A grieving Auburn mother was upset with a south sound funeral home for charging her an extra fee to see her son before the service.
“He’s amazing,” Tracey Walker said. “He’s 27 years old and he’s just like a sun child. He’s a wanderer, wildflower, a drifter. He likes to go, but he’s always happy.”
Tracey Walker’s son was named Ed. He was a talented singer, rapper and high flying skateboarder.
“He’s just totally outgoing,” Walker said.
But early one May morning, Tracey knew something was just off.
“I woke up in bed, like, 7 in the morning. And I had all these missed calls,” Walker said.
Tracey returned those calls from Ed’s friends and learned the horrible news. She was told her son may have died of an apparent drug overdose. So she reluctantly called the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“So they told me that he didn’t make it. So I immediately said, ‘Well can I come see him? Can i come?’” Walker explained.
She said the medical examiner’s office told her the only way she could see her son was at the funeral home, Tacoma Mausoleum and Mortuary.
“That’s what brings you closure! You want to see… that’s your last time that you can see this person,” Walker said.
That’s when Tracey learned the funeral home was going to charge her more than $500 to see her son.
“You’re going to charge me to see my deceased son? But you’re charging me already to rest him properly in peace? Like… who does that?,” Walker asked.
That’s when Tracey called Jesse. After some digging, he found out there’s more to the story. Jesse discovered the medical examiner’s office had completed a full autopsy, which included opening Ed’s skull.
Other funeral directors told Jesse a charge by a funeral home is customary to prepare the body for viewing after a full autopsy is completed.
But Jesse wanted to make sure Tracey could still see her son. Two anonymous donors gave Tracey $575 so she could say a proper goodbye to Ed.
“I had my rent money order on the dresser and I’m holding it in case I have to use it. And I don’t now,” Walker said. “Im so happy. You made my day! Thank you.”
Tracey said the funeral home, Tacoma Mausoleum and Mortuary, did a wonderful job with her son.
Tacoma Mausoleum and Mortuary statement:
“Our company provides reduced fee cremation service options to families in a difficult time of loss. We have come to an amicable resolution with a recent family to provide for a private family viewing for the limited purpose of verification of identity due to unusual circumstances. It is our hope that this allows them to move forward in their time of grief and loss.”