Grieving mum says she wants daughters' bodies exhumed after Bexley Council tells her to remove grave decorations

News Shopper: Amanda Hoadley at her daughter's joint grave at Hillview Cemetery with her only living daughter Charlotte. Amanda Hoadley at her daughter's joint grave at Hillview Cemetery with her only living daughter Charlotte.

A grieving mother says she wants to have her two dead daughter's bodies exhumed and cremated after being told to remove bunting, banners and toys from their joint grave by Bexley Council.

Amanda Hoadley, 39, of Exmouth Road, Welling, lost he oldest daughter Chloé in February 2007 after she died of Pneumococcal Meningitis as a result of medical negligence which was proved in a legal case.

Mrs Hoadley then fell pregnant with identical twins Amelia and Charlotte in 2011 and they were born 11 weeks premature on January 29 2012, both were deemed healthy at birth.

Amelia tragically died aged just 10-days-old on February 8 after contracting Klebsiella Septicaemia and that developed into Meningitis.

Both the girls are buried at Hillview Cemetery in Welling and Mrs Hoadley and her husband Andrew, 40, have decorated the grave with cards, bunting and decorations to mark their birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries ever since Chloé died.

Charlotte, the couple's only living child, was diagnosed with Diapelgia Cerebral Palsy at the end of July 2013.

Mrs Hoadley said: "The whole situation has made me feel sick.

"It has all gone on over the time of both the girl's anniversaries of when they died and it's just too much to take.

"I want to have their bodies exhumed and removed so I can get them cremated and have them at home with me.

"The girls died just a week apart and we got the letter from the council around the same time we were trying to grieve.

The family say have been decorating the graves since Christmas 2007 and never received any complaints.

Mrs Hoadley added: "Its clear the cemetery people have made notes about this.

"The council has no clear guidelines and their detailing of what can and cannot be put on the graves is inaccurate.

"It seems like they just pick and choose what they want to have on the graves." A spokesman for Bexley Council said: "We are deeply sorry for Mrs Hoadley’s losses and we totally understand her wish to want to commemorate important dates in her daughters’ lives.

"However, this needs to be done in a way that meets the wishes and expectations of other visitors to the cemetery.

"We want our cemeteries to be places where people can go for reflection and thought, without distraction and without others’ space being infringed upon.

"This means having to carefully balance the wishes of all visitors and grave owners, by observing some guidelines around grave memorabilia.

"We would like to work with Mrs Hoadley to reach a compromise on this very sensitive issue and are grateful that she has already removed the bunting."

Comments (10)

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9:59am Mon 3 Mar 14

concerned.erith says...

How very say for this lady to be make to feel this way. What devastaing losses she and her family have had to go through.

It is a shame that they have been put in this situatoin, but perhaps they would be willing to take home some of the older things to commemorate their important dates.
How very say for this lady to be make to feel this way. What devastaing losses she and her family have had to go through. It is a shame that they have been put in this situatoin, but perhaps they would be willing to take home some of the older things to commemorate their important dates. concerned.erith
  • Score: 22

9:03pm Mon 3 Mar 14

danm5577 says...

concerned.erith wrote:
How very say for this lady to be make to feel this way. What devastaing losses she and her family have had to go through.

It is a shame that they have been put in this situatoin, but perhaps they would be willing to take home some of the older things to commemorate their important dates.
That's actually really nice comment on a difficult situation.
I can help but wonder if exhuming the bodies tho would cause her more upset.
Very difficult situation.
[quote][p][bold]concerned.erith[/bold] wrote: How very say for this lady to be make to feel this way. What devastaing losses she and her family have had to go through. It is a shame that they have been put in this situatoin, but perhaps they would be willing to take home some of the older things to commemorate their important dates.[/p][/quote]That's actually really nice comment on a difficult situation. I can help but wonder if exhuming the bodies tho would cause her more upset. Very difficult situation. danm5577
  • Score: 21

9:19pm Mon 3 Mar 14

derekhope says...

