Funeral poverty: one woman's battle to pay for her son's burial

Funeral poverty: one woman's battle to pay for her son's burial

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I feel, in the pain right now I want, my son I can't get him back he's dead and I'm sitting, here worrying about finding, the money I'm worrying about charity, giving us the money I'm worrying about you know I have to bury my son I'm worried about my kids, I still can't even grieve the way I want to grieve the. UK, the, UK are, you ready for Rjay my, man's got moves. Criminal, Raheem, Johnson, died unexpectedly in, February, at the age of 21. His. Mother Amanda, now has to find several thousand, pounds to pay for his funeral money, she simply doesn't have I. Just. Had I had enough I had, enough of the whole the, whole thing where, would you find nine thousand pound like. Where would, you find that money this, is just to bury you after. Being encouraged, to shop around Amanda. Found an undertaker, willing to do the funeral for 4,000, pounds, we have to get this money by Tuesday that's. Saudi. Sunday Monday that's, four days I mean four. Days that's. No time, Rahim's. Girlfriend, Chelsea has been helping Amanda navigate, the slow complicated. And confusing process, of applying for charitable, grants and loans, from governmental departments. Like the DWP. Run. So many people up asking. To do installment, payments, and they're saying no even if you no. Matter how much you're pouring hotter and they're explaining the situation yeah, it seems like nobody wanted. Wanted, to support, us and this is how we, are feeling like. In some way that we're failing him. Because. We can't get this feeling so weird. You're, just going through the same things every single day saying, the same things every single day. You're. Telling yourself the same things every day you're asking yourself the same questions every day I mean. Tomorrow we get up and this is the first thing that we're gonna be onto we, get up crack ass a dawn to sort things out and it's. A million things having. To do with your emotions, but also also professionals. Trying to get information on, the, coroner the funeral, everything, it's. All too much the whole situation is all too much. Friends. Have raised over 800, pounds to help with the funeral costs but it won't be enough on its own in. Order to understand, her options. Amanda has been put in touch with down to earth a charity. Who provide free support, and advice for, people struggling to pay for. I. Don't. Like, hearing the bit where you. Have someone buried. On top. Amanda. Visits the local cemetery with her daughter Lori and friend Cass to, see the area set aside for public burials. The. 4,000, pounds will pay for a shared unmarked. Grave somewhere. Around here. From, here then these. Are the people give. Me that on what nothing and, over there is the, people I have like on the other side they. Got they've. Got the money they can pay for it they got their family or friends, they can help them. So. This is the side you will go with. The working week over Amanda, faces, and certain, weekend waiting to hear if any of the loan she is applied for will be accepted, in time for the funeral directors, Tuesday, deadline. Have. There, been any developments over the weekend. For. Now home said he think it's best to put it off for. Next week so that will give us enough time so. That we. Can come up with the money but there is I mean there's an amount of time that you have before. You. You can't really sort of see the body again. It's. It's, just getting that information I, suppose isn't it yeah. It's. All hard. Just. Want it like I just, wish I could do like, more. With. No family in the UK aside from her children Amanda's, friend Enid arrives to offer support, what do you mean by a community grave, trying, to get hold of the money is consuming, much of their time but Amanda still doesn't know how her son died so, is in regular contact with the police you, guys have all the recordings, of what happened the time and the date I don't want it I don't want to be right. Now I got, a book with things that written down I want. Information. On, paper, because. It's my son and I'm going to bury that, is what I want at the moment I'm really, really annoyed to the fact where I haven't got no time, to grieve I have. No time to grieve for, my son, because. I have to worry about a million, things, how. Do I feel I feel really broken now really, really hot I want my son I can't, get him during. This phone call Amanda, receives another call from the funeral director. He's. Been working hard behind the scenes to find a solution. Hello. Hello. Okay. So we got.

