December 19, 2018

Suggesting Mandatory Notification For Proposed Gravesite Changes at Cemetery

To the Editor:

When I recently visited the grave of my deceased daughter, I discovered something that would leave any family heartbroken and disturbed: the owners of the Princeton Cemetery had torn down the twin miniature pine trees that flagged her headstone. My wife and I planted these trees 18 years ago when our daughter passed away. Seeing them uprooted and destroyed left us reliving this very painful period in time. In telling my family what happened, they were moved to tears.

We weren’t asked or informed, the owners simply said that it was within their rights. If the trees had grown too large, we could have had them trimmed or moved to our home in Princeton. Instead the trees, which had been providing security for our daughter, were treated like garbage and thrown away.

This was glaringly reminiscent of the way Ayanna Mabel Dunson died; it just happened. The big difference; this situation could have been prevented with a bit of kindness and Christianity.

I am asking the Princeton Presbyterian Church on Nassau Street to create and implement a mandatory notification policy for all proposed gravesite changes. No actions should be taken before being reviewed with the family.

The community needs to be aligned in this effort; we need support to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. The gravesites of those we love should be respected and treated with equal consideration by all. Princeton has come a long, long way and is no longer a place where there are black and white sections of town or places for our dead to be buried. Let’s ensure all family members and owners of gravesites are afforded the same consideration and notified before any changes are made.


Andrews Lane