Society

French Widow Fined For Toasting On Graveside Of Late Husband

| by Khier Casino

A widow whose late husband requested that she and her family toast him at his graveside got an unexpected surprise when police crashed the party.

According to The Huffington Post, three cops issued 61-year-old Josiane Couston a ticket for 38 euros (about $53) because it is illegal to drink in the cemetery.

Couston is fighting back, challenging the ruling at a French court in the nearby town of Uzès.

“Josiane has opposed this decision because beyond this fine is a matter of principle for this lady who just wanted to honour the wishes of her husband,” her lawyer, Emilie Chapuis, told La Provence.

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Couston, four friends, one of her sons and 3-year-old grandson gathered at the cemetery on July 17, 2013, as they had done on her husband Jean-Luc’s birthday every year since he died in September 2011, at the age of 61.

Couston says laws in the cemetery exist to stop vandals, not family members fulfilling a man’s dying request.

"It's not as if we sang or jumped on the graves," she told Le Figaro, according to a Google translation. "We are not thugs!"

Couston says she hopes to come back for a birthday toast this year.

"I sincerely hope that we can continue to celebrate his birthday as we have done until now," she was quoted as saying. "We've made him a promise and a promise is sacred."