When a loved one dies, you expect the flowers and mementos at the gravesite to be a lasting reminder of their time on earth.
Families in Murfreesboro are instead finding out those memorials have been taken away.
"This is stuff family members have brought out here to show love and care," said Patrick Scott, whose mother is buried at Roselawn Cemetery.
It was hard for Scott to hold back emotion just seeing the pile of flowers and other memorabilia from gravesites at the cemetery.
"To show the love and care for their families, and we have to deal with this," said Scott.
His mother, Nanny Jane Barrett, was buried at Roselawn 16 years ago. He's now upset that the memorabilia he and his family put on the grave has been removed and dumped in a pile along with other people's items.
"Not only is it disrespecting us, but it's disrespecting the people we've laid to rest. This is their final resting spot," said Scott.
Harvey Barrett said it was hard enough losing his wife.
"Right in there is where I found my wife's things," said Barrett. "She was one of a kind. There is no other like her. Never has and never will be. Just one of a kind, my nanny."
But to see two of her personal keepsakes, a praying angel and special rock, taken off the grave and thrown in the pile, Barrett said, is unimaginable.
"It just nearly breaks your heart to see it, to know that people thinks so much of their loved ones over there, and bring stuff to put on your grave," said Barrett.
Roselawn officials said they have a strict policy as to what can go on and around the graves, especially during the mowing season.
There is a sign posted at the entrance of the cemetery that states the mowing season begins March 31. The families said, with that date two weeks away, cemetery officials could have let them remove the items themselves.
"They said nothing was supposed to be on the markers at all but the vases because of mowing season, just in case they get caught up in the mowers," said Scott. "But if they are mowing over the markers, then they are damaging the markers that we paid for."
In the meantime these families will have to rummage through the discarded pile of memorabilia in search of their personal items.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
730 North Summit Street