We. Got eight. 810. Yeah. Yeah. We've, got. 1110, pound. By. Tomorrow. So. That's just looking at payday loans. He. Will get the payday loan me on demand so we both get out two separate loans. But. The pay day, loans, you don't have a lot of time to be back up to feed back when you get. There's. So many options, I've. Gone through it so many times and there's up to so many months that you can pay it back you, can go on a site where it will compare loads. Of different, payday. Loans and it will give you the best one at. The top you know for how much you pay, back obviously with interest. This. Is so crazy. Mad. Yeah. DeGeneres. Will you be, having an open coffin. I. Don't. Know. You. Know we we are here we get in the money and stuff like that but I just, don't want that. We. Only have like just one. Week or even like four days. Four. Days why, is today today's money you. Can do everyday if you want to. He's. Not dying not. Bad, no not. Going there no, you only have four days to. It's. Not just going there you. Know he's like you're, not gonna see them ever again. And. That is what gave me really upset because. Even, even. Though he's dead now we, can go and see him but that are we Kong you, know you can't see you just go into the grave and that's it. How. Did you deal with that. Sometimes. You have to face reality because. That. Is relating. My. Daughter died a long time ago she was 11 she was back in gear and I was standing for Harlan and. She. Died suddenly - I. Had. A phone call. She. Was dead. It. Was a long time ago but I am I'm. Not quite for my daughter not trust me um. As. The years go by the. Pain get less and less. Basically. What you're saying is that like, to forget, and face like yeah no no no no no no no no no no no you can never forget what I'm saying it's, your emotion it's it's not it's not an open wound, right now yeah, all right yeah it's never close but, it does get easier. It. Does get easier. I. Don't. Know how to operate this thing you know. Every. Time I've got this thing on that I've cut people off how. Do you supposed to answer this. Hi. We, got some good news for you I neither been news of some sort I'm glad it's good. Hi. Everyone hi tell. Me your news. Our. News, is that this. Morning I got a call from Marty, and he said guess what the, DWP. Has. Paid him four thousand, pounds. Four. Thousand, pound, I couldn't. Even cry I was, I'm so happy I said, to him when I come up there I said I've got to give you a big hug. You. Got to take your sunglasses off, we're indoors now. With. The burial cost now covered in fact by the local council, Amanda, can finally, turn her attention to, planning the funeral itself the.

Celebrant, Arrives to help write Rahim's eulogy, so, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna ask you it's. Very easy so we'll start off so, do. You remember what, you were like when you were did. You have any cravings oh yes. Just. Dry. In. A spoon yeah with you, put learn will, you put sugar so. You mix me. When. Did he meet Chelsea where. Did he meet her my. House. No. I was actually I called him up um. I. Went out on a night owl I called him up a half four in the morning drunk, asked him to come to my house and he actually got on the train and come. Out so you met him on in a club no, Facebook. You. Met him you, know how many come to my house oh one of those you know when you scroll through and you say do you know it's person we actually have no mutual friends, no mutual friends, actually we, didn't know each other and then he just added me and you. Started talking on Facebook, you booty-call damn yeah, anyways. They're like a, dream, I. Forgot. You was coming so, I went upstairs to bed and my mom away from the door to him is like yeah she's upstairs you know. My. Mom really liked him they really. Liked him but. One on chocolates, fast I mean that, smooth. Yeah. So. That's. It really isn't it I mean you just that's, you. Next. Thing you know you're getting the phone call like Amanda did. The. Next few days aren't gonna be easy I can't even pretend to tell you what my day is gonna be like if. You can in some way start to say goodbye to him. If. You can do it sooner rather than later Friday, is gonna be really hard if you don't try. And sacrifice in this day. It's. Incredibly. A burial, is incredibly. Emotional, let's, say goodbye to him to me no all, right okay, it's I. Understand. What you mean I understand. Ready. Go. At. This anger stage and. There are different types of night you want to smash there probably. A good idea, to. Do maybe, just go some wins. I. Think, he's up there, commander. Is on her way to the funeral parlor for, what might be her last opportunity. To see Raheem Oh. Any. Day now. Yeah. She. Needs to be breathing for a boy you know unfortunately, she, hasn't had the time to do it.

