Ashes to ashes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Thanks to the Nansemond River Garden Club, those that pass on will be able to take their final rest in one of Suffolk’s most historical locations.

Despite the fact that no plots have been available in the Cedar Hill cemetery for years, the club is building a scatter garden for cremation remains. Over the next few weeks, a place to sprinkle the ashes of a loved one will be created.

&uot;We were concerned about vandalism and neglect,&uot; said club member Sallie Sebrell. &uot;All the plots are sold, so (the garden) allows the cemetery to remain active so people can still feel invested in it.&uot;

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Surrounded by Belgian blocks from Suffolk’s streets, the garden has a bench commemorating the Club’s 75th anniversary on one side, with another donated by a club member on the other. Grass will soon be planted in the garden.

&uot;People are realizing that cemetery plots are getting fewer and fewer and higher and higher in cost,&uot; said Lee Hart of the organization Sons of Confederate Veterans. &uot;This is a good thing because there’s a lot of emphasis on cremation now.&uot;

Don McCammon took a break from the Isle of Wight construction company Stone Masonry to do the brickwork for free.

&uot;(The Club) asked me to help out, and I said yes,&uot; he said. &uot;This is just to help out.&uot;

The garden is just one step that the Club hopes to take to bring back Suffolk’s oldest cemetery, built on the former farm and home of John Constant, Suffolk’s first settler. On the side near Constance Road, a heritage garden for the visually and physically impaired will be built and filled with plants and artifacts full of smell and touch. The fountain that sits near the garden will be restored.