The gravestone.


We had to rebury our Mom.

No one should have to do this.


We did.


Spring warmed the frozen ground.

Five months had passed

Since Mom passed away.

With the frost gone,

The headstone could be placed

At her grave.


The stone we chose

Was large enough

For three names.


My sister found comfort


When her daughter died

She would be with her Nana

Instead of all alone.


The monument company

Took care of everything

And would call us

When they were finished.


It would be nice

To have a headstone

To place the flowers

Instead of a piece of earth.


We were unprepared

For the chain of events

That followed.


The caretaker yelled.

He was enraged.

He was verbally abusive.


The headstone was the wrong size he said.

He accused us of violating the by-laws.



What by-laws?


It was the first I heard the term used.

I was completely ignorant.

I had never considered

There would be rules.

Apparently, it was our responsibility

To ask.

Not his to tell us.

He believed us to be deviant

Attempting to under mind his control.


He would not hear

We were simply

Wanting to respect Mom.

To make her resting place

As lovely as she was in life.


I was forced to advocate.

Forced to contact

The municipal government

By phone and letter.

The provincial government

By phone and letter.

Those levels of government

Both contacted the angry caretaker.

They report receiving the same verbal abuse.

The provincial government

Escorted by the police

Visited the angry caretaker.

They were told to leave his property.

He refused to cooperate,

Or share any documentation.

The situation became a legal one.


The government continued to need information from me.

They continued to ask for letters of complaint.

They wanted me to lead a parade of protest against this curator.

They actually asked me to take over the caretaker’s job.


Finally, a mediator was brought on board.

Somehow a dialogue commenced.

He held strong there were by-laws

And we were aware of them.

With pressure, his story changed.

He declared Mom was buried in the wrong plot.

He said it belonged to another family.

He insisted Mom be moved.

As per the invisible by-laws,

The headstone would be accepted in that row.


Our initial response…

“No way.”

The mediator…mediated.

He reminded us of our goal.

He told us the government,

Would be taking the caretaker to court,

Where is duties would be revoked.

He cautioned us not to wait

As that outcome would take time.


We just wanted Mom buried in peace.

We just wanted the beautiful headstone to mark her grave.

We submitted to this angry caretaker’s deal.

We felt bullied.


Nine months after our Mom had died,

We watched her urn be unearthed,

And moved forward four feet.

By a backhoe,

Driven by the angry caretaker.

The government shook our hands,

He reiterated it would take some time,

The angry caretaker would be ‘fired’.

He said they would be in touch.


I believed him.

We all did.




About inevertoldher

I love my kids, my husband, my four cats and my sister...not necessarily in that order. Writing, singing (poorly but loudly) and laughing keep me happy. When I eat well, exercise and post daily...I am at my best.
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