Ontario family has been waiting 1 month for Canada Post to find their father's ashes
'It’s hard to lose the same person twice,' says Jim Graham of Brantford, Ont.
When his father died of cancer in 2004, it took Jim Graham a year to climb out of depression.
Some 18 years later, he's feeling some of that hurt again, after waiting a month for Canada Post to find a lost package with Bertram Graham's ashes.
"It's hard to lose the same person twice ... I lost him when he passed away and now again, he's lost," said Graham, 53, who lives in Brantford, Ont.
"I've always used Canada Post to mail things out — I've never had anything not show up ... of course, the most important package we ever send through them, they lose."
Graham said that after his father's death, he lost touch with his stepsister, Lori Mills, because he and Mills moved to different areas at the same time.
They reconnected before Christmas and Mills, who lives in Peterborough, Ont., said she would send him what she had of their father's ashes.
Mills told CBC Hamilton she shipped the package on Jan. 6 and the ashes were supposed to arrive three days later.
"I wanted him to have his dad," she said.
Mills said she has tried to look for updates using the tracking number, but she doesn't see any data when she looks.
"They don't know where he is," she said.
Mills said she has called and visited the Shoppers Drug Mart post office where she went to send the package. She said everyone has told her no one made a mistake. She also said she spoke to head office and was told Canada Post is doing all it can.
"I'm bitter because no one has taken responsibility," she said.
"I'm really worried because I don't want this to be the end of his [Bertram's] story."
Graham and Mills say their father was a lithographer — a film stripper — and publisher. He also enjoyed art and spending time at his trailer.
'We regret and apologize'
Canada Post spokesperson Phil Rogers told CBC Hamilton it's "an unfortunate situation."
"We understand the importance of this item and therefore investigated immediately when first contacted by the customer expecting the delivery," Rogers said.
He said the teams did a search of their facilities and are monitoring operations.
"We certainly understand the concerns this situation has caused. We regret and apologize to the customer for their experience," Rogers said.
Canada Post's website states anyone who sends cremated remains through the mail does so at their own risk.
"We make no coverage for loss or damages available for this type of mail," reads the website.
Rogers didn't answer questions about how many packages have been lost this year and how many were lost in 2022.
Graham said the response seems "generic" and "uncaring."
He and Mills said people can learn from their experience.
"If you have ashes, it's probably better not to put it through the post office," Mills said, adding that was a challenge because she doesn't drive and Graham couldn't get to Mills.
"Ask a lot of questions at the beginning before you put it through."
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