LYNN, Mass. -- A headstone bearing an obscene word has been rejected by commissioners at a Massachusetts cemetery.
The stone requested by the family of Sonny Santiago -- a 23-year-old rapper who died in a car crash in February -- would have been inscribed with a song verse that included the controversial word. It read, in part: "I give a (expletive) if I die with no damn friends, I got my fam by my side and that's until the end."
Commissioners at Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn became aware of the language when the company inscribing the 3-foot-tall memorial submitted drawings.
Pine Grove Cemetery regulations state that "the cemetery office must approve all inscription work on monuments."
"We've never had a problem like this before," commission Chairman Arthur Dulong told The Daily Item of Lynn (http://bit.ly/10kALVH ).
After the rejection, the family agreed to have the gravestone inscribed with a different verse from a song Santiago wrote, said Santiago's sister-in-law, Angela Ventola.
"Everything got changed," she said. "Those words are not going on."
The commission's dispute with Santiago's family is not over. The family has been asked to remove from the gravesite a 3-foot-by-8-foot display made from white rocks and wood mulch. Its centerpiece is a 5-foot-long numeral '1,' which the family says refers to Santiago's performance name, Uno.
The decoration does not conform to cemetery rules, commissioners said.
Santiago's mother, Ana DeJesus, said the family will comply with the request -- but she's not happy about it.
"I feel like we paid for the spot," she said. "We want to be with him. It's not fair."
Information from: The (Lynn, Mass.) Daily Item, http://itemlive.com