There’s stealing candy from children, and then there’s…this.

November 8th, 2012 · 37 comments

“How low do you have to go to steal flowers from someone’s grave?” wonders Ash in East Lansing, Michigan.

Please do not steal my father's flowers again. He did not do anything to you. Shame!

At the very least, I suppose, you’ve have to be someone untroubled by the prospect of being publicly chided or privately haunted. In Providence, Rhode Island, Moira noticed that the flowers at this memorial had very recently been dug up again.

To the Person(s) who has stolen the flowers from this bench at least twice this summer: These flowers were placed as a rememberance of Sheryl Jacobson and Maggie who are memorialized by this bench.  They were donated by a private person for the enjoyment of everyone who uses the park. You are not stealing from the city, but from the people who care about the beauty of this park. Shame on you! May the spirits of Sheryl and Maggie haunt you for your selfishness.

related: Rolling over in his grave

extra credit: “Man arrested for stealing flowers off graves to give to girlfriend”

FILED UNDER: flowers, trees, houseplants & gardens · kinda creepy · Michigan · public shaming · stealing

37 responses so far ↓

  • #1   nativefloridian

    Now, I haven’t seen very many memorial benches, but do they usually come with flower holders? Because if they were just placed on top of the bench (y’know, where people sit), I can see someone assuming someone else with flowers sat there and forgot them when they got up.

    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   kermit

      Even if they’re forgotten flowers, I would assume that the person would return to retrieve them. Unless I witness a couple quarrel and a perfectly good bouquet be left there on purpose, I would feel weird about taking it.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Dr_Know

      Well as they mention the flowers being dug up I imagine we’re talking about flowering bushes planted either side of the bench or in some kind of garden bed built into the bench.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 2:36 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Kimberly

      There are several memorial benches on a bikeway/path in my city and they have flowers planted around them. If they were planted that makes it even worse.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Geek Goddess bang

    So, either the dead know you are leaving flowers, or they don’t. If they don’t, it only matters to you, so why bother? If they do, then your loved one may appreciate the thought, but the person whose grave you stole them of off may not. In that case, you may wish to rethink stealing from the dead.

    Nov 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   infant tyrone bang

      So, if they do (know), then do they forgive ?
      Do they also, now & then, forget ?
      Seems like they sure didn’t back when they were young.

      Oh, Nick. I’ll never forgive you.

      I’ll never forget you neither, Nancy.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:56 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   wright1

    While I also consider it pretty low to remove flowers left as a remembrance (particularly on a grave, fer cryin’ out loud), both notewriters neglect to consider that the deceased individuals in question may have been responsible…

    Nov 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   infant tyrone bang

      …the deceased individuals in question may have been responsible…

      Parents often get dumped on for ‘living their lives through their children’.
      Sometimes the oldest habits die the hardest.
      Maybe those who stole the flowers had no specific intention of doing so and have no memory of moving them. Are the dead using surviving family members to carry out ‘underground’ courtship rituals ?

      This might partly explain the phenomenon of a surviving spouse dying soon after their partner passes away. Simple lack of trust…

      Nov 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   infant tyrone bang

    Well, when you’re sitting there
    In your silk upholstered chair
    Talking to some rich folks that you know ….

    Kris Kristofferson had a song for it…missing flowers ?
    Blame It on the Stones

    Hi up there, GG… :-)

    Nov 9, 2012 at 12:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Dr_Know

    I don’t know why you would steal either

    a) flowering bushes – with a lot of them you could just take a cutting if you liked it so much.


    b) an actual bouquet – the person you’re going to see won’t know that you didn’t bring flowers. Unless you believe in an afterlife, in which case they can see you stole them!


    Nov 9, 2012 at 2:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Leonna

    A lot of cemeteries have people that actually go around and throw out all the old flowers. There is a good chance they aren’t being stolen. They just aren’t being watered, die, and the ground crew has to throw them out to help keep up with appearances. If you ever want to see something pretty dramatic, check out the dumpsters in a cemetery. it’s filled with flowers, moldy stuffed animals, broken pictures and frames, etc. It’s a bit sad to see.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 3:59 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   The Elf

      I hope that’s the case. I don’t mind a little clean-up, but theft from a cemetery is just so low.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 7:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Jami

      The bushes might be taken for reasons other than liking them. Perhaps just pure vandalism. Like that story I’ve told before about how every single time I planted geraniums in the flower garden out front, within 24 hours someone would rip them up and throw them into the street. Leave every other plant alone but always go after the geraniums. And then there was the dude who poured motor oil all over my mom’s roses.

      Some people are assholes when it comes to plants. I don’t know why, they just are.

      As for the flowers on graves – I don’t think the dead get mad if you steal them. (I do believe in the afterlife.) But it is pretty low when someone swipes flowers from a grave. Perhaps, though, it would be best if people stopped leaving flowers and instead went with the Jewish tradition of leaving a stone instead. Lasts longer and less likely to be stolen.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 9:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Bluecanary

      I was going to say the same thing. 9 times out of 10 it is a lazy grounds crew. They even sometimes do away with silk arrangements because they don’t want to have to mow around them. Our local cemetery got busted having a HUGE pile of flowers/etc piled up behind an outbuilding out of sight and rotting, all because the idiot who does the landscaping didn’t feel like using the weedeater.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 9:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   Red Delicious

