Man in court for burying his wife in the garden

Photo: Jan Dijkstra via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jan Dijkstra via Wikimedia Commons

Judges in Maastricht will today hear the case of a widower who has been ordered by Brunssum town council to dig up the body of his wife, whom he had buried in his garden.

Fred Windels dug his wife Susanna’s grave in the garden last month. ‘We were happily married for 34 years and we expected to have many more,’ he wrote on Facebook. ‘My wife’s last wish was to be buried in the garden which she created.’

The woman died unexpectedly 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.

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