(NYT) After Funeral and Cremation, a Shock: The Woman in the Coffin Wasn’t Mom

They all filed past the open coffin, seeing familiar remnants of Ms. McDonald’s life: a favorite pink blouse and white suit, and her finest jewelry.

“Why did they cut off all her hair?” a son, Errol McDonald, 57, remembers thinking. “Maybe it’s the cancer.” He bent and kissed her.

But sometimes children see what adults cannot. Adults rationalize. Children call it like it is.

“My 10-year-old son said, ”˜Daddy, that’s not Grandma,’” recalled Mr. McDonald, a school maintenance worker in Manhattan. “I said, ”˜Yes, that’s what happens,’” he told the boy, explaining that people can look different in death….[but the 10 year old was right]…

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