Graveside robbery haunts daughter
KAREN West is still wrestling with the right words to put on her mum’s headstone and the grass has yet to grow over her burial plot at Warwick’s Eden Gardens.
While it may take more than eight weeks to come to terms with the loss of a parent, apparently it doesn’t take that long for the disrespectful to steal a treasured graveside ornament.
“I hadn’t worked out what I wanted to put on mum’s headstone,” Mrs West said.
“I wanted it to be perfect, you know.
“So in the meantime I had bought this beautiful ceramic handbag filled with bright coloured gerberas and put on her grave.”
The ornament was sitting on a paver on the gravesite allowing Eden Gardens staff to easily maintain and mow the site.
“I could see it as I drove past the cemetery, it was very appropriate because mum was a very feminine, handbag-loving woman,” Mrs West said.
“We talked with Eden Gardens staff and they were fine about the ornament being there.
“Then last week we went away for a few days and came back to find both the handbag and heavy paver missing.”
Mrs West said despite consulting with lawn cemetery staff and searching the grounds, the sentimentally-significant piece had not turned up.
“It is just hard you know, because the handbag was so right for mum,” she said.
“I don’t know how someone could just take something from a cemetery. It is pretty callous.”
The disappearance has exacerbated the Warwick woman’s keen sense of loss.
Her mother, Elizabeth Mauch, died just 48 hours after suffering a stroke. She was 72.
But for her daughter her memory remains very much alive.
“I wasn’t sure whether going public would help at all,” she admitted.
“Yet I don’t think we can just ignore it when people do the wrong thing.
“I am not sure if it was because mum’s plot is near the road, or someone just liked the handbag, but it is disappointing it disappeared.”
Mrs West said ideally her family would like to see the piece returned to Eden Gardens.