BEFORE my wife of 47 years died in February 2012 with cancer, we had discussed in great detail, what arrangements she would like for her funeral.

Her wish was to be buried at the St Ives cemetery opposite Ramsey Road. When we attended a friend's funeral in 2008, her comments were how peaceful and well laid out the plots were with a majority of them having marble headstone memorials.

These memorials give the relatives peace of mind that their loved ones' last resting place will be well looked after and they will be able to surround the headstone with flowers and personal items (if they wish).

This would leave the actual grass area to be easily maintained. The benches provided allow grieving relatives the opportunity to reflect on the times they have had with their loved ones in comfort.

So, when my wife died after suffering from cancer for 16 years, her pain had gone, however, mine remained and still does.

As we had discussed, I ordered a marble memorial headstone to mark her final resting place and was lead to believe, it would be erected on her grave.

The memorial stone was put in place during May this year in the new part of the cemetery.

I cannot put into words how appalled and upset I felt when I first saw where the memorial to my much-loved wife had been placed. Rather than being placed on a marble plinth, it stands on an uneven, badly prepared strip of concrete on the edge of the grave.

I felt so pained when I saw this that I contacted St Ives Town Council.

They advised me that it is the new rules.

I then spoke to my local councillor who made enquiries and was told this is the way of the future.

At present, there are between seven and 10 graves in the new part of the cemetery all having wooden crosses staked in the ground.

As I am sure you can appreciate, my wife's memorial stone looks extremely out of place in comparison.

Whilst I understand that there is a need for change, I am extremely disappointed that St Ives Town Council had not made more of an effort to ensure that relatives were completely aware of all the guidelines regarding memorial placements. Had I had been aware I may have made different arrangements.

I feel so hurt by this experience that there are times when I cannot even bring myself to visit the graveside and grieve as I should be able to.

Mr P SETCHELL

St Ives