Another odd funeral blunder recently affected a Bronx, New York family, who ended up mourning the wrong body at their matriarch’s memorial.
ABC Eyewitness News reports that the family of Val Jean McDonald was shocked and embarrassed to find out the woman they grieved for wasn’t their grandmother. McDonald, 81, died in December following a battle with cancer.
Service arrangements were made at McCall’s Bronxwood Funeral Home, where her eight children and 20 grandchildren and friends took part in the open-casket funeral. McDonald’s adult children didn’t notice anything unusual about the woman in the casket at the time, but her 10-year-old grandson knew it wasn’t his grandmother.
Via Eyewitness News:
One Val Jean’s eight sons, Errol McDonald, told Eyewitness News that a 10-year-old grandson told him, “that doesn’t look like grandma.” Errol’s brother, Leroy, heard the same from his 6-year-old granddaughter.
“She said, ‘granddaddy, I don’t think that’s grandma,’”” said Leroy McDonald. “I know she took it hard.” The adults explained to the children who insisted the woman in the casket was not her, that cancer and age change one’s appearance.
Five days after the funeral, Bronxwood phoned about the mix-up and had the family return to identify the body. The funeral home, which is currently under investigation, released a statement and announced both families involved in the body swap will be reimbursed for the services:
“We have expressed to the affected families our acute distress and sorrow over this occurrence, and we are reimbursing the McDonalds for all costs associated with the funeral,” said George Arzt, spokesman for the funeral home.
The identity of the other family and whether they plan to take legal action is currently unknown.
SOURCE: Eyewitness News | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty