Mum fined for baby funeral goodbye
Source: Yahoo! UK News – Aug 4, 2009
Terrie Rouse was ordered to pay the penalty after she sat by her son Zane’s coffin for an extra 10 minutes before watching it disappear through the curtains for cremation.
But she was left shocked when officials at the crematorium in Crownhill, Milton Keynes, told her she would have to pay for the extra time – at a rate of £8.60 a minute.
Ms Rouse, 32, told the Milton Keynes Citizen: “The vicar asked if I would like to spend a bit more time saying goodbye. I sat by the coffin for 10 minutes, telling my son how much we loved him and begging him not to be scared.”
But her grief turned to anger when officials asked her to pay the £86.
Lee Smythe, Zane’s father, who was cradling the little boy when he died at their home in Great Linford, condemned the penalty as “sick and disgusting”.
He told the paper: “Terrie was weeping hysterically. She just wanted a few extra minutes to say goodbye to our much-loved little boy. How could anyone be cruel enough to charge for this?”
Officials from Milton Keynes Council, which runs the crematorium, routinely impose an extra charge if any funeral over runs its allocated half-hour slot. This is paid on top of the standard cremation fee.
The council has now refunded the charge, because of “extenuating circumstances”.
A spokesman said: “We understand that sometimes more time may be preferred and so families are offered the chance to book extra time if they need it. This means when funerals that have not taken up this option over-run, a fee is automatically charged. However, when we learnt that there were extenuating circumstances we, of course, refunded the extra charge.”
Wow! This is the first time ever in my life I heard a mum being fined for sitting for an extra 10 mins besides her son’s coffin…
Seriously, don’t you think it’s a bit ridiculous? Like, duh?!