Karen Freeman’s family is shattered that precious ornaments have been removed from a Newcastle Crematorium plaque marking the burial place of their late mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.
Ms Freeman had to break the news to her eight-year-old daughter Clarissa Winter, who had hand-painted an Easter egg and placed it in memory of her grandmother Janette Winter.
Mrs Winter died unexpectedly and left the family devastated three years ago and a visit to the crematorium this week revealed ornaments had been removed from her plaque.
Ms Freeman, of East Maitland, wishes her mother-in-law had been buried at a place that allowed them the freedom to express how they felt.
“The grandchildren put those ornaments there to express how much they care about, love and miss their grandmother,” Ms Freeman said.
“Every single ornament – we had 12 there – has been removed from all grave sites, not only our family site, and when we went to the crematorium office to ask what happened, they had placed them all on a table out the back.
“We were aware of the policy about fake flowers, but not about the placing of ornaments.
“I had to break the news to my daughter after school and she was so upset and wanted to know why.”
Ms Freeman said family property should not be disturbed at the crematorium.
“We paid $7000 for the plot and another $600 to have a photo put onto the plaque, which has been lost twice,” Ms Freeman said.
“It is not fair for the families who visit the crematorium and it makes no sense to us.”
Ms Freeman placed a warning to other families on Facebook.
“How many families are going to be heartbroken over this policy?
“Even the babies’ graves have had ornaments removed.
“It is going to be difficult for us on Mother’s Day because there is only a bare plaque, which is not even in the same position as her ashes.”
Newcastle Crematorium said its policy about ornaments is on its website, signs are displayed throughout the park and the rules and regulations are explained to families.