One of the most important parts of the grieving process is to bury your loved one or scatter their ashes in a place meaningful to the family – a place where they can visit and reflect on their cherished memories. This is especially so when the time with the deceased was very limited. Therefore it’s hard to imagine the despair when the parents of infants who died so suddenly find out this vital part of their grief was taken from them for no definitive reason leaving unanswered questions trapping them in a state of anguish and uncertainty.
This is exactly what has happened to parents in Scotland when shocking practices by Mortonhall Crematorium was revealed in December last year, spanning four decades. Parents were being told there were no ashes of their babies left. This was a lie and the ashes were being secretly disposed of in the crematorium gardens. Since this was exposed other crematoria in various local authority areas have been implicated in using similar substandard practises.
It has been revealed that an independent commission is being set up in order to examine the legislation which governs these practices to make sure nothing like this can happen again. However for the victims of this scandal, this is not enough.
How this was able to continue for so long without being questioned is truly worrying. It also begs the question as to why a place dealing with matters of such a delicate nature would do such a thing. Surely it couldn’t be all down to a simple case of laziness or tardiness? Surely even the individuals involved would have more respect than that never mind the local authority as a whole.
All these parents want to know is exactly what happened to their baby’s ashes and why they were not given the chance to take them home for a final goodbye. Continuing to campaign for a public inquiry to get the justice and answers they so desperately require is a must. These parents need all the support they can get to gain the closure they deserve.