VIA| A grieving mother is appalled after her deceased son’s star-shaped headstone was removed from the graveyard after another family complained it wasn’t “in keeping” with the somber theme of the cemetery.
When he was just 4-years-old Max Corbett-Gardener passed away from complications from his severe epilepsy. His mother, 42-year-old Jo Corbett-Weeks was understandably distraught.
In order to honor Max’s memory, she saved up $4,580 to have a specially designed star-shaped headstone created for her boy.
The special headstone included a touching tribute to her son and was erected over Max’s grave on what would have been his seventh birthday.
But just three days later, the headstone was taken away from Great Malvern Cemetery by the council in Worcestershire, U.K.
“It would have been Max’s seventh birthday on the Sunday, and this was like a birthday present to him from me,” Corbett-Weeks, who has two other children ages 16 and 5, told BBC. “I chose a star-shaped stone because I wanted something suitable for Max – something personal.
“This stone is just so perfect for my poor little chap,” she added.
When another family visited the cemetery, they complained Max’s memorial wasn’t “in keeping” with the rest of the graves. The special headstone was removed without Corbett-Weeks’ knowledge and now she demands it be reinstated.
“I was totally unaware this was going on. The council did not contact me and it was the stonemason who told me he’d been ordered to remove it,” Corbett-Weeks explained. “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,” she said. “It’s a horrible situation. We just want to have somewhere to grieve.”
Max’s memorial was placed in the adult part of the cemetery where Corbett-Weeks buried her son so he could be closer to his family.
“We have a conformity of shapes in our lawn cemetery. We were contacted by people who objected to the shape,” a Malvern Town Council spokesman explained to BBC. “The longer it stayed up, the harder the process would have been.
“It was a very difficult decision to remove it but one we had to make straight away,” the spokesman said.
“It wasn’t necessarily an objection to the shape but why we appeared to be applying one rule to one family and other rules to another,” the spokesman continued. “The stonemason in this situation did not have permission to put the stone up – and the stone is not in keeping with the graves in that area.
“By not following the correct process he has caused considerable distress to both families,” the spokesman concluded.
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