A bereaved mother went to take a stuffed animal to her son’s graveside on the 40th anniversary of his death on Nov. 4, only to find something missing.
The flower loop had been pulled from the ground and taken away. Sherry Lynn (Campbell) Morrical said she went to speak with the caretakers and was disappointed to learn they didn’t have any replacements on hand.
Without the flower loop in place, Morrical left her son’s gravesite, stuffed animal in hand and went home disappointed.
“Every anniversary and holiday I take him a new stuffy and leave it there for him,” she wrote in a post to Vernon Rant and Rave on Facebook. “For some reason, it makes me feel better thinking he has a comfort toy there with him.”
She said she turned to Facebook because she was upset.
“People shouldn’t be touching other people’s gravesites,” she said.
An outpouring of support flooded her feed in response to her post.
“With everything happening in the world now, even in Vernon,” she said. “After something like that occurs and you see an amazing show of caring from people, it makes that negativity go away.”
And a close friend of the family offered to make Morrical a brand new flower loop.
Morrical returned to her son’s gravesite with the newly handcrafted flower loop only to find the old one was back.
“Maybe the groundskeeper did manage to find another one, I’m not sure,” she said, noting it’s a possibility hers had been returned, or simply taken away by mistake.
“But, I had this loop that a family friend had made, so I decided to take the other one back to the groundsman in case someone else may have one missing in the future,” she said.
Just like the loop itself, Morrical’s story came full circle.
Ultimately, Morrical said it could have been worse. She’s thankful there was no vandalism or damage done to her son’s headstone.
On Nov. 18, Robin Lessard took to Vernon and Area Community Forum on Facebook with a similar story. A sculpture of an angel was taken from a family member’s gravesite.
“Recently we have become aware that the angel was stolen off my daughter’s grandpa’s grave,” she wrote. “My daughter was very close with her grandpa, so this has really affected her.”
Lessard asked for anyone with information to come forward.
“If they would like to return it, no questions asked, that would be great,” Lessard wrote in the post. “We just want the angel back where it belongs.”
Morrical said gravesites are supposed to be sacred spots where the living can celebrate the lives of their loved ones.
“It (vandalism, theft, tampering) could be quite devastating for someone if they are freshly mourning the loss of their loved one,” she said.
“Just because people are gone from us, they are never forgotten,” she said. “People shouldn’t be removing anything from other’s loved one’s sites.”