Aussie parents slam 'lowlife' vandal for desecrating son's memorial

A bereaved mum and dad were devastated to find someone had stuck a crucifix to a plaque honouring their child.

A thoughtless act has stirred further heartache for bereaved Sydney parents after a memorial plaque for their 10-month-old son, who passed away in 2018, was desecrated by vandals.

Earlier this week, grieving mum Edwina Symonds hit out at "the God-botherer" who defaced "our son's plaque by supergluing a cross to it" in a scathing post online.

"I imagine somewhere in whatever religion you choose to follow, there is some sort of rule that says 'don't be a lowlife by wrecking other people's property'. If not, there should be," she posted in a Northern Beaches Facebook group.

Vandalised memorial plaque for baby Seb Symonds
Edwina and Anthony Symonds were heartbroken to find a crucifix glued to a memorial plaque honouring the life of their baby boy, Seb. Source: Edwina Symonds

Ms Symonds stated that she accepts the religious views of others, but draws the line at people imposing their beliefs in such a way.

"Religion is a nice ideal. You are entitled to your beliefs and no one should take issue with that. I certainly don't. I am sure you had some lovely thoughts when you were sitting with Seb like 'God took this baby to a 'better' place', or that he 'had a plan' for this child; or even the classic 'everything happens for a reason'. Cool story, but please go away," she wrote.

Edwina and Seb Symonds.
Seb had a rare form of epilepsy, leading to a seizure that took his life. Source: Edwina Symonds

"Seb doesn't need you to 'save' him. He died already. He can't be saved. His short life was glorious and it doesn't require your attention. Everyone has a choice," she added. "Don't make YOUR choice something that other people have to clean up after."

Warmed by the response of locals, including those who offered to repair the memorial at Narrabeen Lagoon, Ms Symonds' husband Anthony thanked the community. "Nice to see all the awesome support on here, great community spirit," he commented.

Family 'will never know' who vandalised plaque

Ms Symonds told Yahoo News Australia her family "will never know" who vandalised the plaque. According to Northern Beaches Council policy, the responsibility of maintaining a memorial is solely that of the party who applied to have it installed, which includes repairs for damage by vandalism or theft.

Seb Symonds
Mr Symonds said he and Ms Symonds often visit Seb's memorial with their two young children. Source: Edwina Symonds

On Saturday afternoon, Ms Symonds posted a video of the couple removing the crucifix. A photo shows a dinosaur toy and bouquet of native flowers now sitting next to the plaque.

"Order is restored!" she wrote in the Facebook group, thanking everyone for their kind messages. "We have been overwhelmed with the reach this little story has made."

The mum urged others to do their best to help if they ever see "something out of place at a plaque that you normally walk past". "Many of you asked how you can help, and we don't need anything further. A small thing you can do in Seb's honour though, is check that you are a registered organ donor," she continued, revealing that on the day Seb died, he saved another person's life.

"And that is the most precious act of community that we are so proud of," she said.

The crucifix being removed from the plaque and the native flowers and dinosaur figure on the ground.
On Saturday, Ms Symonds posted a video of the couple removing the crucifix. Flowers and a dinosaur figure now sit next to the plaque. Source: Facebook

Honouring baby Seb

Ms Symonds writes openly about grieving her son on her website in an effort to heal and hopefully provide some "guidance or solace" to others dealing with the loss of a child. She revealed that Sebastian had a rare form of epilepsy, leading to him experiencing a seizure which caused his tragic and unexpected death.

Writing in 2018, Ms Symonds explained that she and her husband found some small comfort in knowing Seb's organs had been donated. "While we battled the immense pain of being told our baby had died, we took solace in knowing the pain we felt that day would have been proportionate to another family's happiness," she said.

The couple has since advocated for organ donation and encourages others to become donors by visiting

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