When Darcie and John Donogh went to visit their son Jaydon’s final resting place recently they were devastated to find that a memorial piece that they had left at the gravesite had been stolen. Darcie Donogh says that this incident has left her feeling hurt and very angry. “This is the most despicable thing that anyone can do,” she stated. “Someone who would go to a grave site and violate it in this way is the lowest form of humanity. I say violate because that’s what they’ve done. Stealing from a grave is desecrating it. It is simply disgusting.”
The item that Darcie and John Donogh are talking about is a solar powered metal dog that was anchored to the ground with tent pegs. “It was well anchored to the ground so some effort had to be exerted to remove it,” explained Darcie. “It was also not the only item on Jaydon’s grave. There were other solar items so whoever took this chose it. They wanted this item, it wasn’t a random snatch and grab.”
The theft from Jaydon’s grave is not the only one that had occurred at the Souris cemetery in the last month. Another person reported losing a solar peacock from a loved one’s grave. That person was equally as hurt by the crime as the Donoghs but wished to remain anonymous.
Lisa Greig is the municipal staff member who deals with the cemetery issues. She confirmed that staff has reported these incidents to the office. Sadly, the news wasn’t new to them. “This is something that has been on going at the cemetery,” remarked Greig. “We receive reports of thefts year after year and while we feel for the families, we have very little recourse. It’s terribly hurtful for them and we wish there was something we could do but short of having twenty-four hour a day security, our hands are tied.”
Lisa Greig reported that solar items seem to be what gets taken and they even had a report of a three-foot statue being stolen one year. “It’s very personal to these families. This is their loved one’s final resting place. It’s where families come to spend time with their loved ones. It gives them peace and comfort, it’s not supposed to hurt them,” stated Greig. “It’s heart breaking.”
While the Souris Cemetery has no policy against leaving items on a grave, families are asked to remove any memorial through the fall and winter months to allow for maintenance. Those leaving items on the graves at any time run the risk of having those items stolen. “We tell people the only way to prevent something like this happening is to take everything with you when you leave. Leave nothing at the grave site,” explained Greig.
If Darcie Donogh could speak face to face to the thief that robbed not only Jaydon’s grave but other gravesites she says she would have some choice words. “Despicable you!” she emphatically stated. “The you that is so low that you would rob people who cannot speak for themselves. You are a despicable piece of humanity. The lowest of low.”