A BEREAVED widow is still hoping to be able to lay her husband to rest – more than a month after he died.
Chichester residents Rita Dunderdale, 69, and her 79-year-old husband Ricky were on holiday in Spain when Ricky passed away on January 16.
However, she was left in limbo after being told to pay a €4,122.61 bill for his body to be cremated in Spain – which is £3,048.09.
The Swanfield Drive resident is hoping she can agree a compromise with the funeral home.
“I’m hoping to come to an arrangement,” she said.
“That’s what I want now – I just want to get there and get back.”
The past few weeks have been incredibly hard for Rita and her family.
Ricky had been a passionate drummer until he suffered a stroke in recent years and was also suffering from Alzheimer’s.
When they were in Spain to visit their daughter Francine and her husband David Healy, Ricky had a fall and was taken to hospital.
He was released but later that week passed away at David and Francine’s home.
Rita asked for help from the Department of Work and Pensions so she could afford the bill – however she was told the government did give financial aid for cremations to take place overseas.
On February 13, Rita was called by the funeral home demanding €1,000 by February 16 to cremate Ricky.
“I got a phone call from the manager in Spain this morning,” she said on February 13, “he wanted £1,000 by Monday.
“I only get £148 per week, it would take me weeks to save £1,000.”
Since Ricky’s death, she has been forced to see her husband remain in a Spanish morgue.
“If I give them everything I have I wouldn’t be able to survive,” she said.
“I was actually shocked (to receive the phone call). He phoned me twice and I went ‘okay, I appreciate that but it’s not my fault the government aren’t paying for the funeral’.”
However, Rita’s family have been warmed by the response from the public, which included a €500 donation on the fundraising page and a £250 cheque that was delivered to the Observer office.