I emailed Allen at Cusack Mortuary to ask about the status of my mother’s cremation. She died over three weeks ago, so it is very frustrating that we are still dealing with this:

Dear Allen,

Can I get an update on the status of my mother’s ashes?
Was the cremation completed?
Have you heard from Dr. Peele and has any progress been made on acquiring the death certificate(s)?

Here is my sister’s address:


My address is:


I would like to request my mother’s remains be split four ways. My sister should receive one, and the other three should be sent to me.

That will allow us to have (1) some for my sister to do with as she wishes, (2) some for me to scatter into the Pacific, (3) some for our family to scatter into the Atlantic, and (4) some for me to save.

Thank you,

David Vincent Gagne

Allen replied to me about an hour and fifteen minutes later, at 12:05 PM, with the following:

Dr. Peele is still my hold-up. I have made numerous calls and am about to call our state registrar to make him complete his portion as he is the delay on the cremation as well. We will honor your request of the ashes once its complete. My sincere hope is that it takes place tomorrow (Wednesday). This is the only time in almost 20 years that I’ve had this long a delay with a doctor. I thank you for getting me his number – I spoke with him directly to see what is the problem. I apologize for not communicating better but am grateful to you for keeping in touch. Your mother is still safe, sound and again, no problems have surfaced with her physically. I would like to proceed with the cremation to complete my job, however, this Doctor is the only delay.

I responded to him about an hour and a half later, at 1:25 PM, by asking:

Hey Allen,

You said that you spoke with Dr. Peele directly, but you didn’t tell me what he said. Did he tell you why he hadn’t yet signed the death certificate? I really don’t understand what is happening.

Is there something I can or should do here?