While spending time with her late son at his grave site last week, the ground caved in and a Massachusetts mother fell into the burial plot above his casket.
"Beyond unfathomable, beyond, beyond unfathomable,” said Dawn Light of Sutton, who has had to deal with tremendous grief.
Light laid her husband to rest in 2013 after he lost his battle with ALS, and then had to bury her 22-year-old son, Zachary, in January after he died from a seizure.
But when she went to spend time with them at their graves in Millbury's Central Cemetery last week, the unimaginable happened.
"All the sudden, I looked and my right foot – leg – was in the dirt past my knee," she recalled.
The ground above Zachary's casket had caved in, and his mother had fallen in.
"The ground was frozen in snow," she said. "I had to dig to get myself out of a hole."
Traumatized and upset, Light went to the town and they filled in the grave site. But when she returned this week, she was upset yet again.
"The grave was an outline of a coffin, and sunk down many inches," she said. "I'm like, 'Oh my God, I'm doing this again."
Millbury Town Manager David Marciello says because of the winter burial, the spring rain we've gotten and a nearby stream, they have to let the water table drop before they can properly compact the soil around the casket.
"We're going to have to, more than likely, keep addressing this as the situation continues, because we can't do a more permanent solution until the weather cooperates [and] things dry out," Marciello said.
But Light wants a more permanent solution now.
"I'm not at peace," she said. "How can my baby be at peace?"
Light and the town agree part of the problem dates back to a cemetery mistake made in 2011 – when a 6-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were buried in her family's plots.
Instead of making those families dig up their children, Light's family agreed to stack two of their plots on top of each other – 12 feet deep. But now, they're dealing with this mess.