Most. People walk for this door and you know they have to get a loan or debt to go for the government, to. Get funds it. Probably a long time before I end up and again in five years is probably a second one. In. This game we see it we've seen we've, seen loads of things you. Know children young moms young fathers just. Passing. Away and, unfortunately. Families have been left to try, and find the money to bury, their loved ones yeah there. Is a problem there. Is a problem in, the funeral industry. Martin. Takes Amanda, to see the new plot here secured, for rain he's, an inner wall so he's gonna be down the bottom. Yeah. Wow. He's. On his own that's the main thing yeah. Thank. God for that. All. Of that fighting. We. Did it guys, teamwork, teamwork, Hey. So, where did we come from, Oh. Campaign. - over there and then you go back there like over. There was like somewhere like date like this. It's. The day of the funeral but. After all she has been through Amanda. Is still not ready to say goodbye. You. Know three. Weeks ago. We. Were not like this, no. It. Feels so relief to be like this like. A big, relief, okay. That's, I. Gotta. Be like really focus, at the moment yeah. Yeah, just, take every minute as it comes Amanda, it's. The only thing you can do. I. Think. People should be able to go through grief in the, way that. They supposed, to you we're not having to go through 12, or 20 people and all, of them are telling you no no no you can't do this we can't do we need this we need that you. Feel sick you feel hurt you, feel broken-down you, feel like everyone. Out days against, you I just. Wish. That you know the government will have something, straight forward so other, people wouldn't. Go through what, I've been through. You.

2019-04-12 18:38

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The choice of following traditional full open view/ closed casket funeral & burial service and or cremation? Cremation is a better option not because of the lesser cost?

Why not a loan from a bank?

Jacqueline Larsen we tried

So now folks are demanding others pay for the funerals of their choosing?

it really make me feel sad for so many people struggle for the life, the mother has been endure so lots of thing to raise her son, but unexpected death I think everyone cannot accept it.

in France too, it's a juicy market. How sad ! Thanks to The Guardian for this report.

My god, this is absolutely heart-rending.

Not at all.

Funerals are one big con and horribly bad for the environment, the problem isn't lack of money it is lack of options, we need free composting burial in mushroom suits, total cost a few hundred pounds and no gas emissions as with cremation. Spending now money in dead prime doesn't mean you love the dead more, it just means you are deluded into capitalist excess.

The ancients entombed a corpse. Later they would remove the bones and put them in a small box and store many remains in small spaces.

Many of us in the States have life insurance policies from childhood or after marriage that we use to pay for funerals. It used to be used for inheritance, but not so much anymore. Funerals and caskets are ridiculously pricey.

Poor woman. And the loan sharks thrive

The rich thrive while the masses suffer and die and it has been like this all throughout history wake-up people

+fuckfannyfiddlefart his family is

Their "love story" of how they met is just.... *CRINGE*. 12:33

"Like a rat up a drainpipe"

So glad it all worked out. But this is so sad because it's clear that the funeral industry is taking advantage of vulnerable people it's disgraceful. The government needs to step in it's getting out of control.

Heartbreaking. Makes me realize how smart it was of me to have donated my body for research and organs when I die, which is an option here in Canada, and is stated on the back of your healthcare card.

Thumbs down. Not for the quality of reporting, but for the inequality of life that this family found themselves in. It's not their fault, it's not my fault, it's the fault of the system.

What system, they are just greedy and feckless!

Sad xx

Tell her dumping them out in the woods is free.

This is the reason you should have life insurance....

I think burying people is fine because dead people stink...... but honestly a tractor with an auger, and a 600mm - 1 meter wide hole, 1 meter apart, and just deep freeze the bodies and wrap them in a funeral shroud - because you don't actually need a coffin, the funerals should cost no more than $100....

Rip rahim , I'm going to miss you so much, life will never be complete with you. How am I supposed to carry on without the love of my life? You finally got the send off you deserved, the system let you down but we made sure we didn't. I hope you're doing well up there , I hope god is taking care of you. I will live my life for the both of us, now keep flying high darling I love you with all my heart. A big thank you to the guardian for letting us put our story out to the public , and the support you have given me and rahim's family❤️

I’m sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace.

I'm so deeply sorry Chelsea, Rahim's Mother and family for your loss. I'm truly glad Rahim got the send off he deserved. May he rest in eternal peace and one day you'll all be reunited again.

