I have just learned about bereaved families being upset by the removal of tributes from the graves of their loved ones.
When my husband died five years ago I was told by the undertaker that all one was allowed in the cremated remains area was the square slab and one vase for flowers, which we all have.
During these past five years I have seen so many different sentimental tributes left there that the churchyard looked very messy. Some items are quite tasteful and have not been there long, but others were tacky and plastic and have never been touched during the time that I have been a regular visitor to attend my husband’s grave. I have received two letters during the past year or so informing me (and others) that all these extraneous items would be removed and left for collection in the churchyard, so I imagine that all other families will have been contacted too. There is also a notice pinned up at the entrance to the churchyard about this.
Last Sunday I went to put flowers there for the first time for a while as I had not been well enough to go there for a few weeks. I was really impressed by how neat and tidy the area looked. All the straggly messy items had disappeared and there were just vases of flowers on each cremated slab. The grass around them had been cut and it was a pleasure to see the churchyard looking so suitably respectful to the remains of all our loved ones.
I can understand people being upset to find that their tributes have been removed, but I am sure that the celebrants and the undertakers will have told them at the time that only flowers were allowed, and maybe they can see how much more tasteful the whole area looks now that it is simply adorned with the flowers of God’s creation.
What do you think? Send your letters on this issue and others to firstname.lastname@example.org or Reporter Series, Floor 5, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.