What’s wrong with leaving mementos at loved ones’ gravesides?

Re: new cemetery bylaw I read in your newspaper Friday, Jan. 10 the letter from Joanna Mellor and thought I would also respond.

My beloved husband died from esophageal cancer Feb. 14, 2009, five years ago. We thought it was acid reflux and he was tested by his GP for that several times and it wasn’t until they did the scope test that they found his cancer. One week later after his biopsy

we were told it was terminal – doctors would keep him comfortable for the pain to come. My husband was so brave, he never complained, and we knew we were in the battle for his life against cancer.

Robert was from Caycuse, or Camp 6 as people knew it, and he worked all of his life here in Duncan at Pro Mac – Metal Tech – and finally Geo Tech as a machinist. He also was a commercial fisherman and owned his own boat for many years fishing for sockeye and chums.

Robert knew there was no hope at the very beginning of his fight; he made his own funeral arrangements with Harold Wallace here in Duncan and it was HIS CHOICE to be buried at Mountainview cemetery. His father and mother and aunt and uncle were at burial in Cedar but he said he was born in Duncan – lived here for most of his life and he wanted to be close for his family and friends and especially me to make it easy for us to visit him after he was gone.

I have visited the cemetery many, many times with flowers – baskets – solar lights and an angel – left there for him by myself and his family members and friends. I have seen how many times people have grieved for their loved ones when I’ve been there and I can’t imagine why now, after five years of being allowed, for all of the mourners who come there for comfort and leave notes and things of remembrance for their loved ones.

I’ve even noticed trees and benches for remembering someone loved and in the spring even some flowers were planted such as crocuses and tulips for the spring to come up.

What harm is there in people showing their love for someone who is no longer here? I’ve talked to the caretakers who do the lawn work there and never did I get the understanding that there was a problem. I too believe that people should be allowed to show their respect and honour their dead in a way each individual chooses.

I sincerely hope and pray that North Cowichan council changes their minds and leaves the cemetery alone and doesn’t take the effects and personal items away from the gravestones.

I phoned North Cowichan with my concerns and talked to a woman about this and she informed me that there had been concerns about safety issues for the caretakers who do the lawn work there and that they would have to remove items from gravestones for that reason.

If I had known this five years ago my husband would not have been buried there. I really believed that he would be able to rest in peace and he should and that his family, friends, and myself have the right to mourn him the way that we want to when we want to.

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