You should never have had to go through anything like that after your loss. I really can't understand it. Thank you for helping to shed light on this inhumane rackett.

Bless you Chelsea

This funeral business the world over is really messed up. I feel their pain we struggled to find the money to pay for my moms funeral.

How did he die?

What happened then? 21 years old is way too short of a life.

"He wuz a gud boi..."

He was a 21 year old black male. Sooooo probably knife crime bro.

Funeral expenses is not a joke.. the person has to be buried you can't grieve or wrap your head around what's going on it's a nightmare. You're running around worrying about how is this going to happen, why did this happen. I'm in the US & when my 10 year old son passed unexpectedly I was in the same position. I called charities, and different organizations and was told they had no funding. I was lost

Don't worry, he is not dead. He just moved on to the other realm.

+BungleBonce [SUBSCRIBE FOR NO REASON] actually moved on to another realm ...but then again explaining it would be like talking to a brick wall

Nah, he's defos dead.

Leave the corpse on a mountain to be eaten by birds and animals.

Not actually legal in the UK.

A Tibetan sky burial.


When Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM everyone will have a £1m funeral for free.

Burials are the biggest waste of money and space. Everyone by default should be cremated. I feel that the woman has lost their son, but not the fact she can't afford a funeral. Just get him cremated FFS

Greenstein uses a tremendous amount of gas and created carbon emissions, composting is far greener.

+dave long ok

+Sara Bower Do you have a computer?

+dave long what's that

Sky burials or towers of silence are the best options.

Heartbreaking situation, I'm happy that it was resolved in the end but obviously she's still got a lot of pain to deal with. Praying for her and the family ❤️

No one knows the pain to go through something like that especially if you don't know how that person passed away you left with nothing you don't know where to start

i really want to hug the mum, nobody should have to go through that kind of stress

Im so happy that she got justice

The poor and the needy in Britain's society have been mocked. Once the fate of death arises unexpectedly, your left to find your own way out of the darkness of grief. What has happened to the compassion of government ? The tragedy of Grenfell Tower showed the whole of the UK, who and what we can truly rely on !!!

0:54, U would have to work for it. I don't believe in giving charity to beggers, they just wanna eat & don't wanna work for it.

+Diane Diego Someone has to work, Someone has to take responsibility. Let's discourage the one's who think they have none so this world can function properly cuz someone have to work.

Asim Farhan it’s shame you have no compassion for the sudden death of some people and even the fact that you don’t seem to understand that some people can’t afford this kind of cost all at once is a shame there are some people who are not as well off but deserve to be respected even in death, no one is a beggar when they are getting a funeral together for their loved one shame on you ugly soul

For heavens sake a direct cremation costs a few hundred pounds. Go for that and then celebrate the dead person at your own expense/budget. Don't get the taxpayer involved.

Why is it sow mush

Dig a holl in your back garden


When I die, just cremate me and hold a memorial in my home. I don’t want to burden a single sole with my death.

fuckfannyfiddlefart so what do you suggest?

+Cali D ooooh!

Cremation is such a waste of gas, so you wasn't your last act to continue to climate change.

I hear that. I've actually donated my entire body to research. So.... I'm good.


Cremation is the best option

BUT I'm a beggar and I want to be a chooser.

This is literally the govt grave robbing... can we be buried on our own property garden? or does the tax collectors need money for that too???


Do what the flyers do get a fancy funeral. Then don't pay. Have a tab. Ciggie time

You have to pay first

It's rough. I think there should be some source of credit for people in these situations. Repayments can be made via tax dept or welfare system.

Heartbreaking. This is a modern cultural State with religious and charitable groups?

The reason for the existence of the state is that the people should keep it when it is difficult ,. and for the common people ,. the senators of the National Assembly should support the people politically through legislation ..

Britain’s competition watchdog is launching an investigation into the funeral market after it found the cost of organising one increased by 6% each year – twice the inflation rate – for the past 14 years. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said funerals typically cost between £3,000 and £5,000. It accused some funeral directors of taking advantage by charging high prices at a time when its customers were vulnerable...

