Helping a mom get her son's ashes

Seven On Your Side
February 27, 2009 8:53:13 PM PST
It was heartbreaking for a mother from Brooklyn when her son passed away. Then, his girlfriend would not allow her to have the his cremated ashes. It took the Solomon-like powers of Tappy Phillips and Seven On Your Side to resolve the emotional issue. A box is all that Maggie Mainor has left of her son, Victor, who died in his sleep in early January.

"This has been going on for a month," she said. "It's too much."

That's because the Drago funeral home, where Victor was cremated, has had his ashes since the funeral. And they told Maggie she couldn't have them.

"You just cannot have the ashes back, because his girlfriend paid for everything," she said. "And the contract is with her."

Since Maggie was her son's next of kin, she went to Surrogate's Court and got authorization for the funeral home to release the ashes to her. But they refused, saying their agreement was with the girlfriend.

"I didn't think that purchasing the service included the purchase of the body," she said. "It never, never occurred to me. Never in a million years."

In a statement, Drago Funeral Home said they were placed in a very difficult position of trying to accommodate the wishes of both parties, because of the contractual agreement they had with the girlfriend. But finally, through their lawyer, the girlfriend agreed to take a small portion of the ashes and Maggie would get the rest.

"I have him now," Maggie said. "I have him."

Then Maggie took her son across the street to the church to pray.


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