It's a family cemetery

REGARDING the recent article and letters about planting flowers at St Peter's Burial Ground, Budleigh Salterton. My daughter died at the age of 28, leaving behind three young children aged seven, five and two. We have a small garden in front of her grave

REGARDING the recent article and letters about planting flowers at St Peter's Burial Ground, Budleigh Salterton. My daughter died at the age of 28, leaving behind three young children aged seven, five and two. We have a small garden in front of her grave and have planted flowers there for the last 15 years. The children needed this and always wanted pretty flowers at "mummy's special place". Every day after school they used to visit their mum, tell her about their day and make sure the pretty flowers did not need anything. This helped them very much with the grieving process. They even used to grow their own flowers from seed. They would not rest until we obtained some Devon Violets as these were mummy's favourite flowers. Eventually, our very kind health visitor at the time managed to get a plant of Devon Violets and they have been planted at the grave. Even now they are much older, the children still consider her grave as "mummy's special place" and still expect their mom to have beautiful flowers.When it was time to erect the headstone, we all sat down and discussed what we should have. The children came up with the idea of a headstone in the shape of an open book as "mummy used to read a lot". We then decided to have a headstone in black marble with gold writing in the shape of an open book. How wrong we were. We were told we could not have black marble (there were already headstones in black marble at the burial ground). We were told it had to be grey. Then we were told we could not have the headstone in the shape of an open book (there were already a few in the shape of an open book). You can imagine how very disappointed we all were.May I say that St Peter's burial ground should not be treated like a military cemetery. I think the military cemeteries look absolutely beautiful with all the headstones uniform, which is appropriate. St Peter's burial ground is supposed to be a family cemetery and, within reason, it should be up to the individual families to decide which headstone would be appropriate for their loved one.In the past, groundsmen knew we always trimmed the grass around the "garden" and never went near it with their strimmers as this used to get all the cut grass over the "garden" and upset the children.Please, Diocesan Chancellor, do not try to make St Peter's burial ground a military cemetery lookalike. Please let us have a family cemetery in which families' wishes can be fulfilled - within reason.Margaret Thomas,Shortwood Close,Budleigh Salterton.


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