They Were Forced To Dig Up Their Dad’s Grave, What They Found Will…

For 17 years a family would gather at the gravesite they believed to be their father’s final resting place before finally learning that someone else had been buried there the whole time.

Only after the death of their mother recently did Tom Bell and his sisters discover their mistake, as her final wish was to be buried alongside her husband.

The family was contacted by the undertaker who told them a woman’s remains had been found in the plot they believed was their dad’s.

As a result, their mother has remained in the funeral home for over 5 weeks since they are still unsure of where exactly their father is buried.

Here’s what Thomas’ 58-year-old son, Tom, said according to ‘The Northern Echo’:

“Losing our mum was devastating. And then to be told the grave of our dad we have spent the last 17 years visiting is not his is just unbearable.”

“How could this happen?” Tom said, adding, “Our mum is lying in a funeral home waiting to be buried, and our dad is somewhere in the cemetery in an unmarked grave.”

The Northern Echo has reported that six plots have been dug up by grave diggers in an attempt to find Thomas’ gravesite.

The Sun reported that while the family is devastated, they still hope to find their father’s grave and fulfill their mother’s wishes.

A woman had been lying under Thomas Bell's headstone

Tom told The Northern Echo:

“Seventeen years ago, when dad died, mum bought the plot so she could be with him when she died. Mum used to go every Friday on her way to the hairdressers to take flowers and clean the gravestone.”

Not only was Thomas not buried in the correct location but neither was the remains of the woman who was discovered in the plot…for the last 17 years.

Thomas’ family wanted to bury their mother at the Holy Trinity Church in Wingate.

“When they went to dig the grave two days before the funeral, the gravedigger could only get five feet down when they should apparently be able to go eight feet down for a double plot and they found someone else’s coffin in dad’s grave,” Tom said.

“The funeral director, Andrew, who has been really helpful, rang us and said he needed to come and speak to us face to face.”

Apparently all the funeral directors claimed to have never seen anything like this, and the reverend that performed the family’s mother’s funeral service stated:

“We are all acutely aware of the increasing distress for everyone with every passing day.

“It was a difficult and emotional funeral to be part of, knowing we could not go out into the churchyard straight afterwards to lay Hilda to rest. I sensed both increasing shock and grief as the service went on.

“The distressing situation we face today goes back to the late 1990s and early 2000s when Wingate churchyard was still ‘open’ and receiving regular burials.

“It’s been made more difficult to resolve by several key players from those years being no longer with us, and a break in and burning on the altar years ago of some historic church papers including an original graveyard plan.

“Since then funeral directors and gravediggers have used the gravedigger’s plan when engaged by families to prepare plots for burials here. This part of the process does not directly involve the vicar or the church, though we are available to consult if ever needed.

“Our hearts and prayers really are with all affected as we continue to work for a resolution.”

In the end, the hope is that the family’s mother and father can be laid to rest together.

Sources: TheWesternJounal, The Northern Echo, The Sun


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