Losing a close relative or family member is very painful, but imagine, paying respects to a stranger’s body instead. A Florida-based family had to endure such a fate recently when they went to a funeral home and found a stranger, all dressed up in the deceased family member’s garb and casket.
Relatives streaming in at Stevens Brothers Funeral Home in West Palm Beach, Florida, made a heart-breaking discovery merely an hour before Mary Anderson’s viewing. When funeral staff solemnly opened the casket on last Friday, Marvelle Freeman was shocked to see a deceased stranger instead of her mother,
“We get here today for her wake, and it’s not her. They have somebody else in all of her belongings.”
A hastily conducted investigation followed, which revealed that the mix-up happened owing to two deceased females sharing the same first name, reported WKRN TV News. Funeral home employees informed relatives that the mix-up happened because another deceased woman shared Anderson’s first name.
A distraught Freeman, who still wasn’t convinced, managed to say, “Two Marys — both of their names are supposedly Mary. It’s still no resemblance whatsoever.”
Any family that loses a loved one takes great trouble in choosing the attire in which the deceased is dressed for the final journey. Anderson’s family members said they took great care in choosing the outfit Anderson would wear for eternal rest. To find an unknown person in that clothing was appalling, they said.
Explaining the emotionally scarring ordeal, Susan Williams, Anderson’s sister said, “To take her undergarments and put on somebody else, and then take them off her, and put them back on [my sister]… Come on! Come on! That’s not right.”
Fortunately, the confusion over the exchanged body solved itself. While relatives waited for the mix-up to be resolved, a van pulled into the funeral home carrying the body of Mary Anderson. Needless to say, Mary was dressed up in completely different attire, one that was picked out by the family of the “other” Mary.
Realizing they had caused a lot of additional pain, funeral workers moved quickly and corrected their mistake, reported Local10. Mary Anderson was quickly dressed up in the attire the Anderson family had so lovingly had picked out, exchanged the caskets, and sent back the other Mary to her relatives. The entire debacle delayed the viewing by an hour, but ruined the memory, said Elizabeth Davis, another sister of the deceased.
“They… messed up our whole entire memory of our sister, and their mother.”
[Image Credit | Robert Lawton via Wikipedia]