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It is one of those mistakes that you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Devastated doesn’t begin to describe the emotions of the family of an elderly New York woman following an unfathomable funeral mistake. Val-Jean McDonald died in December at the age of 81 following a long battle with cancer. Her eight sons –described as devoted– walked to her open casket at a Harlem Church and bent to kiss her, all remarking how different she looked. But they simply assumed the ravages of cancer on their mom’s body had changed her appearance. It wasn’t until six days after she was cremated that the family got a bizarre phone call saying the woman in the coffin was not their mother and that she was actually still at the Bronx funeral home where they entrusted McDonald’s arrangements. The funeral director of McCall’s Funeral Home apologized while the McDonald’s were forced to schedule another funeral and cremation. They still haven’t learned the identity of the first woman they mourned, nor have any of them figured out how the error happened.

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