Judges in Maastricht have told Brunssum town council to decide within six weeks if a local man should be allowed to bury the body of his wife in his garden.
The council had ordered the man to dig up his wife Susanna who died unexpectedly last month. He buried her in their garden before the council had taken a decision on whether or not to sanction the grave.
‘We were happily married for 34 years and we expected to have many more,’ Fred Windels wrote on Facebook. ‘My wife’s last wish was to be buried in the garden which she created.’
The woman died after a heart attack and Windels did not have enough time to organize an official garden burial, his lawyer Theo Boumans told broadcaster NOS. ‘Mr Windels opted not to wait for the results of his request and bury his wife anyway,’ Bouwmans said.
Every year officials permit a limited number of garden burials on condition they are far enough from public roads, not visible to third parties and far enough away from sources of drinking water.
Boumans says his client meets all the criteria and that the dead woman has been buried in a woody area, out of everyone’s view.
The court ruled that while Windels was wrong to act without permission, it would also be wrong to make him dig up his wife before the council had taken a decision.
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