CHRISTMAS has brought some much needed cheer to a Tamworth widower who touched the hearts of people across the world when he filmed himself weeping by his wife’s desecrated grave.
Brian Moore (66) was still struggling to come to terms with his wife Angela’s sudden death when he came across the scene of destruction last month at Glascote Cemetery.
In addition to smashing ornaments and gifts of great sentimental value, vandals had ripped the heads off ten artificial roses left by family members.
In the emotion of the moment, Brian filmed his distress on a mobile phone, giving a sobbing commentary as he recorded the damage. The video was subsequently posted on social media and has now received 84,000 hits on Facebook, prompting messages of sympathy from as far away as the USA and Jamaica.
The sight of the elegant new headstone engraved in gold lettering had Brian in tears again, but this time over a kind, rather than cruel, gesture.
The retired painter and taxi driver, and his daughter Mina, were taken back to the grave to see the headstone provided free of charge by the Tamworth Co-operative Society.
He said the red granite Balmoral headstone is “just perfect for Angie.”
“I’ll never get over losing her, but this has made me very, very, happy. It’s helped restore my faith in human nature. I can’t thank the Tamworth Co-op enough. I’ve been amazed by all the messages of support we have received from people in many different countries.”
His wife of 45 years, who was a double amputee, died in March aged 65 after a short illness.
Mina Moore (37), from Amington, said: “The headstone is beautiful. We couldn’t have wished for a better one for mum. It’s made us feel elated, especially at this time of year.
“The Tamworth Co-op handled mum’s funeral and were brilliant. Now they’ve done this for us too.”
Glen Speak, deputy general manager of the Tamworth Co-op funeral division, paid tribute to the staff who helped get the headstone finished in time for Christmas.
He said: “We were really sad when we heard what had happened to Mrs Moore’s grave, but at least now there is a happy ending. Our staff deserve credit for getting the headstone ready for Christmas.”
He praised the Society’s masonry consultant, Lorraine Bolger, for ‘pulling out all the stops’ to get the job done.
“Normally it could take up to 20 weeks to complete something like this, but thanks to the tireless efforts of Lorraine and the stonemasons involved we managed to get it done in a fortnight.”
Brian, who lives in Leyfields, said he visits the grave most days ‘come rain or shine.’
“I tell her we’re going to have a cigarette together in the morning, and then sometimes I go and get some chips and tell her we’re going to have dinner together.”