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Mother Longs for Headstone on Her Daughter’s Grave

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Almost a year after a woman died, her family is frustrated because they say they have been waiting for permission to put a headstone on their loved one's grave.

Blue Ridge Lawn Cemetery is where just about all of Velma Abernathy's family is buried. But her grief is still raw almost a year after burying her daughter Tina, because she still doesn't have a headstone marking Tina's grave. Tina battled a long illness and died from a seizure December 22, 2011.

"We're just looking for closure," she says.

The family felt like they weren't getting a straight answer from the cemetery. They were told they needed to wait for permission to place a headstone there, and then the Blue Ridge Lawn Cemetery phone number wasn't working. But on Tuesday, with one phone call, the confusion may finally be cleared up.

Velma says back when Tina died, the cemetery told her they needed to wait until summer to put in the headstone, but then the phone number rang busy all summer. And when they found a new phone number, they still couldn't reach anyone. Tina's children were frustrated.

"I think it's sad, they need to communicate," says daughter Whitney Bunting.

"That's my mother, only mother I ever had," says son Robert Henderson, "I only have her spirit and her obituary."

FOX 4 wanted to talk to someone in the office to clear this up but no one was there. We did reach someone by phone. A woman named Paula told us all the family has to do is have the headstone delivered to the cemetery office. An employee who showed up at the office confirmed to us that he'd make sure it's installed right away.

"I'm very happy," said Velma, "I will get the headstone here, get it in place and get some closure."

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