It's 10 days since my mom passed and she is still not cremated. I am so upset, speechless! What to do? The director is not following through and not returning my calls, as well as misinforming me on most everything. I'm trying to reach the owner of the funeral home. Enough is enough! My mom's wishes are not being carried out. She and dad pre-paid for their funeral arrangements many years ago. Is this the issue? I do not know. It all seems and feels SO wrong! Once this ordeal is over and mom is finally laid to rest w/ my dad at Bushnell, I am considering hiring an attorney. What kind of attorney would I hire? Is there a case? Direct directives for cremation has rules don't they? Please, any advice? RIP mom, I'm sorry....

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If I am looking at the right entry, the funeral home's page says your mother's funeral mass will be June 23 at 10:00. ??

You are handling this alone. But do you have siblings?
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First of all, condolences on the loss of your mother. For most of us whose loved ones had dementia there is both relief and grief at their passing.

I am so sorry you are going through this traumatic experience. My mother's funeral director had to wait until at least 4 of Mother's 7 children signed off on cremation. All 7 of us did, but it took a couple of days. We all met at the funeral home. As soon as the paper was signed, the director said, "I'll send her body for cremation tomorrow. I feel it is disrespectful to hold on to the body longer than necessary." She had a prepaid funeral account and he went over the available money with all of us. He told us how much was budgeted for flowers. But we could spend more if we spent less than budgeted on something else, or put in some additional money ourselves. He was very helpful, and did not try to dissuade us from using a different venue than his mortuary for the service. He asked who wanted to pick out the urn, and who would take the cremains. None of us wanted them, or cared about the urn. In fact we were wondering what to do with the urn of our father's ashes. He told us about individual "urns" that held about a tablespoon of ashes. Would that interest us? And he offered to unseal our father's urn, mix the ashes with mother's, fill and seal the small urns. Perfect solution for us! He was professional, compassionate, and helpful.

It really does sound like the director you are dealing with is not very professional, let alone compassionate or helpful! At the very least you are entitled to an explanation for the cremation delay.

Is it reasonably convenient for you to go to the funeral home? You might get better responses face-to-face than over the phone. "I will be coming in to go over the final plans for my mother's service. Is 4:30 or 5:15 better for you?"

Do you have a case for any legal action? Being unprofessional is probably not against the law, and certainly not being compassionate or helpful isn't a legal offense. One recourse you do have to be helpful to others is social media. Write a review. Contact Angie's List. Stay absolutely factual, but warn others about what happened to you. Don't, however, do this until you are done dealing with the director.

Here is a thought: is this mortuary in financial trouble? If they can't send the body for cremation because they don't have the cremation fees, there probably is something legal you can do to force the issue.

You will get through this! Keep in touch here.
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It seems like several times a year we see something on the news that has happened at a funeral home that is upsetting. I bet if you contacted your local news station you could get the ball rolling.
Also make sure the funeral home hasn't been bought out by another company. If the headquarters is in another city, call the headquarters to complain. I'm sorry for your loss and this long delay.
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Depending on which State you are in, is the funeral director licensed? You can bring this up with the state board
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There is no one else that the funeral home is taking to or dealing with. JUST ME.
I think the director has been unprofessional( while on many phone calls, I could hear her slurping a beverage, and snacking. Plus all of my mom's arrangements were made many years ago, absolutely no changes have been made.
I don't know what the issues are.
It's very nerve wracking ,as well as disrespectful. As 1 member mentioned.
I'm numb and still do not have any answers. No returned phone calls today, either. ....
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I can relate to the horror of knowing your mothers body has not been cremated yet. My mother had been dead over two weeks before she was cremated. The thought of my mothers lifeless body just laying there seemed so disrespectful.

But here's what the problem was - the doctor in charge of my mothers hospice had yet to sign the death certificate. Seems it got lost somewhere along the line and the cremation people can not legally cremate a body without a signed death cert. The cremation folks had to start the process from the beginning again.

In my mothers case it was not the fault of the people who had her body and had been paid in full ahead of time to cremate it. The fault lied with the hospice people who'd lost the death certificate. Still - it did not seem like anyone other than myself was overly concerned with the length of time things were taking. I mean, my mothers ashes scattering by a good size number of people - planned two hours out of town and half way up Mt Hood was in four days and still she laid there. It was only after I began calling and nagging - frequently- that anyone took notice.

I will say that once I poked them with a stick they got going and treated the matter with a sense of urgency - at last.

But still it was creepy - and I half expected smoldering smoke when I finally got the box and unwrapped it.

Before you get an attorney- try to get to the root of the problem. It might not be the funeral homes mistake.
Helpful Answer (4)

Vonping, what were the arrangements that your parents had pre-paid for the funeral? Are these arrangements different from what you had heard that Mom wanted? Your profile said your Mom had Alzheimer's/Dementia and you weren't able to visit Mom as much as you would have liked.... so I assume these wishes were made years ago, or did Mom change her mind later down the road.

Sounds like the funeral director is waiting for the family to make up their mind. He's probably going by what your parents had paid for, and if other family members are telling him differently, he's not going to proceed until everyone is on the same page or your parent's had something in writing about their final wishes. The funeral director is within his right to stall the preparations if he is being pulled in 20 different directions.

My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.
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