Widower Says Wife's Grave Left Uncovered at Local Cemetery - NBC Chicago

Widower Says Wife's Grave Left Uncovered at Local Cemetery

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    Widower Says Wife's Grave Left Uncovered at Cemetery

    He's been a widower for a month, but now he says his grief is more painful than ever because his wife is not resting in peace. NBC 5's Michelle Relerford shares his heartbreaking story. 

    (Published Friday, Feb. 2, 2018)

    It’s been a month since Reverend Abel Laurent lost his wife, but he says his grief is now more painful than ever because his spouse is not resting in peace.

    When Rev. Laurent visited his wife’s grave, he says his grief turned to shock and anger at the condition the burial site was in.

    A photo Laurent took of the grave site shows her coffin unburied, exposed to the elements at the cemetery.

    “They should cover her. They should cover all graves, but only her grave was open,” he said. “My wife means everything to me. I can’t sleep with this.”

    Oakridge Cemetery declined to offer an official statement as to why the grave was uncovered, but managers say that they are trying to resolve the issue created by winter conditions and the frozen ground.

    The cemetery says that Rev. Laurent’s wife’s grave has not been neglected, but he disagrees with their statement, saying that he’s speaking out because that’s what his wife would have wanted him to do.

    “I can’t sleep. I can’t do anything because something is wrong (and) she can’t rest,” he said. “I am there for her until the Lord calls me home.”

    Rev. Laurent and his wife Carmella raised five children together in Chicago, and were married for 41 years before she passed away in December.

    The reverend now plans to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, saying that he doesn’t want other families to go through what he’s gone through. 

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