A mother in Worcestershire, England, is furious after officials removed theheadstone of her deceased son without her knowledge.
The reason they removed it?
Because another family complained that it didn’t fit with cemetery protocol.
In 2013, Maximus Corbett-Gardener passed away at just four years old after suffering complications from severe epilepsy.
Max’s mother, Jo Corbett-Weeks, saved up $4,580 to buy a special headstone — a teddy bear holding a star, inscribed with a tribute to her son:
— Mindful Annapolis (@MPGAnnapolis) June 10, 2015
The custom-made headstone was placed on Max’s grave on May 31, in celebration of what would have been his seventh birthday.
Max’s mother stated:
“It would have been Max’s seventh birthday on the Sunday, and this was like a birthday present to him from me.”
“I chose a star-shaped stone because I wanted something suitable for Max – something personal.
But only three days after the memorial was set in place, it was removed from Great Malvern Cemetery.
In the short time it was erected, a family complained to the Malvern Town Council that it was not “in keeping” with the rest of the cemetery.
Jo only found out about the headstone’s removal after it happened, which deeply upset her:
“I feel upset, distressed and angry. We have been through so much as a family. I could understand if the grave was uncared for or unsightly, but it isn’t.”
“The headstone meant a lot to me and the family but now we are fighting to have it put back.”
“It’s a horrible situation. We just want to have somewhere to grieve.”
Great Malvern Cemetery officials were unmoved. They said the headstone would never have been allowed if the application for the memorial underwent proper protocol.
The problem was just that Max was laid to rest in the adult section of the cemetery. If he had been laid to rest in the children’s section, it would have been okay.
Malvern Town Council spokesman explained:
“We have a conformity of shapes in our lawn cemetery. We were contacted by people who objected to the shape.”
“The longer it stayed up, the harder the process would have been.”
Jo has since started a petition to reinstate her son’s headstone.