Grieving Mom Furious At City Over Removal Of Dead Son’s Shrine That ‘Makes It Harder To Cut The Grass’

A grieving mom who erected a shrine to her son who’d been killed by a drunk driver was infuriated when the city council made her remove it as it “made it harder to cut the grass.” Paula Johnson, from Bacup, Lancashire in the UK, was devastated after the loss of her 24-year-old son Kristian and put up a tribute to him along the roadside where he died. In addition to remembering her boy, she hoped the sign would encourage others to take more care and avoid drunk driving. However, the city council ordered it be removed so that they could cut the grass in the area.

  1. Seriously, is mowing the lawn that important? Paula told The Sun that she received an email from the council instructing her to remove the tribute as it was important for the aesthetic upkeep of the area. “We have a commitment to maintain the area and the presence of this will make it difficult,” the email read.
  2. Paula was heartbroken. After all, this was her son we’re talking about, and the public service message about the dangers of drunk driving is incredibly important. “I had the banner made following Kristian’s death to warn people about the dangers of drink-driving and how it destroys families. It was placed at the side of the road where Kristian was killed. So many people said it raised awareness about the effects of drunk driving. We had so many comments about how lovely and bittersweet it was,” she explained. “I didn’t think for a second there was an issue with it. It was heart-wrenching when the council made me pack it up. I felt like it was just another sickening punch. I don’t understand why, in this small community, they can’t make an exception.”
  3. People need to know how dangerous drunk driving is. Kristian was killed by 19-year-old Emily Rogers, who was drunk at the time she hit him with a blood alcohol limit more than twice the legal limit. Paula can’t stress enough just how important it is for people to avoid getting behind the wheel of a car when they’ve been drinking. “For me, it’s about the message it sends out. The horror that I’ve gone through. I don’t want anyone else to go through this pain. How can we stop drink-driving without sending the message out?” she said.
  4. Paula is still struggling to cope with the loss of her son. Shrine aside, she just doesn’t know how to rebuild her life without him. “It’s me who has the life sentence. Every day is just about surviving now. There’s no sunshine, There’s nothing bright and cheerful in my life,” she said. She added that she disagreed with Rogers’ sentence, which was only three years behind bars. “[Rogers] can come out and get on with the rest of her life. I think the sentence she got is disgusting, to be honest,” Paula said.
Piper is a NYC-based writer who loves dogs, iced coffee, and calling people out on their BS.