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A funeral home in Nova Scotia, Canada is under investigation after a family was shown two bodies that were not their loved one and then learnt that their deceased relative had mistakenly been cremated.

The family of 65-year-old Sandra Bennett, who died on 20 December, was left traumatised when it came time for an open-casket visitation and they found the wrong body had been laid out.

Her widower told the funeral home it had made a mistake. But when a second body was brought in, even wearing his wife's clothes, it was still the wrong one.

The funeral home then informed the family that Bennett's body had mistakenly been cremated. In a statement to Canadian public broadcaster CBC, a lawyer for the funeral home said that they are taking the matter "very seriously".

The Nova Scotia Board of Registration of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, which handles complaints on funeral homes in the region, are now reportedly investigation the alleged mix up.

The board's chairman said that the funeral home had contacted them after the incident and that they would look into the "very concerning" incident.

Bennett's family did not want to be identified as they are worried about the effect on future litigation. A family member of one of the other people whose bodies were mixed up with Bennett's told CBC that the funeral home had contacted them about the mistake four days later.

A website for the funeral home in Annapolis Valley said that they had been part of the community for 77 years and take pride in their motto: "Service with compassion for our families at their time of need, is the heart of our approach 24/7".