Cruel council removed my baby’s headstone from cemetery – I broke down in tears when I saw it was gone | The Sun

Cruel council removed my baby’s headstone from cemetery – I broke down in tears when I saw it was gone | The Sun

A HEARTBROKEN mum was left in tears after the council removed her baby's headstone from the cemetery.

Pabi Tra and Ankit Gupta welcomed Aiden Gupta into the world on May 16 and hardly left his side as the tot battled a defect in his diaphragm and fluid in his lungs.



But after the tot tragically passed away on June 12, the grieving parents arranged for a headstone to be placed at little Aiden's grave.

Thornhill Cemetery in Cardiff, Wales, said it took down the headstone for Pabi and Ankit's Aiden Gupta because it was too tall.

But around three months later the family were left shocked as the cemetery removed the memorial because it breached height restrictions.

The maximum height in the babies section is slightly under one foot.

Pabi, a healthcare support worker at Heath hospital, said that the decision has "hurt and upset" their family.

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The 38-year-old mum said: "It was not harming anyone. It doesn't make sense.

"People should be able to freely order whatever they want. It's a cemetery and everyone wants to remember in a different way."

A Cardiff Council spokesman said there are height restrictions in the babies section "to ensure families who have little access to funds know that their baby can be commemorated in the same way as a family with unlimited funds".

And he added that the council is sorry about "any upset that the Gupta family have experienced" and will "look to work with the family on plans for a permanent memorial".

Ankit Gupta signed a burial form in June agreeing that unauthorised memorials would not be permitted.

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But Pabi claims that the family were not aware that height restrictions meant the headstone they ordered was unauthorised.

They did not want to go ahead with the options offered by the cemetery — an arc-top or heart-shaped headstone in either black or white.

Instead, the family ordered a dark glass one with a blue teddy bear on top.

The moving inscription read: "Our loving son… You stay in our hearts till eternity and beyond. You are and will remain our first son little pumpkin. Thank you for coming into our lives and making it beautiful."

Pabi had been visiting Aiden's grave each week, sometimes two or three times.

In late September she travelled to Thailand to visit her family. Around this time the cemetery removed the memorial.

Shortly after Pabi returned to Cardiff in early November, she went to the cemetery and was stunned to see the headstone was gone.

The council says the family had been informed on the day it was removed.

HEARTBROKEN

But Pabi told WalesOnline she was not aware until she visited.

She said: "I went to the cemetery office and I was crying. A man came out and said it did not match the rules and regulations because it was too tall.

"So many people said it was such a beautiful memorial. People who were visiting their own children would say that to me. Now when I go there it is completely empty. It says nothing about my son."

The heartbroken mum described the decision as an "insult" to her son's grave.

She said she struggled to breathe when she saw the headstone was gone

Pabi added: "It is breaking my heart. We are already going through so much.

"The grief will be with me all my life, but I went to Thailand to try to feel better. I saw my brother and sister, I cried with them, and I was feeling better. When I saw this it all came back again."

'BREAKDOWN IN COMMUNICATION'

The council spokesman said: “The loss of a child is always deeply tragic and we understand that the family in this case are distressed that the gravestone they chose has been removed.

"Unfortunately, in this instance there appears to have been a breakdown in communication with the family.

"Our rules and regulations on memorials in this part of the cemetery are clear and the family’s funeral directors should have explained those regulations to them at the time.

"We work with all the funeral directors in the area so they are aware of rules and regulations on memorials."

Pabi believes the cost of the family's headstone was similar to that offered by the cemetery.

The council spokesman continued: "To protect grieving families all memorials in the babies section of the cemetery have to be authorised, ordered and supplied, via our Bereavement Services team.

"This is done at cost price and individual designs are developed with a trusted supplier. These memorials cost £360 standard or £540 for a heart shape.

"However, families who have lost a child under 18 are also entitled to a £500 grant from Welsh Government which we will arrange.

"Our policy is to remove any unauthorised memorials as soon as staff become aware of them, and the family is then immediately informed.

"These memorials are then placed in safe storage until they can be collected by the family.

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"We are sorry about any upset that the Gupta family have experienced and we will now look to work with the family on plans for a permanent memorial to their child.”

He added: “We provide a grave and burial service for free for any child under the age of 18 and we work as closely and as sensitively as possible with bereaved families on the provision of suitable memorials."

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