+Ghost Dog It probably doesnt, if that's all you want to do. But funerals need a casket, preparation of the body, theres usually a reception, venue hire, a priest. That could easily be 3K. Of course you could go Big Lebowski and put the remains in an empty box of chicken wings. That's £2.99.

+Ad Tastic I find it hard to believe it costs 5k to dig a hole in the ground, MDF a coffin, put the corpse in it and shovel soil over it.

Funeral Directors gotta eat too. Don't blame the players, blame the game.

TBH, £3-5K doesnt sound unreasonable to me, considering there is a lot of work that goes into it.

A Go-fund me might help...

Better that than the tax payer.

A go fund me can't help all poor people.

The council paid for it

❤️❤ ♡ ♥ ღ ❣ ❥ ❦ ❧ ლ

Why you are black

local councils still do pauper's burials if no one pays for a funeral. i have plenty of money but don't care what happens to my corpse after i die. throw it in a pit for all i care.

IT'S CALLED Making Bread on the Dead a Beast money making co operation

With every sympathy for people like this lady, I think the real disgrace is the obscene cost of interring our dead. Investigating and sorting what is often gross profiteering at a really stressful time would at least alleviate some of the related problems. If nothing else there should be a statutorily enforced basic funeral at a cost anyone can afford. I also think religious ministers who charge anything at all at such times should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

This is why I don't want a funeral. They take advantage of the families at their most vulnerable times. I want a celebration of life dinner instead. Sad they gouge people. Funerals should not cost so much

Poor poor mother. I was so heartbroken watching this. All this is happening whilst companies like Google and Facebook underpay their taxes by billions but if you're poor and miss one payment that is it they will take the shirt of your back before you can even blink.

So sad

Another sob story by the Guardian making the point that we should all be slaves to the state in exchange for "free stuff". Disgusting.

If they are poor a bank would not give them a loan. The only loan they might be able to get is a payday one which has huge interest rates, that she would never be able afford to pay back anyway.

Do you believe in society? a community? It is communities that raise the people that YOU depend on. Stop being selfish.

The rich thrive on Earth yes but not in the next life

I'm so sorry for your loss. It is heartbreaking.

This is why I have life insurance & have credit union that has policies that help with funeral cost. Because you never know my mum taught me well God bless her.

some religious folks can't be cremated.

J. Cole. Brackets.

This is why so many are cremating their loved ones. The avg cost is $1,100 with no services Avg cost of funeral with embalming and services is $7,000-$9,000. When my husband died from cancer he had no burial policy and there wasnt $ to pay for his services. His wealthy daughter stepped up and paid for everything. I went to my ins company and got a policy for myself after i went thru the humiliation of havn to rely on someone else to pay for his services. Everybody will die at some point. We need to take responsibility for ourselves. I feel bad for this lady, i just hope she gets a policy for herself after this.

Cathy T My dad died of cancer two months ago and my family and I went through the exact same thing. It’s a huge learning lesson and we all have now gotten burial insurance. Sorry for your loss.

Some of the comments on here are just disgusting. People with less means deserve to be able to choose the way they mourn and yes - bury their own in the way they see best. Funeral industry in general is exploitative - inflating prices when people are emotionally vulnerable. More should be said on that as opposed to, “Just cremate your son then.” Have some empathy ffs

ursula s there is no other realm

+Mudenge Mukundwa Yep. It's an option in Canada when you apply or renew your HealthCard card (cause we have universal healthcare). So its stated on my card. I've been renewing it to donate my body since I was in my early 20s. I'm 40 now.

I have told my wife to leave my corpse in the hospital morgue and walk away and have nothing to do with it. I will have gone, leaving only an empty vessel. Let the thieving council pay for it, as they have robbed us all our lives. Once you're gone you are gone.

I understand the struggle of expense.

I watched all of this, for a change, and it is very touching, to say the least. Just one question, do you folks in UK not have life insurance companies? I know that the cost of life insurance for a 21 y.o., at least in the US, runs only about $18 per month. I say this not in any way to criticize the Mom in the case.

That is what I have told my wife to do - walk away from my corpse and let the state pays for its removal!

Donate your body to science !

