditions.

As loved ones age, it is not uncommon to gain greater humility and feel that perhaps you do not “deserve” a big, fancy funeral. This can be especially true for members of the Greatest Generation, who went through the Great Depression and highly value practicality and frugality.

Sometimes our loved ones forget that funerals are for the living, and not the dead. Your loved one’s family and friends deserve the opportunity to say goodbye and to comfort one another as they come to grips with their loss.

The need to acknowledge death is a fundamental part of the grieving process and part of our humanity. You don’t need anyone’s permission to design a truly meaningful funeral that gives you closure and allows you the peace of saying goodbye to your loved one.

It is important that you first contact local emergency medical personnel (as well as the police, if appropriate). After local authorities are involved, please give us a call at (847) 741-1128 as soon as possible. We are available 24-7 to take your call. We will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to return your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible. By calling us first, you can avoid duplication of efforts and fees. We have experience with both domestic and international repatriation of human remains, so no matter your location, we can help.

If you travel frequently or have a seasonal home more than 75 miles away from your permanent residence, you may want to consider Travel Protection.

We no longer live in a world where there is a single “accepted” version of a funeral. We strongly believe funerals should be as special and unique as the person being honored. Consider the sky to be the limit as you plan your loved one’s funeral. As long as no laws are being broken, we will help you bring your vision to life!

Some of the more unique funerals we have been a part of include:

  • A Celebration of Life for a person who LOVED Hawaii. Mourners wore Hawaiian shirts and received floral leis in his memory.
  • A funeral procession with horse-drawn hearse carrying a simple pine casket for a person who treasured history and had requested a funeral that hearkened back to simpler times.
  • A Memorial Service for an artist that featured original artwork displayed on our chapel walls and tables throughout the funeral home. When you walked in, you felt like you were entering an art gallery.
  • A funeral procession for a military veteran and advocate for historic preservation whose flag-draped casket was pulled by a horse-drawn hearse. The procession first traveled through neighborhoods and past his historic home before going to the cemetery.
  • We have hosted many services for musicians, where bands and singers came together to perform their music for friends and family.
  • A Mexican Funeral with a mariachi band that played into the late hours of the night in celebration of their loved one’s memory.

If you have an idea, please bring it to us! We would love to help you create a truly unique experience.

Embalming is a process used to sanitize and temporarily preserve the body of a person who has passed away. It can also enhance the appearance of a person who may have experienced damage from an accident or illness.

By preserving the body through embalming, we can give you and your family time to make personalized and meaningful arrangements, including a viewing, if desired.

Embalming is not mandatory, but some circumstances may require it. If you choose an open casket with visitation, embalming is required by funeral home policy. If you opt not to use embalming, we can offer you the opportunity for a private viewing prior to burial or cremation, with minimal preparation.

Owner and Funeral Director Daniel Symonds has served in the U.S. Army Reserve since 2002, and he is currently a First Sergeant for U.S. Army Reserve Public Affairs. He has been a licensed funeral director for more than 25 years and has owned Symonds-Madison Funeral Home since 2013.

As a veteran who comes from a long line of veterans, Daniel understands the importance of honoring those who have served our country with a proper military funeral. We consider it an honor and a privilege to serve fellow military families and help them pay tribute for their service to our nation. Visit our veterans section for more information on what to expect when you partner with us to honor a veteran in your life.

You may see the following disclaimer on our website or printed materials that feature photos or videos of Daniel and others in military uniform: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

What does this mean? It means that while Daniel is a member of the military, the U.S. Army and Department of Defense do not endorse his private business. The funeral home exists independent of his military career.

Symonds-Madison Funeral Home is an accredited member of Veteranownedbusiness.com, a national directory of veteran-owned businesses, along with the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, and the >Northern Kane County Chamber of Commerce.

Yes, you can. By planning ahead, you can take time to research and consider what type of funeral you would like. Once your planning is complete, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your family will not be left to scramble during those challenging early days of grief. For more information on planning ahead, click here.

Do you still have questions surrounding the funeral planning process?  Our family is here to answer any of your questions or concerns, 24-7. Do not hesitate to call us at 847-741-1128.