Another family in my family plot

drake

I would very, very much appreciate reader's thoughts to my disturbing
situation. My dear parents are buried side by side in a cemetery in a small
farming community. There are two empty plots in front of their graves
reserved and paid for by my dad for my wife and me.

I was very disturbed last week to see that another family very
recently placed a gravestone on one of the above noted empty family plots in
front of one of my parent's graves. It does not appear that there are any ash
remains. This gravestone is placed right against the grave cover of one
parent's grave and due to its size this gravestone does not at all look good
there and significantly obscures and detracts from my parent's graves and
headstone. I know as long as I live and visit my parents graves I will not
have a good feeling about this headstone being there. The local municipal
office that handles the cemetery said because of poor records, an error was made
in selling one of my two reserved empty plots to another family. Other similar
errors have been made in the cemetery.

Although I really want to retain both empty plots as my parents planned, it
may be selfish on my part to do so since my wife and I now only need one plot
and other family members say they likely will not be buried at this cemetery.
In the end I would be willing to give up the one plot but only if the upright
headstone was replaced with a flat marker but I feel I have no right to suggest
this. I want to cause as little commotion as possible and be as respectful as
possible of all parties. This is also a small community and I don't want to
have a bad reputation even thou I am not now living in the community but I also
want to do what is right for everybody but especially respect my parents.

I am not sure on how to handle this situation. I feel that since its the
municipal office made the error that they should fix the problem - whether
its moving the stone if no ashes buried or ask widow if she would be willing to
get a flat marker or is there some other solution? Even though I could accept
having a non-family member in one of the four plots, it would bother me very
much to visit my parents grave and have this new grave stone in front of their
graves which I strongly feel is very obtrusive.

I would appreciate your opinions on what is the right thing to do and how
to do it. Thank you all so much.

SaveComment5Like
Comments (5)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colleenoz

So, has anyone actually been buried in the erroneously sold plot? Or is there just a headstone there, sans occupant?

If there is no occupant, I would think you have a case for requiring the municipal office to cancel the sale of the plot, since it wasn't theirs to sell, and for the owners of the headstone to remove it.

If there has been a burial, I don't think you can do anything without appearing churlish, besides requiring a financial settlement from the municipal office for selling what was your property.

I don't think you can dictate to others what the form of their tribute to their loved one will take, whether you feel it spoils the appearance of your parents' plot or not.

To be honest, I don't entirely understand why it upsets you so- certainly your parents won't be complaining about their view being obscured. If some other family member had been buried in that plot, would you not have put up a headstone? IMO you need to let this go, once you have received compensation for the wrongful sale.

Save     Thanked by drake
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
drake

Hi Colleneoz Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I am quite sure there is no one buried there and if there was I would definitely leave all alone.

Since this is a family plot there would be no problem with another family member (other than wife and me) putting up a headstone, although I have no siblings.

Just to be clear would you still let this go even thou assuming no one is buried there and you will have to see an obtrusive headstone each time you go to see your parents?

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colleenoz

>>Just to be clear would you still let this go even thou assuming no one
is buried there and you will have to see an obtrusive headstone each
time you go to see your parents?<<

Well, no, as I said in my second paragraph,

>>If there is no occupant, I would think you have a case for requiring the
municipal office to cancel the sale of the plot, since it wasn't theirs
to sell, and for the owners of the headstone to remove it.<<

If the plot is empty, and merely has a (pre-emptive) headstone on it, and it bothers you enough, then I would suggest you consult a lawyer about your chances of having the sale reversed, since if your Dad bought and paid for the plot then clearly it wasn't available for sale nor was it the municipal council's to sell. Be aware that fighting the sale may end up being expensive, so you will have to weigh up how much you are willing/able to pay to have the headstone gone.

If you can't get the headstone removed then I am afraid you will simply have to take a deep breath and focus on your parents' grave, and stop worrying about the headstone. The less you think about it, the less you will see it. There is no benefit to you or to your late parents in turning yourself inside out over something you can't control.

Save     Thanked by drake
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
drake

Colleenoz Thank you for your very wise advice especially the last para.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
colleenoz

You're welcome. I hope you find a peaceful place, whichever way it goes.

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Life Retirement Reinvention: Boomers Plot Their Next Big Move
Choosing a place to settle in for the golden years? You're not alone. Where boomers are going and what it might look like
Full Story
Life World of Design: See How 7 Families Live in Multigenerational Homes
By Houzz
What happens when three or more generations live within shouting distance of one another? More hugging than shouting, actually
Full Story
Housekeeping Another Independence Day: When Kids Can Do Their Laundry
Set yourself free and give your child a valuable life skill at the same time
Full Story