No easy answer in any circumstances. Maybe it would be more sensitive for the council to give the parents time and space to grieve and in time no doubt things will settle down. Exhuming bodies is not the answer, maybe it is just a knee jerk reaction and as it appears the parents wanted their children buried together, their wishes should be respected. Time will solve much. RIP little ones.
No easy answer in any circumstances. Maybe it would be more sensitive for the council to give the parents time and space to grieve and in time no doubt things will settle down. Exhuming bodies is not the answer, maybe it is just a knee jerk reaction and as it appears the parents wanted their children buried together, their wishes should be respected. Time will solve much. RIP little ones. derekhope
  • Score: 18

10:52pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Bambi* says...

Such a tragic thing for a parent to lose a child let alone two.

With regards to remembering the important times and anniversaries of her children's lives I would say that the cemetery is the appropriate place to do this and if their is no infringement on other plots Bexley council should let them be.

Perhaps Bexley should pay closer attention to road sides and streets where sadly someone has lost their lives and when the flowers, banners and tributes are past there best then remove these as they are an eyesore, become litter and not in the appropriate place.
Such a tragic thing for a parent to lose a child let alone two. With regards to remembering the important times and anniversaries of her children's lives I would say that the cemetery is the appropriate place to do this and if their is no infringement on other plots Bexley council should let them be. Perhaps Bexley should pay closer attention to road sides and streets where sadly someone has lost their lives and when the flowers, banners and tributes are past there best then remove these as they are an eyesore, become litter and not in the appropriate place. Bambi*
  • Score: 17

9:11pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Bob1000 says...

As a close neighbour who has know this lovely family for some years I'm completely confused with these insensitive suggestions from bexley council, have they really not been through enough trauma in their lives but to have some idiot who obviously has nothing better to do give them more grief.
Perhaps this persons job role could be changed to more of a "preventative measure" ie, protecting people in the community from anti social behaviour and abuse from other unstable neighbours in the area.
As a close neighbour who has know this lovely family for some years I'm completely confused with these insensitive suggestions from bexley council, have they really not been through enough trauma in their lives but to have some idiot who obviously has nothing better to do give them more grief. Perhaps this persons job role could be changed to more of a "preventative measure" ie, protecting people in the community from anti social behaviour and abuse from other unstable neighbours in the area. Bob1000
  • Score: 12

9:55pm Thu 6 Mar 14

right1 says...

Amanda and her Andrew have suffered the worst life can dish out, leave them in peace they are not harming anyone. Bexley council are a jobs worth, maybe they should get off their comfy seats and pick on those who deserve it
A heart is an organ that keeps us alive, where are their hearts.
Bless you Amanda, Andrew & Charlotte
Amanda and her Andrew have suffered the worst life can dish out, leave them in peace they are not harming anyone. Bexley council are a jobs worth, maybe they should get off their comfy seats and pick on those who deserve it A heart is an organ that keeps us alive, where are their hearts. Bless you Amanda, Andrew & Charlotte right1
  • Score: 9

10:18pm Thu 6 Mar 14

fgdfsdf says...

I know Amanda and know the pain and heartbreak she and her husband have been through loosing two daughters.

I visited a local crematorium today because I have sadly lost my father this week. Walking through the the cemetery I was aware of graves that were old and unattended and new ones with recent decorations and flowers. The cemetery was peaceful and lovely and the sight of brightly decorated graves celebrating those that had passed was a great comfort to me. It made what could be such a cold and desolate place feel welcoming both for the deceased and the living.

I can't possibly imagine anyone that has lost someone would begrudge a grieving mother and father the right to celebrate and remember the lovely daughters that they had such a short time.