Donate your body to science that is free and have a big party in your memory

Everyone should be prepared for death. It's not the government's responsibility. Why does everyone think they deserve a free ride?

Thank you for sharing. Amanda and loved ones, you are so brave putting your story out there for the world to see. I believe your story will bring a change. I wish you comfort and peace.


this video is crazy. f""" uk. one of the biggest economy my a##

This should be ruled by the state. Pricing and different levels of services. But at least the basic level service and its price should be dictated by the state.

I want, I want, I want, miss please don't take your frustration on people they are the same people like you . Unless they are in the parliament there is nothing they can do

Milia Pen I'm glad you agree , my boyfriend is dead while vile people like that are still walking

I pre plaid my grandpa , I'm pre paying my grandma and I'll pre pay myself and other family members

+BungleBonce actually moved on to another realm ...but then again explaining it would be like talking to a brick wall

This is so heartbreaking.

Donate it to science, its more usefull. Dont know if its possible in your country.

Give it a reat will ya?? It's Britain not some fuckin 3rd world country. People get over 20k in benefits in this place!!

it is so crazy that burial is not free

Учу бесплатно, как можно начать раз в день до 80 долларов на свою карту. Изучите видео у меня канале

Everyone should have life insurance and emergency savings. Instead everyone wants someone else to pay.

This is such an amazing topic to do a documentary about. Great coverage by the guardian and I just pray this women will receive the funds she needs to bury her son xx

I found this film so moving. My son died last year age 29. We were fortunate to have enough money to pay for his funeral but I can’t imagine having to deal with such intense grief and find money for funeral expenses at the same time. My heart goes out to the family.

Stefan Molyneux: _"If you want to understand the left, just imagine that money is air."_

I just do not understand why people do not prepare for rainy days

I couldn't pay for mine either. Nobody is rich here.Go dig a hole or cremate

Heart rendering. The people should come together where they could set up a gofundme page and get the money that way through donations, thus taking the power away from councils and corporate greed.

Diane Ritthaler Wakekeeping*

@fuckfannyfiddlefart his family is

@BungleBonce actually moved on to another realm ...but then again explaining it would be like talking to a brick wall

@dave long ok

@dave long what's that

@Diane Diego Someone has to work, Someone has to take responsibility. Let's discourage the one's who think they have none so this world can function properly cuz someone have to work.

@Mudenge Mukundwa Yep. It's an option in Canada when you apply or renew your HealthCard card (cause we have universal healthcare). So its stated on my card. I've been renewing it to donate my body since I was in my early 20s. I'm 40 now.

@Cali D ooooh!

@Ghost Dog It probably doesnt, if that's all you want to do. But funerals need a casket, preparation of the body, theres usually a reception, venue hire, a priest. That could easily be 3K. Of course you could go Big Lebowski and put the remains in an empty box of chicken wings. That's £2.99.

@Ad Tastic I find it hard to believe it costs 5k to dig a hole in the ground, MDF a coffin, put the corpse in it and shovel soil over it.

So sad you have to think about saving up to die. Burial should be free or covered by the government. Why does it cost to die?



The Girlfriend looks older than his Mother.......

@Daath ok

@Daath what's that

I fear being cremated and I don't think my family will pay for burial, I don't want an acid so-called water cremation either, the acid bath is not water, so they shouldn't call it water cremation.

why can't they let her pay by installments that she can actually afford, many of us poor people will face this situation, it's wrong and unfair, the funeral business is a real rip off full stop and I want us all to protest against this, this issue is all hushed up as the funeral business makes up feel ashamed .

why is this never discussed, its abut time its brought to the publics attention?

the funeral biz is a rip-off. we in the UK should protest against this, ......... we should bury our own dead loved ones if they continue to rip off us poor people.

@Dongvale ok

@Dongvale what's that

It is stories like this that inspired us to fight funeral poverty and start Scotland's first not for profit Funeral Directors Caledonia Cremation. Our thoughts are with this family and all families who are put in this terrible position.

My hubby passed away in feb, i had a direct cremation costing £995 so no service, had a lovely wake for him, this is available online. Fair enough if you are religious and want the whole deal

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