I had said that I would stop writing blogs about death. Believe me, I wish I was done with it, but I guess the business of death isn't finished with me. This summer, I lost two old friends from my hometown of Fox Creek. Rest in peace Lorraine Gliege and Kory Haynes. And if you read my blog, you will recognize the photo at left as Gary Larsen, my Edmonton deceased buddy.
Gary didn't write a will. Like many of us, I guess he thought he had time, or many he just didn't think it was that important. Well, it is.
No one knew his final wishes, so assorted associates put together a memorial and some, most notably, his friend Ehren Ackerman took it upon themselves to sort his affairs. This has been an emotionally taxing affair, and just when we believed it was coming to a conclusion, the process took an upsetting turn.
According to Section 31 of the Cemeteries Act of Canada, unclaimed remains must be kept by the funeral home for a minimum of one year. Then they must be processed in a respectful and non-offensive manner. Next of kin or executor must give written permission for this.
We're not sure proper protocol was followed. Gary's kin are in Denmark and some don't speak English very well. We have a hard time accepting the idea that his aunts, uncles and cousins would allow his body to be cremated and scattered with no proper location or ceremony. We were not apprised of this decision, despite the fact that Ehren, as his acting executor, offered to pay for a modest funeral.
A friend of mine tried to console me, saying "At least he's not around to see this."
We're PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS, and don't buy that for a minute, and it's brought us back to square one, mourning our loss anew.
Rest assured, we're looking into this. We are bombarding Fountain Gardens with phone calls. We need to know the exact date they disposed of Gary and where. We are unsure of the documentation from his Scandinvian relatives, and not sure if we will have access to these WRITTEN letters they claim to have obtained, giving the home the go-ahead.
If you live in the Edmonton area, and you knew Gary, and want to help us find answers, the number to Fountain Gardens is (780)457-6600. We'd like to know what they are telling people, and we'd like to send them the message that Gary Larsen was NOT disposable-that he had people who cared about him. He deserved better than a bums-rush into the afterlife.
Myself personally, I would like to be cremated and given a small and inexpensive ceremony for my friends to say goodbye. I would have liked to have given Gary the same thing, but that's not really possible to give him a funeral now.
Knowing the heartbreak we are experiencing, I'm going to get my behind in gear and write that Last Will and Testament. I can't stand putting my survivors through something like this. I highly recommend that everybody do the same. <3