Craig Bicknell, from Milton Keynes, saw that his mum was in a devastated state at his dad’s funeral. Knowing that she needed to be comforted, he decided to move over so he could be supportive of her grieving. Seeing this, two other people moved from their spots and went over.
The family, who were at the Crownhill Crematorium, were then told by a member of staff that they had to move back to their socially-distanced seats, despite the fact they had already been stood together before the funeral.
The funeral, on October 2, was for Craig’s dad Alan Wright who had died from a heart attack.
Craig and his brother said that following the disruption in the funeral, he and his brother Paul were left upset by the “telling off”.
On Facebook, he wrote: “I can sit in a restaurant, I can sit in a pub, I can live at her house, I can travel in a limousine to the crematorium with six people. But when I want to give my mum a cuddle at dad’s funeral, a man flies out mid-service shouting stop the service and makes us split… A devastating day made even worse.”
Following the incident, the Daily Mail got in contact with the Milton Keynes Council. A spokesperson responded: “We are sorry to have upset this family. We don’t usually step in if a guest needs to be comforted by another family member and in this instance should have taken a more considered approach.
“We ask funeral directors to let us know whether any chairs should be grouped in advance, and from now on this includes guests who are in the same household or bubbles, as well as people who need extra support.
“We hope this provides additional comfort at a difficult time.”
The clip of the incident has since been shared to The Milton Keynes Community Hub on Facebook, where it was said: “We were contacted by a resident who recently said goodbye to his father at Crownhill Crematorium.
“They wanted us to help highlight how traumatic and upsetting the experience of a funeral now is, on top of the already sadness people feel when laying somebody to rest.”
A comment was then shared by Craig, who added: “We are absolutely heartbroken. Me and my brother haven’t been able to leave my mum’s side for two weeks as it is, being there for my mum, within her bubble.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, funerals have continued but are limited to 30 people. Activities such as singing, chanting, people raising their voices or the playing of instruments have been told to be avoided.
The social distancing rules between households are still applied.