My father passed away three days ago after a brief terminal illness with Cancer. He was diagnosed just over a month ago. Our family was paying up to $1000 dollars a week for his medications. I, myself am a nursing student in my last few months of school, my mom works but was taking a lot of time off to take care of my dad, and my sister lives in Edmonton. When my dad was diagnosed, he obviously could not work anymore, and money was very tight. Regardless, we always found a way to cough up the money that he needed for his medications.
After my dad's passing, a few days ago, we contacted Chapel Lawn to make funeral arrangements. They were completely insensitive and demanded we pay them 14 grand upfront! We were completely shocked and could not figure out how we could afford it. The obituary itself costed $500. We went in for a meeting with them and we had put down on paper what we had decided we wanted for my dad's funeral. His wishes were to be cremated as well. My father's body had been released to them today from the hospital where he passed away. They told my mother and my family that they had already done so much work on him (such as dressing him in formal clothing) already and we needed to pay them for it. They started becoming increasingly demanding while my mother was confused and upset on how greedy and cruel they were being towards us and made her cry even more throughout this hard situation.
We told them we would appreciate if we could make payments as the life insurance can take up to 6 weeks to come in. They said it was absolutely unacceptable and became even more insensitive saying that we needed to purchase a casket too for him to be cremated in (which we knew already) and continued trying to make his sale by pointing to a cardboard box saying "or you can always use a cardboard box...". We Were completely appauled and told them the conversation was over and we were no longer doing business with them. Please understand that my family does not get angry easily.. but this was absolutely sickening. We left and found a very family friendly funeral home which we ended up making all the same arrangements at a price of only 3 thousand. When we asked Chapel Lawn to release and transfer my father's body over to the funeral home we are using, they wouldn't give him up. We had to get the head funeral board of directors involved and they had to call them and tell them to release him immediately. When they transfered him over, we found out that not only did they lie to us about doing all this nice work on my father, such as dressing him in formal clothes, they completely neglected his body.
He was still in his hospital gown in which he died in, and they didn't even put him on ice properly. Not only did these sick people neglect him, but they also changed my mother's orders and shaded out her decision to not have embalming done on his body (as he was going to be cremated), and illegally changed it to having embalming done.. just to charge her with some more money intentionally knowing they would not do the embalming but would still get the money for it. We also found out later today that the man who did this (Stan Ryback) is not even a licenced funeral director. He is just a sales man at Chapel Lawn that deals with everyone. Make's you wonder what they did to other loved ones body's there or who they ripped off?
Chapel Lawn used to be a very honerable funeral home. I am completely sickened by these people and their actions. What a terrible injustice to deal with at such a dark moment as it is. People need to know what Chapel Lawn is really all about now. Unforunately they are only about the money. They do not care what it takes to get it obviously; illegal paperwork, lying to the family, neglecting the deceased, it really doesn't matter to them as long as they can take as much money as possible from people who are in a time of need. I don't wish what we just went through upon anyone and I hope this gets out to the public so they understand and will not be conned into such manipulation, even in sorrow.