“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Feb 15, 2013
DEAR ABBY: Please use your wide reach to educate well-meaning parents about how their children should behave when visiting cemeteries. I'm a funeral professional who takes pride in helping families honor their heritage and transition from grief to recovery. I especially enjoy helping to allay children's fears about death and cemeteries.

Often parents allow their children to roam the cemetery as if it were a playground or public park. I have seen kids pull up expensive flowers on other graves and "take them to Mommy." Naturally, the family who bought the flowers come back a few days later and accuses us of trashing them.

I have seen mourners leave precious personal mementos on their loved ones' graves only for kids to take them as playthings. I have seen kids deface grave markers, entertain themselves by bouncing rocks off headstones or open up brass and bronze cameos, exposing the photos to the elements.

The worst is unsupervised kids running off in packs and gathering up the little colored flags that are placed to assure a grave gets dug and set up in time for a pending service. Imagine flying in for the burial of a loved one and the grave isn't ready because some child grabbed the marking flag while the parents stood idly by. Cemetery employees have been fired for this.

Parents, please teach your children that their natural curiosity and playfulness should find their outlet in more appropriate settings. And please, keep your dogs at home. You wouldn't want a stranger's dog doing his business on your expensive marker or loved one's grave, would you?-- THE LAST PERSON TO LET YOU DOWN IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR LAST PERSON TO LET YOU DOWN: I'm happy to spread the word.

Folks, if your children are too young to understand when you tell them the cemetery isn't a playground, that they must remain quiet, respectful and not touch other people's property, then they should not be present at the burial. When entering or leaving the cemetery, children and adults should refrain from walking on the graves. Ditto for using it as a dog park.

The Golden Rule applies here: Don't do unto others what you wouldn't want them to do onto you.

DEAR ABBY: When I married, I moved away to another state and made some great new friends where I live now. My family visits every few months and I recently started including some of my friends in my family gatherings and bringing some of them home with me when my husband and I go to visit.

I recently found out that my family has been inviting my friends for weekend getaways and camping trips. They even invited my friends to spend the last long holiday weekend with them -- without inviting me!

I was hurt and offended when I found out. I have nothing against my family and friends getting along, but I always thought I'd be included. Am I overreacting?-- EXCLUDED IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.

DEAR EXCLUDED: Perhaps. Not knowing your friends or family members, I can only guess that when you introduced them they may have found some interest in common that you don't necessarily share. But don't waste time on hurt feelings or pouting because you don't own your friends, and what your relatives choose to do with their time is out of your control.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#2 Feb 15, 2013
1 How about yo blame the neighborhood hooligans for this and not some little kid.

Honestly, if you want to leave something at a grave, then leave it there and never look back for it. Crows,squirrels and racoons like shiny things as much as a child, and as for those missing flags... Please! figure out a better system for digging your fricking holes. There are these things called computers, you can print the entire graveyard on a grid and put an X where you want the diggers to did, not rocket science.

2 Face it, your parents are just not that into you.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Feb 15, 2013
LW2: I think its a little odd but ...this:
"I can only guess that when you introduced them they may have found some interest in common that you don't necessarily share."

Are these friends the same age as you? Or maybe somewhere in between your age and your parents? Do you like to camp?

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#4 Feb 15, 2013
1 After I die, feel free to let your little kids climb on my gravestone so at least somebody has some fun. Anyone who leaves 'a precious personal memento' graveside and gets upset when it's gone is not grounded in reality.

2 Weird family of the day.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Feb 15, 2013
L1: remember to teach tehm how to quietly open a can of beer at the cemetery.

L2: Your friends live there, and you don't. I think it's that simple, if you live far away.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Feb 15, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Your friends live there, and you don't. I think it's that simple, if you live far away.
Check again...

"I moved away to another state and made some great new friends where I live now....My family visits every few months and I recently started including some of my friends in my family gatherings and bringing some of them home with me when my husband and I go to visit."
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

#7 Feb 15, 2013
1. Oh do be quiet.

2. Wow, demoted by your own parents. That's gotta sting a bit.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Feb 15, 2013
L1: I hope when I'm six feet under (although make me into ashes would be just fine) I hope kids do play around on my grave. The kids should not take what isn't there, though.

L2: This is weird but I have a girlfriend whose mother use to take on all her friends as her friends, too. I find that strange.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 Feb 15, 2013
LW2: What Race said.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#10 Feb 15, 2013
Watched something on TV about a cemetery owner who had put little flags on all the graves and one day they were gone or destroyed. He put them up again and the same thing happened. Then again. He thought some vile hooligan was doing the damage. He put up cameras.

Turned out to be a gofer.

2- this is odd. I couldn't imagine taking a trip with my friend's family without my friend, and I can't imagine them taking my friend on one without me. Find new friends. And a new family.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#11 Feb 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Check again...
"I moved away to another state and made some great new friends where I live now....My family visits every few months and I recently started including some of my friends in my family gatherings and bringing some of them home with me when my husband and I go to visit."
I totally missed that.

okay, so this is weird. They prefer her friends?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#12 Feb 15, 2013
LW1: Um, once I'm dead, I could care less what other do unto me.

And really, how long are people at the cemetary for the actual burial anyway? All the funerals I've attended, it was a quick service and back in the cars.

LW2: This is weird. Talk to your family instead of Abby about it.

I have a friend or two that I could see my parents doing something with - old, old friends from high school - but it would not be a whole camping weekend.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#13 Feb 15, 2013
Downer column today!

LW1: Cemetaries IMHO, are a waste of land, no disrespect meant to anyone's departed relatives. After less than 100 years, nobody will personally remember the departed. We are in the 21st century, yet we cling to these centuries-old traditions of honoring the deceased. Better to write a little bio of the interesting things the person did while s/he was alive and store it on your computer to pass down to your family members.

LW2: This is different. Consider asking your family about it as casually/non-confrontationally as possible and see what they say. Otherwise, I can only say this. Sometimes in life, you have to decide to let things go and determine not to let the unusual behavior of others interfere with your happiness. In the immortal words of Jim Morrison, "People are strange."

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#14 Feb 15, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
Downer column today!
LW1: Cemetaries IMHO, are a waste of land, no disrespect meant to anyone's departed relatives. After less than 100 years, nobody will personally remember the departed. We are in the 21st century, yet we cling to these centuries-old traditions of honoring the deceased. Better to write a little bio of the interesting things the person did while s/he was alive and store it on your computer to pass down to your family members."
I think that families are more spread out now,and we move more times in our lifetimes than we used to. More and more people are choosing cremation and no plot in a cemetery.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Feb 15, 2013
I mean, we visit cemeteries. I have. We'd visit them when I was a kid, and clean them up a bit. But I can't visit them now, I live in another state.

My aunt still goes to her daughter's grave, who died 3 days after being born, at the same time my brother was born. My cousin (aunt's kid) told me that for a few years, my aunt couldn't be around my brother on his birthday because all she could think was that her daughter would be the same age and have the same birthday. How heartbreaking. I'm glad she was able to move past it, though. She's the most soft-hearted person.

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