If you're a Netflix watcher, like a lot of us here on staff, then you've probably come across the show "Buried By The Bernards". The show focuses on a Black owned and operated funeral home in Tennessee where the family gives a glimpse into the business, and their lives. Check out the trailer.
Well, it looks like the hit comedy/reality show is going to experience a little more drama. A state investigation by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance was launched into the funeral home after a man says he received the wrong ashes!
WREG reports that Alfred Velasquez's mother passed away from kidney failure after battling the ailment for years. Velasquez said he called R. Bernard Funeral Services because the hospice provider recommended them. He hired them to cremate his mom. Her dying wish was to have her ashes spread over the ocean. A few months later, the family went to Florida to spread her ashes, but they were startled by what they found in the urn.
“We noticed someone else’s information inside the bag of ashes,” Velasquez said.
They saw a paper with another woman’s name. They decided not to spread the ashes and instead called the funeral home.
“They asked for the disc number on the ashes. It was ‘450.’ They’re like, it’s my mom. At that point, we don’t believe them because it’s someone else’s information,” he said.
To prove his claim, Velasquez took a picture of the ashes, the identifying tag and the paperwork that was inside of the urn. We've posted that photo courtesy of TMZ.
This finding now has everyone who has every had a loved one cremated side-eyeing the crematorium! Of course, news outlets reached out to R. Bernard Funeral Services for answers.
In R. Bernard’s written response to the state, they blamed a paperwork mix-up and stated they accidentally put another person’s label inside Velasquez’s urn.
The family's lawyer said in a statement “We understand why they are upset, but the fact of the matter is we can assure them they have the correct ashes,” but, that isn't enough for Velasquez. He wants a formal apology. “I feel like it is happening to other people because the other family I’m talking to, Luz Acevedo’s daughters, they got two cremation dates, when she was supposed to be cremated a month after my mom. Nothing adds up,” he said.
He's right, something isn't adding up here and it's frustrating. We're hoping that the funeral home will add a few more checks and balances into their system to insure that this doesn't happen again. We're also praying for these families. This has to be devastating!