The woman said the shocking confusion meant that the body in the coffin at her mother’s funeral was not her mother at all, but a complete stranger.
“Everyone in that room thought they were saying goodbye to my mom, and it wasn’t her,” Adelaide’s Diane De Jaeger said of the sad experience on Monday night. current case.
To make matters worse, the grieving daughter stated that the funeral director asked her to continue her service no matter what.
“I got sick. Because of that, I didn’t want to be there.”
Margaret Locke’s funeral was scheduled to take place on 1 August at Enfield Memorial Park in the north of the city.
About 100 people gathered to pay their last respects to Mrs. Locke, who had four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
But when Mrs. De Jaeger looked inside the coffin for the last time, she realized that a terrible mistake had been made.
“That’s not my mother,” she told the funeral director.
“He said, ‘That’s definitely Margaret, she was labeled as Margaret,’ and I said, ‘That’s not my mom.’
It wasn’t until she found a recent photo of her late mother and showed it to the headmaster that he relented.
“I zoomed in on the face, placed it next to the lady in the coffin, and said, ‘That’s not my mom.'”
But instead of stopping the service while the confusion was investigated, the funeral director offered to continue no matter what.
“I got sick. It made me not want to be there.
“How can you say goodbye to your mother if it’s not her?
“None of those eulogies hooked me or hit me because I didn’t listen very carefully, I wasn’t there. It just made me feel so empty and empty,” she said.
Australian Funeral Homes Association President Adrian Barrett said a number of measures are being taken to ensure that the person in the casket is the person being mourned.
This included various tags and checks performed every time the body is moved.
If there is any doubt, the funeral should not take place.
“The first thing to do is stop the memorial service,” Barrett said.
– The person whose funeral should be is not at the funeral.
“We also have a person whose funeral should not be at a funeral.”
In a statement to current caseClarke Family Funerals has said it has performed over 2,000 funerals since its founding in 2006, but has acknowledged its “mistake” with Ms. Locke.
“We have always strived to give a beautiful and respectful funeral that will leave a long memory, but on Monday we fell far short of our own high standards.
“This situation is deeply regrettable and we continue to offer our sincere apologies to the family.”
He said that continuing the service was also a mistake.
“This decision was made in a stressful situation and, on reflection, we had to look for a different outcome.”
After the service, Ms. Locke was located and the funeral home reported that a proper cremation had been performed and her ashes were given to the De Jaeger family.
Ms. De Jager said that all she could do during the service – with someone other than her mother in a coffin – was to make the most of the dire situation.
“So I said goodbye to this lady, said ‘rest in peace’ and ‘I hope you find your family.’