I think that Bexley Council should rethink their decision and look to help families maintain such celebrations by working with the families.
I know Amanda and know the pain and heartbreak she and her husband have been through loosing two daughters. I visited a local crematorium today because I have sadly lost my father this week. Walking through the the cemetery I was aware of graves that were old and unattended and new ones with recent decorations and flowers. The cemetery was peaceful and lovely and the sight of brightly decorated graves celebrating those that had passed was a great comfort to me. It made what could be such a cold and desolate place feel welcoming both for the deceased and the living. I can't possibly imagine anyone that has lost someone would begrudge a grieving mother and father the right to celebrate and remember the lovely daughters that they had such a short time. I think that Bexley Council should rethink their decision and look to help families maintain such celebrations by working with the families. fgdfsdf
  • Score: 11

4:26pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Teresacatherine says...

Have the council got nothing better to complain of
DBC The same with ridiculous regulations not allowing a simple cross on my 2 year old brothers grave.Thanks to them he has no identity. I can appreciate this poor woman's pain and frustration. There's no danger of her over loading their grave anyway flowers don't last and have to be binned,balloons get smaller and blow away.I'm sure they were keeping it tidy.
Have the council got nothing better to complain of DBC The same with ridiculous regulations not allowing a simple cross on my 2 year old brothers grave.Thanks to them he has no identity. I can appreciate this poor woman's pain and frustration. There's no danger of her over loading their grave anyway flowers don't last and have to be binned,balloons get smaller and blow away.I'm sure they were keeping it tidy. Teresacatherine
  • Score: 2

6:57pm Tue 18 Mar 14

reptiles says...

This is awful. Poor family have gone thro hell & back and council want to take away what little peace they have. To be honest i would rather go to see my sister and see something like this to know that the children were and still are very much loved and missed rather than see some of the very old graves looking tired and forgotten and over grown with weeds. Cemeteries are NOT happy places but do bring happiness and joy to those that visit loved ones. This family need to grieve and feel comfort in their childrens gravesides.

There is Nothing worse than seeing a graveside empty/forgotten and unloved!Maybe the council should concentrate on making those loose more loved than moaning about ones that make people smile a little when they see it. Death is still very much a tabo subject. How dare the council tell them they cannot show the world how much they love & miss thier children. NO parent should ever have to visit their childs grave - but sadly they do ;-(
RIP to those poor young girls and much love to the parents & young Charlotte . the only way she can understand and remember her sisters :( so so sad.
This is awful. Poor family have gone thro hell & back and council want to take away what little peace they have. To be honest i would rather go to see my sister and see something like this to know that the children were and still are very much loved and missed rather than see some of the very old graves looking tired and forgotten and over grown with weeds. Cemeteries are NOT happy places but do bring happiness and joy to those that visit loved ones. This family need to grieve and feel comfort in their childrens gravesides. There is Nothing worse than seeing a graveside empty/forgotten and unloved!Maybe the council should concentrate on making those loose more loved than moaning about ones that make people smile a little when they see it. Death is still very much a tabo subject. How dare the council tell them they cannot show the world how much they love & miss thier children. NO parent should ever have to visit their childs grave - but sadly they do ;-( RIP to those poor young girls and much love to the parents & young Charlotte . the only way she can understand and remember her sisters :( so so sad. reptiles
  • Score: 2

11:42pm Tue 18 Mar 14

patwoodhouse says...

Can see both sides really. Feel so sorry that this family has suffered so much loss but I have to say their adornments do look very cheap and tacky. Perhaps the answer for the future would be to offer a broader range of burial grounds to accommodate those who prefer less decorative surroundings as well as those who prefer something busier. Or planting hedging so that there is the potential for screening between the simplistic nd overly decorative?
Can see both sides really. Feel so sorry that this family has suffered so much loss but I have to say their adornments do look very cheap and tacky. Perhaps the answer for the future would be to offer a broader range of burial grounds to accommodate those who prefer less decorative surroundings as well as those who prefer something busier. Or planting hedging so that there is the potential for screening between the simplistic nd overly decorative? patwoodhouse
  • Score: -4

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