Questions & Answers

If you don't see the answer to your question here, please ask.

What do I do when a death occurs while out of town or away from home?

First, contact authorities, then us (whether arrangements were planned or not).

Contact the local medical authorities first (as well as law enforcement, if needed), and then us. We will help make the necessary arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible. Calling us will also help avoid duplication of effort and fees.

What do funeral directors do?

We care for the departed, and those left behind.

A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects of funerals and related services. After taking the deceased into our care, we support the family's needs and wishes, guide the arrangement of visitations and ceremonies, and prepare the deceased for final rest. We can assist survivors with any legal or insurance-related paperwork, provide extra support to help you come to terms with your loss, and recommend other professional resources if/as needed.

Why have a service at Imes, instead of a church or community center?

A memorial is a special event that benefits from specific expertise and a welcoming, accessible space for all. 

Choosing Imes ensures the resources needed to create an event that can help everyone involved begin to heal, including:

  • A welcoming, central location (our Heritage Chapel in Five Points includes a child care facility, baby grand piano, domed entry and many other unique features)
  • Staff dedicated to all the planning and logistics
  • Experienced, objective counsel on options given what we learn from you about your loved one
  • Ongoing help in crafting the experience that fits your culture, beliefs, and budget
Can I personalize the service?

That's our specialty.

Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and incorporating their loved one’s hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services. Even if your idea seems "out there," let's talk about it — we’re honored to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey.

Can I still have viewing and funeral services with cremation?

Definitely! Remembrance options for burial and cremation are essentially the same.

Choosing cremation only indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way. Whether you’d like to arrange a funeral service before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.

Of course, these are not mutually-exclusive options. In conjunction with either cremation or burial, you might choose to have a smaller church service soon after death, and later, a broader community memorial, for example. There is no "one size fits all" mentality at Imes; we are privileged to shoulder some of your burden at this difficult time. 

Why have a viewing?

A viewing can help begin healing.

A viewing — also known as a visitation, wake, or calling hours — can involve an open or closed casket, and can be vital to the grieving process. Having their loved one present often helps family and friends to accept the reality of their loss, especially for those who may not have seen him or her in a while. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell is an important step on the road to healing.

Can we have a viewing if my loved one has donated organs or tissues, or had an autopsy?

Yes, neither of these affects open-casket viewing.

After any procedures are complete, we will restore the body, and you may proceed with viewing as usual. To become an organ or tissue donor and register in advance as Kentucky law requires for donations, visit Donate Life Kentucky.

Should I bring my children to the funeral service?

Be guided by the child's age, maturity and relationship with the deceased. 

If the child is mature enough to comprehend death, you can discuss whether attending the funeral will be meaningful. If so, it may help the child to express and share grief.

If you must bring young children, explain beforehand what they will see and experience, and the importance of being on their best behavior. If necessary, please step out with a noisy child so as not to disturb other mourners. Our Heritage Chapel offers a playroom for children while adults attend services.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming preserves the body for viewing and allows time for arrangements.

Embalming is a process used to sanitize and temporarily preserve the body of a person who has passed away. It also can enhance the appearance of a person who had an accident or illness. By embalming just after death, we can give you and your family time to make personalized and meaningful arrangements. 

Is embalming required by law?

No. It is your choice.

Except in rare circumstances, embalming is not required by law. However, we, as do most funeral homes, require embalming before public viewing, for reasons of health and aesthetics. If you decide against embalming, usually we can offer a private viewing if desired.

How long does the cremation process take?

Three to five hours.

How can I be sure that the remains I receive are those of my loved one?

Cremation is an individual process, with strict safeguards.

Both the law and our professional ethics require individual cremation, with regulated procedures and documentation. All necessary paperwork and fees must be completed, and a checklist is completed at the crematory. A metal disk with a unique identifier stays with the person throughout the cremation process, and is attached to the bag that contains the ashes. 

Where can I scatter my loved one's cremated remains? 

Apart from private property, there are few issues.

In general, the government does not regulate the scattering of ashes. Most public parks, including national parks, ask that you submit a formal request and may have restrictions on where you can scatter. If you wish to scatter on private land, consult the owner first. In most cases, as long as you are unobtrusive and considerate, it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation.

What is a columbarium?

That is a place where urns containing ashes are stored.

They’re often located in mausoleums, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain numerous small compartments, or niches, designed to hold urns.

What can I do to help the bereaved after services?

You can help the family as a thoughtful friend and neighbor.

In the early days following death, simple actions such as bringing over a casserole or sending a thoughtful card, speak volumes, whether or not there is a service and whether or not you are able to attend.

The family can benefit from your support for months to come. Let them know you are thinking of them, and offer to meet up, with social activities that they can join when they are ready to participate. You may reach out to the family on special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, especially during the first year.

What should I do/say with someone who has experienced a recent loss?

Treat them with warmth and openness. 

If you’ve already offered your condolences, simply greet the bereaved warmly as you would any other time, and present a willingness to listen to anything they want to share.

If this is your first meeting since the death, you can acknowledge what has happened with a simple statement, such as, “I understand this must be a hard time for you," while being open to however they wish to proceed from there. 

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Heritage Chapel of Imes Funeral Home & Crematory | 1804 Highway 121 Bypass North | (270) 753-8888

Imes Funeral Home & Crematory - Downtown Murray | 311 North 4th St. | (270) 753-7000

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