Loved ones’ ashes still un­claimed

Central Leader - - NEWS - By MON­ICA TISCHLER

The death of a friend is al­ways tough to deal with.

So much so that people some­times for­get to col­lect the ashes of their loved ones.

It is a com­mon oc­cur­rence, Davis Fu­ner­als man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig Lit­tle says.

His fu­neral home has 427 un­claimed boxes of ashes sit­ting on shelves at its sites in Hen­der­son, Mt Eden and Paku­ranga. Mr Lit­tle says it is like ‘‘for­got­ten pop­u­la­tion’’

a and he is urg­ing fam­ily mem­bers to claim the ashes.

‘‘Some­times I think people have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ ap­proach,’’ he says.

A let­ter was sent to all fam­i­lies of the de­ceased last Oc­to­ber and re­cip­i­ents have un­til March 31 to claim the ashes or let the fu­neral home know what they would like to hap­pen.

Mr Lit­tle says ashes can be un­claimed for a num­ber of rea­sons.

‘‘Part of it is the num­ber of op­tions avail­able now and the ex­pense of it,’’ Mr Lit­tle says.

A sin­gle burial plot costs al­most $700 and $13,800 will buy an area that fits six ashes boxes – suit­able for a fam­ily plot.

To buy a pri­vate tree is al­most $2000, and a me­mo­rial seat costs about $2300.

Scat­ter­ing is the cheap­est and most com­mon op­tion, Mr Lit­tle says.

‘‘You can go to the bach or take them out on a surf­board.

‘‘It’s a re­ally nice and flex­i­ble way but it doesn’t give you a tan­gi­ble place to visit and for some that’s re­ally im­por­tant.’’

Fam­ily mis­un­der­stand­ings, sib­ling dis­agree­ments or sec­ond-mar­riage sit­u­a­tions are also com­mon rea­sons why ashes lie un­claimed.


it’s just busy lives and people get for­got­ten,’’ Mr Lit­tle says.

Other times ‘‘too hard’’.

Davis fu­neral di­rec­tor

it is just Ja­son Taane says: ‘‘ We ask what they would like to do with the ashes and al­lude to what we can do and help them from there.’’

For­got­ten pop­u­la­tion: Davis Fu­ner­als man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig Lit­tle holds a box of ashes in front of the me­mo­rial grove area at the Davis Fu­ner­als Hen­der­son site where the re­main­ing un­claimed ashes will be buried in April.

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