Upset by actions taken at Buckley cemetery | Letter to the Editor

As a resident of east Pierce County and a person with my infant son buried in the city of Buckley cemetery, I feel it is my responsibility to express my frustration – or, better yet, disdain and disgust – for the care our cemetery is receiving.

Buckley city cemetery workers have taken it to a new level that has enraged more families than I can count and brought even more grief to my heart. Have I and these other families not already suffered enough? Do our precious items mean nothing?

Today (May 28), it was brought to my attention that not only were all flowers removed, but all shepherd hooks, lights and keepsakes that were resting near the headstones of beloved family members throughout the cemetery. We found all of these items haphazardly sitting on the side of a dumpster without any indication to what headstone they came from and definitely no evidence showing they would be returned to their rightful place.  No signs letting people know to remove items beforehand.

Could the city have not even tried to notify the community of what they were going to do in some way – any way? Why wouldn’t they collect the items and give people a chance to collect their special keepsakes and personal items? Would that have just taken too much effort? Zero compassion was shown and these irreplaceable items were thrown away like common trash.

These items were removed from grandparents, parents and my own son’s headstones. These are items that family members methodically chose and put there in remembrance of their lost loved ones.  We loved each one of those items. They are where we go to find some solace and pay our respects to his life that was cut way too short by SIDS. Five years and we have had zero issues! Nothing was on the grass or caused any issue or problem for the maintenance of the cemetery.

Every week we were there and everything was perfectly maintained and loved. But to the city of Buckley, it is no more than trash.

Grief comes in five stages with the last one being acceptance — one of the hardest to achieve. But acceptance does not allow us to treat the sacred resting place of our loved ones with disrespect. All of these keepsakes have meaning to the families and should be treated with as much respect as humanly possible. My beloved son’s grave was striped clean, nothing was left.  Not his small angel figurine, his glowing butterfly or the note I left for him on his birthday – nothing.

All of these items had withstood the last five years since his death – untouched.  These items were thrown away like common trash never to be recovered, lost forever. All of these items were off of the grass and in no way impeded the mowing or maintenance on the cemetery.

My family and I immediately contacted (by phone and in person) the city of Buckley to ask why they would do this. Our cries were met with a complete lack of compassion, heartless comments and were even told “that this wasn’t something to make such a fuss over.” Are these the types of people that we want in charge of the city of Buckley or working in the front office at City Hall? Some individual, uncompassionate city employees that have shown a complete disregard for their community and the logical sense that these items are worth “making a fuss over.”

I am asking Buckley city officials to address this issue immediately and make it right. I hope to never walk into the cemetery to see such a horrific site again. All of our memories, the mementos that I have for my child that I will never see again in life, robbed from me. Whoever did this is no better than the average low-life criminal. The city didn’t have the right to disrespect us and our loved ones this way. Shame on you, city of Buckley.  Shame on the city employees that my family has spoken with that could have cared less. We deserve better than what has been done to us.

Becky Piccone

Pierce County