Words Are Hard

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Tag Archives: Cremation


So this is a thing that happened.

Full disclosure: This is not a funeral home whose phones I have ever answered but the “it’s taking too long to get the cremains back!” is a message I’ve taken many, many, many times for several dozen different places.

Unfortunately where I am I can’t watch the video and it doesn’t say in the article how long the families were kept waiting.  To be honest though, I think anything over a week is too long and I’ve talked to families who’ve been kept waiting several weeks.  Understandably, they were less than thrilled.

Of course my first instinct is to shield the director because he pays for the service that gives me a paycheck and there are several people in the world who don’t understand that the one thing funeral homes don’t usually do is pick the body up and immediately chuck it in the fire.  I have talked to nurses who make sure I know to tell the director to not cremate the body until the family has had a chance to view it.

So.  Um.  Speaking of people who should know better

Things that I know that I can’t actually tell you while I have you on the phone because I’m expected to play a certain degree of dumb: A funeral home cannot (and will not) cremate a body until all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.  If they don’t wait until that’s done, they’re either in a place where the laws are really relaxed (not likely) or in big trouble because that is a HUGE no no.  Oy.

So I’ve heard anywhere from 24 hours (if it’s prearranged and the family/doctor/coroner has already signed off on it and even then, while close, it’s not a pick up-chuck into fire situation) to a week.  If it takes anything more than that people start getting irritated because memorial services start getting pushed back.  Burials don’t happen (yes, people bury urns – my grandfather was cremated and buried in a garbage disposal at his request …that should tell you everything about my sense of humor right there).  Stuff like that.

And like I said, my first instinct is to shield the director, but I can’t wrap my head around this one.  How long did the families wait?  The wording on the article is weird and sounds like the bodies were actually just stashed in the shop.  If that’s the case: dude wtf?!

Also: Y’know.  Randomly.  I think the comment on the article calling for the directors to be jailed for life is a tad excessive.  Perspective, my darlings.  The dead don’t care if they’re left hanging before the barbeque.  They ain’t goin’ anywhere on account of a sudden case of dead.

I feel for the families.  I do.  Every time I take that sort of message I feel bad, because I am a human being with who still knows what the word empathy means.  But the dead have no such feels to give.  They weren’t killed by the director.  They were just left hanging, and there is a massive world of difference between the two.

I also note that nobody’s pointed this out:

WTF is a funeral home doing with a second hand store?  Think about that for a minute.  Do you really want to shop there?


Black Cooper Sander Funeral Home, Hollister, C...

Black Cooper Sander Funeral Home, Hollister, California motorcycle rally, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We don’t answer for this funeral home right now, but I totally would. Because it’s awesome.



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