Society

Many Upset After Texas Cemetery Throws Away Grave Gifts

| by Reve Fisher
Valentine's Day decorations in the dumpster at the cemeteryValentine's Day decorations in the dumpster at the cemetery

Many Texas residents are upset after a cemetery reportedly threw away the flowers, decorations and adornments left on their loved ones’ gravestones.

Assumption Cemetery in Austin, Texas, has discarded various flowers, keepsakes and decorative items that local residents left on tombstones, KTBC News reports.

"You're here because you don't want to forget about your loved ones,” Candida Acosta told KTBC. “You want to celebrate every little holiday you can with them to make them feel here. It's just heartbreaking altogether to know this is going on."

For Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, Acosta brought balloons, flowers and a decorative heart display to commemorate her grandparents. However, when she came back the next day, she noticed that most of the decorations were gone. As she left the cemetery, she saw a few women looking through the nearby dumpsters, which were full of red items.

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"I had happened to see three women you know, digging into it,” Acosta recalled. “I asked them what they were looking for and they had told me, their decors had been thrown in the trash.”

The cemetery director said the establishment, which includes a chapel and mausoleum, has several rules to help maintain the upkeep of the grounds.

"He was apologetic,” Acosta said of the director, after she wrote to him about the incident. “It should have never happened he said."

According to the cemetery’s guidelines, boxes, toys, shells, metal designs, ornaments, vases, glass, potted plants and other items are not allowed and will be thrown away by staff. Only one set of flowers is allowed per plot.

“I feel that they should keep it at the office for a week or so and maybe that family member will come by and ask, 'What happened to my teddy bear, you know, I brought my baby on Valentine's Day,'" Ester Castilleja, who has loved ones buried at the cemetery, said.

On Yelp, several reviews have lauded the cemetery for feeling “warm” but largely because of the activity of those who visit the grounds.

“People actually come and visit their relatives and the graves and add decorations and flowers,” Yelp user Creepy C wrote. “I have been to others that felt cold and you can see that none of that celebration is allowed.“

Sources: KTBC News, Yelp / Photo Credit: KTBC News, Andrew Butler/Zenfolio

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