Mourning at wrong grave

Janet Cardwell with her daughter Nicky Starr and Janet's sister-in law-Barbara Wilsdon, at the grave of Janet's sister Diane Cardwell (below) at Carleton Cemetery.

Janet Cardwell with her daughter Nicky Starr and Janet's sister-in law-Barbara Wilsdon, at the grave of Janet's sister Diane Cardwell (below) at Carleton Cemetery.

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A grieving woman has told of her heartbreak after flowers and a plaque laid at the grave of her sister went missing – leading her to mourn at the wrong plot.

Janet Cardwell, 53, had visited a plot at Carleton Cemetery to try to find peace after the sudden death of her sister, Diane, on September 21.

Diane Cardwell

Diane Cardwell

But after a recent visit she was distressed to find the flowers, placed at her sister’s graveside following the funeral on October 10 – and which Janet used to identify which grave was her sister’s – had disappeared.

It meant that she inadvertently mourned at the wrong plot.

And it was only when she went to check with staff at the cemetery where the flowers might be they informed her she had been spending time at the wrong grave.

When she was directed to the actual plot the flowers were still nowhere to be seen and she says she was told they could have been thrown away.

Ms Cardwell, a cleaner, of Loftos Avenue, Blackpool, said: “I went back to the grave a week after and the grave was perfect, there were that many flowers on it. They were comforting.

“But one week (after the funeral) some friends said they couldn’t find her grave or flowers.

“The plaque with her name and age on it went missing with the flowers.

“I was crying and talking to one grave but later when I went to talk to the manager about the flowers he came with me for a look, he said ‘I see what’s happened’ and he pointed to the wrong grave.

“I was so upset, I’d been talking to the wrong grave.

“He said the grave diggers could have moved the flowers to another plot when they were digging new graves and people could have moved them or thrown them away.”

Ms Cardwell’s sister Diane Cardwell was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and was initially told the tumour had shrunk after chemotherapy, but was taken into hospital on September 13 with breathing difficulties. She died eight days later, aged 50.

Blackpool Council’s cemeteries department have said it is investigating the missing flowers.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council cabinet member with responsibility for cemeteries, said: “I am very sorry to hear about Mrs Cardwell’s concerns.

“Our cemetery manager is currently investigating the issue and is in regular contact with Mrs Cardwell, he will be responding to her directly.”

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