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Widower, 81, distraught as wife's ashes given to him in paper bag.

A WIDOWER was left distraught when his wife's ashes were handed to him in a paper bag.

Brian Kirke, 81, said he "almost passed out" when he opened the bag he was given by AG Adams & Son funeral directors in Barry - adding he wished he had been warned her remains wouldn't be in an urn.

Brian's wife of 62 years, Jean, died on July 17 after a long battle with gall bladder cancer.

She was partway through her second cycle of chemotherapy at Velindre Cancer Centre but could not finish it.

Jean passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family.

A distraught Brian had planned to go away to west Wales after his wife's funeral and wanted to make sure he could collect the ashes as soon as possible. But when he phoned up he had a shock.

He said: "My wife was cremated on August 1 and I was going away, so I asked 'how long will you be?' and they said it would take five to seven days.

"I phoned 11 days later and they were ready - they didn't let me know.

"When I went to pick them up they were in a heavy carrier bag. I thought that was the urn. But when I opened the carrier bag there was a cardboard box with a paper bag. I almost passed out."

Brian said he had been told it was Cardiff and Glamorgan Memorial Park and Crematorium's policy not to use urns for "environmental reasons".

But he said he wished he had been warned by the funeral directors that this was the case.

A spokeswoman for Co-op Funeralcare, which owns AG Adams & Son funeral directors, said: "We would like to apologise to Mr Kirke for the upset caused.

"We should have made it clear to Mr Kirke what type of container was used by the crematorium as well as providing him with options of a range of other containers."

Jamieson Hodgson, from crematorium operators Memoria, said: "All cremated remains leaving our memorial park can be provided in an urn if requested but this was not the case on this occasion."


Brian Kirke with wife Jean

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 6, 2017
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