One of the most frequent “complaints” that we get at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, Indiana can be reduced to a simple yet potent question: “Why can’t I put whatever kind of decorations I want on my_________’s grave? As you can
see in the two cluttered photos, a cemetery can easily be swallowed up all sorts of unusual “things” when anything goes.
It is not right to make judgement on the decorations shown (photos fromPoundland Cemetery In England) because I never walked in the shoes of the family whose graves are shown. However, from a purely practical perspective, can you imagine tens of thousands of graves that made full use of the creative decorating talents of their owners? A very simple question to ask yourself might be, “If I owned this cemetery, how would I be able to perform the simple task of cutting the grass?”
A decision was made by the founding fathers of Calumet Park Cemetery to allow decorations of a nature that would be dignified and would allow for proper maintenance on a perpetual basis at the lowest possible cost. As all business owners understand, higher costs mean higher prices to the consumer.
A man recently asked if he could plant small tomato plants instead of flowers on his father’s grave. His father was a farmer and he thought that would be a nice tribute. Our answer was no, not out of disrespect for his father but out of respect for the other 70,000 plus owners of burial rights at Calumet Park Cemetery. The simple reasoning for the “no” answer, other than it is not allowed in the cemetery rules, was this: “Suppose the person who owns the graves next to yours wants to plant corn. And the people on the other side of your grave loved dandelions. It would not take long for the cemetery to look like anything other than of place of rest.”
A comparison of the photos above makes it fairly easy to see why we set our rules as we did. If you look around the region, you will probably be able to find a cemetery that will let anything you want for a grave decoration on your loved one’s grave be allowed. Our choice was to develop a cemetery that is a place of rest and tranquility and leaves visitors with the feeling that their loved one is at peace in a beautiful, park-like setting.
For more on Calumet Park Cemetery in Indiana, go to calumetparkcemetery.com