      Jami’s right, people can be dicks when it comes to plants. I lived on the third floor of a building with a Neanderthal living above me, and he liked to clip his nails into my herb garden and pee from his balcony onto my tomatoes. Some people don’t want anyone having anything nice that they put effort into, so they’d rather fuck it up.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   shc

      I’ve seen a lot of plant theft in my neighborhood. My neighbor has these big beautiful silver pines growing in her front yard. Last December some jerk cut them down over night and took them. Over 10 years of growing them and in one night there were only stumps left. Planters have been stolen from several neighbors as well. Surprisingly we have yet to have any plants stolen ourselves despite having a lot of them.
      On memorial day weekend, I have seen flowers moved from one grave site to another. And the graveyard bushes mangled after people too cheap to buy flowers cut down the flowering branches and piled them on their loved ones graves.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 2:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   t-rex

      Fortunately for me, the kids in my area leave my flower beds alone for the most part. The bunnies, on the other hand, think my garden is their personal lunch buffet.

      Nov 11, 2012 at 10:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Lil'

    Stealing from a grave is heartless. I personally never leave flowers when I visit a loved one’s grave because I hate the idea that a week from then it will be a dirty heap of garbage laying there. I can however appreciate that that’s a way some people feel in touch with lost loved ones. Let them have that. Besides, if you steal from a stranger’s grave and place it on your loved one’s grave, how does that honor your loved one? If you think it doesn’t matter to the deceased person you took it from, why would it matter to the deceased person you gave it to? My grandfather planted rose bushes at my grandmother’s grave and put a fence around their double plot. They’re both gone now, but after a decade those bushes still bloom. I think it was a beautiful gesture on his part and it’s nice to see that part of him live on at their final resting spot.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 7:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Red Delicious

      I don’t think the point is that they are moving it to another grave. I think the point is that they’re stealing the flowers either for themselves or to give to their girlfriends/wives/mothers/whathaveyou because they’re cheap bastards.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 12:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   kathryn

    That’s quite a burden that the spirits of Sheryl and Maggie didn’t sign up for. Now it’s *their* responsibility to haunt a flower-thief? I don’t envy them- I would like to think that my afterlife would be errand-free.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 9:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   redheadwglasses

      HA! Thank you!

      Nov 9, 2012 at 11:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Jami

      Great, now I feel guilty for asking Elvis Presley to haunt the advertisers who turned the song “Viva Las Vegas” into “Viva Viagra.”

      Nov 11, 2012 at 10:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   KD

    I’m going to guess deer and other critters are the most likely culprits in the flower thefts. I have to fence off any new plantings in my yard because the squirrels are so bad. It takes them about fifteen minutes to wander over to any new planting and dig it up because they seem to think I am burying my winter stash. Deer are even worse, they just eat the young plants, often not leaving a trace as to what happened. Ground hogs will destroy a garden in minutes also.

    I’m betting after animals do this, killing the plants, the cemetery groundskeepers are throwing away the dead plants.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 10:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   germangirl

      yup, that’s exactly what has been going on in our graveyard. Fence being worked on to keep the deer out.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 10:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Trekkie Gal

      Some jerk stole the flowers that my mom and aunt had planted on my grandparents’ grave. Dug them out of the ground. It was very obvious that it was not done by animals.

      Nov 11, 2012 at 2:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   The Elf

    We need to bring back the practice of gravestone rubbing. There’s something you can do in memory of your loved one that doesn’t leave anything to be stolen / cleaned up.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 11:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   redheadwglasses

      But then the gravestone gets a boner and embarrassment ensues.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 11:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   The Elf

      It’s easier to do the rubbing if the stone is good and hard.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   infant tyrone bang

      Gravestone rubbers tend to use the phrase “Rock Hard”.

      Granite, you need to take their terminology with a grain of basalt…

      Nov 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Wait..what?

    This was Florida. nuff said.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 11:52 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Nahhh bang

      No, it was Michigan and Rhode Island.

      Nov 9, 2012 at 1:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Beatus Mongous

    And may those spirits pull your feet at night.

    Nov 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Ray Knobs

    Where is Sheryland and why is it haunted?

    Nov 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Leorale

    I used to lead ghost tours in Providence RI, and in fairness, there’s a pretty rich tradition of hauntings there. Although most of the ghosts seem to have better things to do, such as hanging out with Independence War soldiers, dancing with their forbidden loves in the art gallery, lounging on the library steps with Edgar Allen Poe, etc. Shout out to Providence.

    Nov 10, 2012 at 1:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   whatever

    someone stole the lantern i placed on my father’s grave. it was a nice one, that i spent quite some time picking out, on a limited budget (i was a student at the time) too. i didn’t even get the chance to see it when i went to the grave a week after i put it. really, how low can people get?

    Nov 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   raichu

    re: the second: I was team note-writer until the last line. I don’t really like that line; I don’t think wishing that the dead people you’re trying to honor would haunt someone is a very good way of honoring them. I wouldn’t like it if it were me.

    But yeah, stealing flowers from someone’s grave or memorial is a really dick move. (for both)

    Nov 13, 2012 at 10:21 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Hammer Thyme

    Every cemetery has groundskeepers . Part of their job it is to go around once a week and remove bouquets, plants planted without permission, stuffed animals, photos, etc. Almost no cemeteries allow anything permanent to be left/planted. They usually do it once a week. You should ask before you leave stuff what the policy is at the cemetery where you are going. Hundreds of people leave stuff everyday… they can’t just leave that much stuff lying around. It would look like the city dump in two months.

    Nov 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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