No con­sid­er­a­tion for those griev­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

RE: Strong feel­ings over grave plan (page 11, Ad­ver­tiser, Oc­to­ber 2) I AM writ­ing to reg­is­ter my sad­ness and dis­ap­point­ment that Chal­font St Peter Parish Coun­cil is plan­ning to pro­ceed with the lay­ing to lawn on the burial plots in K sec­tion at the gar­den of rest.

Lay­ing to lawn will prob­a­bly ease main­te­nance for the coun­cil. How­ever, those of us who have lost loved ones dur­ing the past cou­ple of years re­quire some time to grieve and the ther­apy of tend­ing the rest­ing places of our loved ones will ease this process.

Most of the es­tab­lished graves are well main­tained and are a pic­ture of colour, with flo­ral trib­utes and plants.

Surely the heart­less process of rip­ping up plants lov­ingly laid by rel­a­tives griev­ing their loved ones can serve no pur­pose.

If the coun­cil could ap­ply some sym­pa­thetic logic and de­fer the decision of lay­ing to lawn and re­view this pro­posed process some time next year, it would pla­cate many fam­ily rel­a­tives and al­low them time to come to terms with their re­cent loss.

Let’s hope common sense pre­vails.

PAUL SMITH AND CLARE RICHARDS (who tend to Plot K27, Gar­den of Rest Ceme­tery, Chal­font St Peter)

Hill Rise, Chal­font St Peter

re­spon­si­ble for the main­te­nance of the Gar­den of Rest but not in­di­vid­ual graves.’

How can you sud­denly be­come re­spon­si­ble and lit­er­ally up­root a fam­ily’s in­di­vid­ual grave area that has been main­tained and planted by their loved ones.

As my 11-year-old grand­son said in tears, ‘but we look after Ja­Jie’s grave’.

Your mea­sure­ments of 24x12in, in­clu­sive of a plinth and head­stone, leaves no space for plant­ing.

Reg­u­la­tions state that grave mark­ers are re­moved after 18 months, thereby leav­ing no iden­tity for those graves that do not have a head­stone.

Sec­ond, re­gard­ing the of­fer to meet and dis­cuss the mat­ter – point­less – when in a let­ter from the parish clerk to our mem­ber of par­lia­ment it states ‘… the parish coun­cil will not be chang­ing or go­ing to a fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing this mat­ter’.

All I ask of the parish coun­cil is for a com­pas­sion­ate com­pro­mise, al­low­ing my fam­ily and me to tend and care for my late hus­band’s grave un­til as such time it is not be­ing main­tained, and then please grass over the area.

With ref­er­ence to the above doc­u­ment, I would like to draw your at­ten­tion to the fact that the majority of the parish coun­cil com­mit­tee mem­bers sat last Thurs­day evening with their backs to me as I ad­dressed them re­gard­ing the grass­ing over of my hus­band’s grave.

A let­ter sent to me on Oc­to­ber 10 last year from the deputy parish clerk clearly stated ‘it is our in­ten­tion to turn the area of graves to “lawn” on a row-by-row ba­sis as the spa­ces are used and the ground set­tles back after be­ing dis­turbed. Row three, which in­cludes plot K28, is not yet com­plete and so it will be a few years be­fore we turn this area to lawn’.

As there are at present three plots re­served in row three of K sec­tion but not ‘used’, the parish coun­cil is mis­in­ter­pret­ing the above.

My daugh­ter and I have ac­cepted an of­fer to dis­cuss the mat­ter next Tues­day with the parish clerk and chair­woman of the parish coun­cil. How­ever, as in pre­vi­ous cor­re­spon­dence, the clerk has stated that ‘the coun­cil will not be chang­ing or go­ing to a fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing this mat­ter’. This rather makes a mock­ery of their of­fer.

ANN WAL­LIS Den­ham Lane, Chal­font St Peter

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