The Empty Cemetery

Hannah … her area stripped ….

Yesterday I went to visit Hannah at the cemetery.  I still go about once a week (unless there is heavy rain because it gets muddy).   I like to make sure her area is clean, her flower arrangements and holiday/seasonal decorations look good … you know, my sweet Hannah is always one of the prettiest decorated plots there.

This is the only new thing I get to do for Hannah now.   I enjoy picking out the decorations, the flowers… working on what would look best and still represent my sweet girl.  There are no other care decisions I get to make for Hannah anymore…except for this one.

As I rounded the corner into the cemetery which leads to the adult side, I saw only grass and headstones.  No color, none of the sporadic decorations I usually see.

Then as I got to the children’s area, I saw the same thing.  What was always a bright, colorful, and full of love and decorations for the children area was only grass, markers, and vases turned upside-down into themselves.   I felt my heart plummet to the ground.

Children’s area of the cemetery…empty

Hannah’s area, which I had just decorated for Halloween a couple of weeks early, was completely empty.  Gone were the new flowers, new decor, even her old rod iron pinwheel that we kept for the past few months.

See, the thing is, it is partly my fault.  I read the signs they post saying that they were going to do a cleanup (which they do on occasion) and that things needed to be removed by October 15th.  But usually those signs follow the rules that anything that is located INSIDE the vase will be okay.

I just ASSUMED that the same rules applied that they have all year.  You know what happens when you assume …

I called the cemetery this morning.  I learned that this is a yearly cleanup and maintenance, and that nothing can be put back on the grounds until October 22nd.  Everything that was picked up was tossed in the garbage.  Hannah’s beautiful new decorations were unceremoniously tossed in the trash like everything else.

This bothers me more than it probably should.


  1. No, we had the same thing happen to my dad’s grave years ago. I was just a kid when my dad died (7 yrs old) and my mom wanted to make our trips to the cemetery a lot less sad, so we put around the stone some personal things–all of which were promptly removed. It was so harsh that simple action–especially for a kid who just wanted to make his grave a bit brighter.

    ((hugs)) For it is these little things that make the hurt in our heart re-appear.

  2. I am so sorry Carrie. I know that it tears at your heart to see it bleak and empty. Just remember, Hannah SAW how beautifully you decorated for her and it made her smile. She holds it in her heart.
    Love you.

  3. Megan says:

    I completely understand..I think graves should be left alone till we want to change them or what. They do that to Caden’s grave as well. I get mad because its all I have to do is decorate his grave and make sure it looks good…I understand they want to keep it looking nice but I dont see why they have to take it all down.. I think its very disrespectful to the family and the child..