The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment&analysis -

My last re­main­ing un­cle re­cently died. He was 93 and sev­eral of his or­gans were “life ex­pired”. He didn’t want to linger and be a bur­den to any­body, par­tic­u­larly his daugh­ter. He was a feisty, warm and hu­mor­ous char­ac­ter.

He had suf­fered a fall that broke his col­lar­bone and fi­nally died on a Fri­day af­ter­noon. Be­fore his body could be re­leased for burial a coroner had to de­cide whether there had been any un­to­ward cir­cum­stances that had con­trib­uted to his death. Con­se­quently his daugh­ter made ar­range­ments for the burial to take place on the fol­low­ing Tues­day.

But once the coroner de­cided there was no rea­son to hold my un­cle’s body, and re­leased it for burial, Fed­er­a­tion of­fi­cials de­creed that he had to be buried that day be­cause, “…un­til he is buried his soul is in tor­ment.”

Let me as­sure those of­fi­cials that my un­cle’s soul was re­lieved to be free of the pain and awk­ward­ness of his health prob­lems and it was only their de­ci­sion that caused tor­ment.

I un­der­stand the ori­gins of our re­li­gion that dic­tate the quick (many would say, rushed) burial of the de­ceased but, at the very least, of­fi­cials should al­low im­me­di­ate fam­ily a lit­tle time to prop­erly or­gan­ise a burial for their loved ones. The de­ci­sion by Fed­er­a­tion of­fi­cials threw ev­ery­thing into tur­moil. It meant friends and rel­a­tives who had ar­ranged time off from their em­ploy­ments were un­able to pay their last re­spects.

This un­feel­ing, in­sen­si­tive de­ci­sion has re­in­forced my plan to be cre­mated. Name and ad­dress sup­plied.

I went to Ed­mon­ton Fed­er­a­tion Ceme­tery (where I have been go­ing for 84 years) on a wet Septem­ber day to be greeted by a lovely sur­prise, dozens of beau­ti­ful pa­tio flower ar­range­ments and pa­tio bas­kets along the en­trance to the ceme­tery. Netta Blu­men­son Caro­line Court, Stan­more, Mid­dle­sex

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