A funeral home in Bankstown has left a family traumatised after mixing up two bodies. And it wasn’t the first time.
The Nicolopolos family were preparing to farewell a beloved husband and father in early February, according to news.com.au, when they discovered he had been buried two hours before his funeral and the body in his coffin belonged to someone else.
Euro Funeral Services director Spiro Haralambous told 2GB he takes full responsibility for the mistake.
“If I could turn time back to prevent this trauma, naturally I would,” he said.
“I am so sorry. I wouldn’t want this to happen to me.
“We need to be transparent with no spin-doctoring … and I’ll do everything I can to rectify this, less the trauma.”
Haralambous said the two men were in identical coffins and the lids which featured their names were placed on the wrong caskets.
He promised to introduce additional checks before a coffin leaves the business, and said the company has never experienced a mistake of this stature.
However, a woman has revealed the same thing happened to her family at the same funeral home back in 2008.
According to the woman, known as Vicky, she and her family are haunted by her mother’s screams upon discovering that the woman they were farewelling was not her grandmother.
“When my grandmother passed away, we had a viewing two nights before the funeral. It was an open casket and my family discovered they were saying goodbye to the wrong lady,” she told 2GB.
“When the service was over, we were invited up to the casket to say our final goodbyes. My 80-year-old grandfather went up and he was supported by my aunt and uncle, and he stood over and he said his goodbye and kissed this lady’s hand.
“Meanwhile, my aunty, who was slowly registering and in shock, said, ‘this may not be my grandmother’.
“My mum came up and, to this day, I can still hear the shrill of my mum’s screaming ‘that’s not my mother’.”
Haralambous told The Daily Telegraph the funeral home had changed their methods since the 2008 incident.
“We apologised at the time,” he said. “Before 2008, we used to remove the hospital tags from the body because they were too confronting for the families, and now we leave them on.
“There were no other incidents besides the one last week and the one in 2008.”
Featured image source: iStock/davidford