In our FAQs section, we have provided answers to some of our most commonly asked questions pertaining to funerals and our services. If you have any additional questions or concerns that are not covered below, please contact us. We want your experience working with us to be a positive one.
What are the job duties of funeral directors?
Funeral directors wear many hats. They are licensed professionals who specialize in each part of funerals and all related services. They plan the visitations and ceremonies, prepare the deceased, provide support to the family, and make sure all the family’s wishes are fulfilled. They also assist families with any legal or insurance-related paperwork and take care of the removal and transportation of the deceased. Funeral directors have experience helping grieving families and provide them with additional resources and recommendations for their journey through grief.
What should I do if my loved one dies when I am out of town?
We recommend that you contact the local medical authorities, which may include the police depending on the death. Afterwards, give us a call right away so we can start planning your loved one's funeral services. We know it’s important for you to get back home, so we make this process as seamless as possible. Calling us right away will help you avoid any duplication of fees or services.
Can my loved one’s service be personalized?
Yes! We know that having a personalized service is important to many families, so we will do anything we can to make your loved one’s service special. When we meet, let us know about your loved one’s interests, hobbies, accolades, or anything else that will help us get a better idea of who they were. We want to create a service that is both healing and memorable for your family and the friends of your loved one.
Should I bring my children to the funeral service?
The answer to this question is based on your own judgment of the situation. Is your child old enough to understand death? Will the funeral service mean anything to them, or will they be better off at home? Children need to express their grief but it’s up to you to determine if they should come in the end. Prior to the funeral, be sure to explain to your child what they will see and experience, so they are not surprised. Set an expectation for how they should behave and if they become noisy or too upset, it is best to remove them from the service.
What’s the purpose of a viewing?
A viewing, also known as a wake, visitation, or calling hours, is seen as a central part of saying goodbye to a loved one. It can be open or closed casket. It gives families one last chance to see their loved one and fully understand they are gone from this life. This helps them accept the loss and move forward in their grieving journey.
Can we have a viewing if my loved one was an organ donor or had an autopsy?
Yes. Organ donation and autopsies do not affect your ability to have an open-casket viewing.
If we choose cremation, can we still have a viewing and a funeral service?
Absolutely! We think a viewing is beneficial for families because it is a way they can honor and remember their loved one. The cremation can occur before or after the funeral service based on the family’s preferences. The way you celebrate your loved one is completely up to you, and we are here to help you every step of the way.
Why do people use embalming?
People have their loved ones embalmed for many reasons, one being to preserve their body for a viewing. Embalming is used to sanitize the body and preserve it for a limited amount of time. If your loved one died in a traumatic way, embalming can be used to restore them to how they normally looked. Seeing your loved one as you knew them is both comforting and healing.
Is embalming required by law?
No, except in rare situations. Though, most funeral homes have a policy that they will not allow a public viewing without embalming. If you do not want to use embalming, most often we offer a private viewing before the cremation with a little preparation without embalming.
How long does a cremation take?
Though it varies, it usually takes 3-5 hours.
How do I know I am receiving only my loved one’s ashes?
Since it is illegal to cremate multiple people at once in the United States, you can be sure we will cremate your loved one alone. Also, our cremation chamber is designed to only hold one person at a time. Our entire cremation process is heavily regulated, and we hold it to the highest standard every step of the way. All our paperwork and fees are completed with local authorities and then we look over the checklist at the crematory. A metal disk with an individual ID number is with your loved one every step of the process to ensure correct identification. Since we are so detail oriented, you can rest assured you are receiving only your loved one’s ashes.
How do I know if I can scatter my loved one’s ashes?
Prior to scattering your loved one’s ashes, make sure you are doing so legally. However, the government typically does not regulate the scattering of ashes. If you want to scatter the ashes at a public park, submit a formal request to avoid any legal trouble. As long as you check the rules beforehand and are considerate, you typically shouldn’t have any problems.
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a room or building where urns filled with ashes are stored. Typically, they’re located in mausoleums, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain many niches that are designed to hold urns.
What should I say to the bereaved if I see them in public?
If you haven’t seen them after the loss yet, make sure you acknowledge their loss and offer your condolences. If you have already talked about the death, greet them kindly and ask them about their wellbeing. When in public, be careful what you say. Sometimes being discrete is best, especially when you’re around others. Suggest a time to meet in private for some quality time.
How can I help the bereaved after the funeral is over?
After the funeral, the grieving process is not over. It takes time to lessen the pain and sadness of a loss. That’s why you should offer your support for months or even years to come. Helping the bereaved do their daily chores or spending time with them can help. Sending them a letter or giving them a phone call can brighten their day. Even if they decline your invitations, continue to invite them to social functions and special occasions. Eventually, they may want to be social again and knowing they can lean on you is so important.
Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home - St. Matthews
Phone: (502) 893-3644
3711 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40207
Ratterman Brothers Funeral Home - East Louisville
Phone: (502) 244-3305
12900 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243