“I Lost My Grandmother’s Ashes”

Cassandra Cuffey lost items that cannot be replaced.

By LeAnne Gendreau and Brynn Gingras
|  Thursday, Jun 2, 2011  |  Updated 5:02 PM EDT
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Cassandra Cuffey, of Springfield, lost her grandmother's ashes, family photos, birth certificates and social security cards.

Cassandra Cuffey, of Springfield, lost her grandmother's ashes, family photos, birth certificates and social security cards.

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The tornado took down homes and buildings, but the storm also swept away many irreplaceable items.

The storm took the ashes of Cassandra Cuffee’s grandmother. She also lost photos, birth certificates and social security cards.

The mother of four held back tears as she went through her Hickory Street home the day after the storm.

“I have nothing. Everything’s gone, and it’s not even about the furniture. I lost important stuff: my grandmother’s ashes,” she said. “Things that meant something from my heart.”

The roof and second floor of her home are gone.

She found her son’s dresser down the street, and the mother has to reassure her children as she deals with the loss.

“My son, last night wound not even go to sleep, he kept saying, ‘Mommy, we’re going to die. Mommy, we don’t have no home,’” she said. “He’s so worried.” 

Tuesday was the first day several victims of the tornadoes were able to see first-hand the damage the storm left behind.

Residents of 18 communities in central and western Massachusetts are dealing with widespread damage and lost items.

Among the lost items recovered are the wallet a Monson woman lost. It was found about 80 miles away in Milton.

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