I have been following the recent letters about the Courtenay cemetery with great interest.
Since I buried my husband in October last year, I have been visiting his grave regularly. I am afraid that I agree with the Hargraves, Bruce Archibald and with Tamsyn Steven that the cemetery is an unwelcoming, unattractive and restrictive place.
It also forces one to be disrespectful of the dead, since the outlay is such that it is impossible not to walk over graves to reach the last resting place of one’s loved one.
The cemetery has too many graves too close together, and even for a regular visitor like myself, it is very hard to find your loved one’s grave, since you are not allowed to place anything on the grave to distinguish it from someone else’s. Maybe I should follow Tamsyn’s advice, and buy a flag, which appears to be the only item that can be left.
I can understand the maintenance problems with “clutter” left on the graves, but anything is better than the desolation that is the result of the no-memento policy that is now in place. The cemetery is a barren place, with a few trees and endless grass mixed with weeds.
Artificial flowers in the winter make the place look more like the cemetery it is, but in the summer they are not allowed. Live flowers that are placed in the little in-ground vases are eaten up by the resident deer within hours or days.
Maybe we should stop worrying about all the rules and regulations, because the rules don’t appear to be enforced. The cemetery used to have a perfectly reasonable dogs on-leash rule, but I encountered several times people using the cemetery as an off-leash park to exercise their dogs.
Instead of enforcing the on-leash rule, we now are not allowed to bring our dogs at all. My dog is part of our family, and like Tamsyn I feel it is the right thing to do taking my dog with me when I visit my husband’s grave, always on leash of course. It is foolish to punish law-abiding visitors because of the disrespectful and unlawful behaviour of others.
Maybe a citizen committee would be a great idea, Tamsyn, and you are right, if enough of us write we may get these rules changed.