The ultimate insult: Grieving mother who lost her 20-year-old son to suicide finds a Jehovah's Witness pamphlet about eternal life on her boy's graveBy Jack Ryan
A grieving mother broke down in tears after she found a Jehovah's Witnesses pamphlet asking 'Can the dead really live again?' left at her son's grave.
The woman and her daughter were visiting the 20-year-old's grave at Penrith Cemetery in western Sydney during the first Mother's Day since his suicide when they found the pamphlet.
'Can the dead really live again?' the pamphlet read on the front cover, with the options 'yes', 'no' and 'maybe'.
The man's sister said her mother was already struggling to cope with her son's absence on Mother's Day before they found the flyer.
'My mum had been trying to hold it together all morning. It was always going to be a hard visit (to the cemetery) that day, but the flyer was a bit of salt in the wound,' the man's sister, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
'It's harder to console your mother in tears on Mother's Day who just misses her son than it is to pick up a piece of paper and throw it in the bin.'
The woman said there were flyers left at every grave in her brother's section of the cemetery.
'Overall the whole situation was inappropriate... being that it was Mother's Day... there's no scenario you could have in this situation that makes it any ''better'' it's just horrible from all directions,' she said.
'That and also the choice of words. Leaving a flyer is a bad move regardless, but posing a question to friends and family members of ''Can the dead live again?'' is just so morbid.
'But even then, if they left a flyer saying ''We're sorry for your loss'' would it make the situation any better? It's still preying on emotionally vulnerable people.'
The woman said she called the Jehovah's Witness head office in Sydney, where someone acknowledged leaving flyers at the cemetery was inappropriate.
'But I wasn't given an apology... they referred to it as ''passing on the enquiry'',' she said.
'What annoys me is that no one seemed to notice these people coming in - with a bag full of rocks to place the flyers under - and leaving all these flyers around.
'Plots in that cemetery are going for up to $4000 plus, you expect some kind of security in this place.
'One of the graves I removed a flyer from had the flyer underneath a little dog statue that was sitting beside the tombstone.
'All I thought was, imagine if that little dog was a family heirloom that meant something to the decease and was damaged because it was being carelessly handled by a church that wanted to get their sales numbers up? You'd be pretty livid.'
A Jehovah's Witnesses spokesman said the choice to leave the flyers at the cemetery was 'an individual matter' and would have been carried out by someone from 'one of the local churches there'.
'Some write letters, some do it over the phone,' he said.
'It's probably just an individual doing the work... It's an individual, personal choice when it comes to preaching.'
The spokesman said he could 'understand' resistance to their message, as they sometimes receive the same feedback when they go door-knocking to preach.
A Penrith City Council spokesman said the flyers were an 'isolated incident'.
'Council was advised on Monday afternoon of leaflets that were left in the cemetery and a sweep was conducted to remove the material,' he said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Penrith Central Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses church for comment.
A Jehovah's Witnesses spokesman said the choice to leave the flyers at the cemetery was 'an individual matter' and would have been carried out by someone from 'one of the local churches' in Penrith
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