JAN Turnbull fought hard to hold back the tears yesterday over the theft of lights from her beloved son Paul’s grave.
It is just six weeks since Paul Turnbull died at home aged just 32.
To pay tribute to their dad, Mr Turnbull’s four children — Tyler, 9, Daytona, 7, Jack, 5, and Shyla, 2 — placed lights on his grave at the Waugh Road cemetery in North Albury.
Mrs Turnbull was straight to the point in her message to the thieves.
“Get a life. Put our grandkids’ things back.”
Butterfly lights were chosen by the kids, while Mrs Turnbull and her son’s partner, Joelene Cerminara, chose the other lights, with the youngsters’ help.
Mrs Turnbull knew something was amiss when she drove past the cemetery on Thursday night.
“I noticed some of the lights weren’t glowing,” she said
“I didn’t think anything of it because sometimes the lights just don’t work.
“But then as we pulled in on Friday morning I said to Paul’s dad that the big globe lights weren’t working last night.”
Mrs Turnbull said they did not notice the lights were missing until they went to the grave.
The thieves left behind some fairy lights.
“I don’t know whether the thieves got disturbed or just couldn’t be bothered.”
Paul Turnbull died on October 29, with his funeral held a week later.
Flowers and the lights were put in place the following week.
Mrs Turnbull said it was appalling that someone would stoop so low as to steal tributes from a grave.
“We’ve looked at the other graves since Paul’s funeral and have noticed that on quite a lot of them people have been placing flowers and sprucing them up,” she said.
“When we looked at the other graves on Friday we saw that none of the other graves had been touched — it’s just the globe lights and two butterfly lights on Paul’s.
“The big globe ones can’t be replaced as K-Mart has sold out of them.
“We won’t put other lights back there because they will probably be stolen again.”
The children had been too upset to visit the grave again until yesterday.
Mr Turnbull was a concreter, although he had been off work for six months to have surgery for a carpal tunnel syndrome problem before his sudden death.
The family has put an appeal out on Facebook “to return the property as it was in good condition”.
“It belonged to the kids,” Mrs Turnbull said.
“The fact that someone could go in and steal something from someone’s grave is just wrong.”