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To the editor:

It is distressing that I should have to write this letter. It is hard for me to believe what has happened and what kind of person would do such a thing. 

My husband, Roy King, died of cancer six years ago and was buried in Memorial Gardens in Centerville/South Boston. Roy was a life-long animal lover; he especially loved his pet dogs. The last dog we had was a mini Dachshund, which he adored. When she died we could not bring ourselves to get another one because of pain we experienced from losing her. We, instead, satisfied ourselves with doting on our son’s two mini Dachshunds. 

We were keeping them while our son was on vacation, and they were with him on the day Roy became ill and had to go to the hospital, never to return home. As sick as he was, he fretted about having to leave the dogs.

Knowing how much he loved them, I have been putting garden flags with pictures of Dachshunds on his grave. I learned early on that I had to secure them tightly so that they could not possibly blow away. The flags brought comfort to me knowing that if it is possible that Roy knows, he will be so pleased.

This year, however, they started to disappear. The first was one in the summer (the bust of a red Dachshund). 

The next one that was taken was the Thanksgiving-themed one I placed on the grave in November (two Dachshunds wearing straw hats and a jack-o-lantern with a straw hat). 

After that one went missing, I placed a Christmas themed one (a red background with a group of five Dachshunds caroling and the words “Jingle Bells.”) 

That one, too, was taken several weeks before Christmas, so I put another one on the grave (white background with a pair of Dachshunds and bells hanging from ribbons). That one, also, has been taken.

I have tried to think of every possibility - from a child picking them up, to the wind blowing them away. From the way that I secured them, these are not possibilities. 

The only logical explanation is that someone is stealing them. It is so sad to think that someone would stoop so low as to steal from the dead - as this is what it amounts to. 

If someone likes these flags so much, I would buy them one if they asked me.

I am a retired teacher’s para pro and do not have a lot of money. I cannot afford to keep buying these flags to put on my husband’s grave only to have them stolen each time. 

I hope whoever took the flags enjoys them, as he/she has also stolen the joy and comfort it gave me to put them on Roy’s grave.

I am praying that God will forgive you.

Linda L. King