While we might not be aware of where our mortal remains reside after we’re gone, one young man’s mother is upset that a funeral home confined his ashes to a plastic Walmart shopping bag. She discovered the bag job a year after he passed away, and calls it a “disrespectful” move on the part of funeral home.
WCPO.com spoke to the mom, who said that from the age of 15, her son had said he wanted to be cremated. So when he passed away at the age of 17 last September from cardiomyopathy, the family knew exactly how to handle his remains. Unfortunately, what his mother envisioned and what she found were two different things.
“I just wanted to hold my baby one last time. So I opened the urn, and found a Walmart bag in the urn. The funeral home had put my son’s ashes in a Walmart bag,” she told the station.
But the county coroner/funeral director at the Kentucky funeral home in question says the family had asked for the remains to be divided into four, something he usually doesn’t do. No bags were provided for the inside of the containers, which didn’t seal. So, he says, he “used the bags that I had” to keep the ashes from spilling. He adds that he trimmed off any logos or print, but the young man’s mom says she could still tell it was Walmart.
The woman’s ex-husband isn’t bothered by the funeral home’s decision, and still keeps his son’s ashes in the Walmart bag.
“It could have been [bad judgment to use the Walmart bags],” he admits. “Was anything done maliciously? No…It may have been a split second lack of judgment, but they were also looking out for our best interest because the containers we provided did not seal.”
The boy’s mother isn’t satisfied with that explanation, and took the ashes to another funeral home to have them transferred to a clear plastic bag. She’s contacted the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to file complaints.
“I don’t care who you are, it’s not right to put a human person’s ashes in a Walmart bag…It is still disrespectful. You don’t do that to a parent who has lost their child. You don’t do that to anyone. I just want to make sure that this never happens again to another person,” she said.