A stuffed teddy bear and a poppy left in a graveyard at 99 Mile last year. (Rachel Thomas photo)

A stuffed teddy bear and a poppy left in a graveyard at 99 Mile last year. (Rachel Thomas photo)

Mother concerned about District of 100 Mile cemetery restrictions

Bylaw limiting items being left on graves needs exceptions: Cindy Parent

A 100 Mile mother is concerned about new district bylaws that restrict what she can leave at her son’s gravesite.

Cindy Parent asked the District of 100 Mile House council Tuesday not to change its cemetery bylaw, which would prohibit people from leaving items other than flowers on the graves of loved ones between the months of May to October.

The move is intended to allow maintenance workers to mow the grass around the graves without disturbing items left by mourners.

“I want to leave more than just flowers for my son,” Parent said. “Grief is a very complicated journey to go through. There are days I might drive by Tim Hortons and I might want to pick up his favourite tea and take it to him. It’s really hard to be restricted on how you are to grieve and what you’re allowed to do.”

Parent’s son Logan took his own life 18 months ago after suffering mental trauma due to several concussions he received while bull-riding.

Parent, who held back tears during the delegation, suggested the district consider adding shelves to the cemetery where workers can place the items while conduct the maintenance. She said the shelf wouldn’t need to be large and that family would return the items to the headstones while visiting the graveyard.

Mayor Mitch Campsall thanked Parent for sharing her concerns and said staff would look into her proposal. However, he said he couldn’t guarantee it would be implemented.

“I appreciate your time and I think you need to be commended for that here,” Campsall said. “You’re not being ignored, I’ll tell you that.”

Coun. Ralph Fossum said he supported the shelf idea, noting he took a drive by the cemetery prior to the meeting and saw at least 20 graves with artificial floral displays which technically would be not allowed under the new bylaw.

Parent added the items currently on her son’s grave would not get in the way of any lawn mowing and would be difficult for her to remove.

“Since he passed away those items have been placed there and they belong there with him. It would honestly break my heart to move them.”

Council voted that night to adopt Cemetery Bylaw amendment No 1384 2022.


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