A family in Australia says they were “devastated” when they learned that their son’s headstone was removed from a local cemetery without their knowledge because some had objected to an “offensive” photo, according to a report.
Peter Bridge, 33, died on April 4 last year after succumbing to a life-long battle with cystic fibrosis. His father, Arthur Bridge, described his son as a “lovable character” with a “wicked sense of humor,” a memory he hoped to capture in choosing the proper headstone, nine.com.au reported.
“‘Why so serious?’ was one of his favorite sayings, so we made sure we wrote that on the headstone.”
In addition to that, Bridge told the outlet that they included a small photo of Peter sticking up his middle finger.
“Pete would have loved it because that was who he was,” Bridge said. “He would be driving along and he would see a mate and the finger would be up to them, just joking around.”
But at the end of January this year, Bridge found out from a friend who was visiting the Enfield Memorial Park in Clearview that Peter’s headstone had been removed.
“I went straight down there to find out what was going on and they said the photo art was offensive,” he told the outlet.
In an online petition to bring the headstone back, Bridge said that the reasons for removing the stone “are ridiculous.”
“First and foremost, we were not even notified of his headstones removal – there was absolutely no regard for the memory and resting place of our boy. Secondly, the picture of Peter is so small, you’d have to be standing right in front of it to even see it properly.”
He continued: “If his picture did offend someone, why is it anyone’s problem but theirs? That is our son’s personal resting space.”
Adelaide Cemeteries Authority Chief Operating Officer Michael Robertson told nine.com.au that the cemetery did reach out to the family by phone and left messages regarding the matter after receiving several complaints about the picture.
Roberston said they have offered to replace the photo without the hand gesture or have offered to have the picture covered by a plaque that can be moved by the family for viewing whenever they want – all of which the Bridge family have refused.
“It’s morally wrong, there is just nothing right about it. You don’t do that,” Bridge told the outlet. “My other son, he is devastated, and my partner, she is devastated. It’s taken her back to day one. She goes down to see his gravesite and there is nothing there.”