Families in one Massachusetts community are outraged after a cemetery owner has announced the Wayland property is being sold.
The families who have loved ones buried at the cemetery behind The Church of the Holy Spirit have now learned that their loved one's remains will have to be dug up and moved.
For Stephanie Palmer Edwards, the quaint church yard cemetery behind the church is a place of reflection on the lives of her late husband and 22-year-old daughter, Amanda, who died of leukemia.
But what was supposed to be their final resting place, likely will soon be gone.
"I go back to that day, that rainy day when Amanda was buried, I don't want to go to that day," Edwards said through tears.
The church was closed in 2015 and sold earlier this year to a local congregation of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
In August, Edwards and relatives of the roughly 60 parishioners buried there got letters informing them the remains of their loved ones must be relocated.
"They really didn't give us much consideration," said Edwards. "what an afterthought."
The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts sent us a statement saying in part, "A stipulation of the sales agreement was that the cremated remains interred on the church property be relocated. This stipulation is not negotiable, and diocesan personnel have been working diligently to meet this requirement along with the needs of the families involved."
"Those kinds of comments say to me that they don't really understand how deeply personal and how deeply painful it is for so many people," Edwards said.
She says she and her adult son have joined several family members of other parishioners buried there, fighting to keep them interred here in the woods behind where they worshiped as one community.
But Edwards says she doesn't want that battle to keep her from living her life.
"I have a terrific son who has been through the death of a father when he was eight years old, his sister when he was 13,"
Edwards said. "It's not fair to him to have a mother whose obsession is where someone is buried."
necn reached out to the local congregation of the Coptic Orthodox Church and they said they had to look deeper into the situation and would get back to us.