A New Hampshire woman is pushing back against cemetery officials after she says the Halloween decorations she placed at her son’s grave have been repeatedly removed.
Christina Wohle, of Francestown, decorated the grave of her son, William “Cole” Wohle, with a skeleton wearing a cowboy hat.
Her son died in 2016 at the age of 18 after riding a horse in a rodeo in Castleton, Vermont. He was about to be voted into the Francestown Fire Department, according WMUR. Wohle told the New Hampshire Union Leader her son died of a heart attack after the rodeo competition.
“The cowboy from Francestown,” his headstone reads. “A smile to brighten your day.”
“I’m getting tired of Cole’s Halloween decorations being removed!” Wohle wrote on her Facebook page on Oct. 21, sharing photos of the decorations before and after they were removed. “This is rude! There is nothing wrong with having a little fun with DEATH! Sometimes you have to laugh, because there is so much to cry over!!!”
She said the decorations aren’t interfering with mowing, since there is no grass growing on her son’s plot.
“This is October, get some spirit!” she wrote.
Polly Freese, chairman of the Francestown Cemetery Commission, told the Union Leader the commission has the right to move any decoration and is under no obligation to contact families about the removals. She told the newspaper the skeleton decoration was in the way of landscapers who mow the cemetery every week.
“It’s really frustrating because you’re dealing with emotion on the one side, and with the law on the other, and we’re coming across as the bad guys,” Freese told the Union Leader.
Wohle disputed on Facebook that the cemetery is mowed every week and said that the decorations were removed 36 hours after she put them back into place.
“I’m sorry that this gets under my skin, but the cemetery shouldn’t just be about sadness, it should be about the joy of celebrating a life, being with a loved one and letting their spirit shine, the loss of a child is horrible and they shouldn’t have to be just a name on stone,” she wrote. “The cemetery may be be their new, eternal home but it doesn’t have to be dull and boring it can be full of life and convey the happiness that they shared in life with so many.”