Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Cemeteries’ peaceful repose shattered by kids and dogs

 

Dear Abby: Please use your wide reach to educate well-meaning parents about how their children should behave when visiting cemeteries. I’m a funeral professional who takes pride in helping families honor their heritage and transition from grief to recovery.

Often parents allow their children to roam the cemetery as if it were a playground or public park. I have seen kids pull up expensive flowers on other graves and “take them to Mommy.”

I have seem mourners leave precious personal mementos on their loved ones’ graves only for kids to take them as playthings. I have seen kids deface grave markers, entertain themselves by bouncing rocks off headstones or open up brass and bronze cameos, exposing the photos to the elements.

The worst is unsupervised kids running off in packs and gathering up the little colored flags that are placed to assure a grave gets dug and set up in time for a pending service. Imagine flying in for the burial of a loved one and the grave isn’t ready because some child grabbed the marking flag while the parents stood idly by. Cemetery employees have been fired for this.

Parents, please teach your children that their natural curiosity and playfulness should find their outlet in more appropriate settings. And please, keep your dogs at home. You wouldn’t want a stranger’s dog doing his business on your expensive marker or loved one’s grave, would you?

The last person to let you down in California

I’m happy to spread the word.

Folks, if your children are too young to understand when you tell them the cemetery isn’t a playground, that they must remain quiet, respectful and not touch other people’s property, then they should not be present at the burial.

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