Submitted by Robyn Samuels and Karyn Girouard
As with most cemeteries, Shawsheen Cemetery is a final resting place for loved ones; and there are those of us who have lost loved ones and visit them to remember them and pray.
Shawsheen Cemetery is a sacred area and has rules to be followed; for example, dogs are not allowed. Although the cemetery is open to the public, it is often used by residents for recreational pursuits that disturb the peace and sanctity sought by family members and other mourners. It is not to be used as a recreational area or as a dog park. We ask that you please consider using the many other outdoor resources that Bedford offers, if you are not there to appreciate the serenity the cemetery is intended to provide.
We are fortunate in Bedford that there is no shortage of outdoor recreational space. There are over 30 miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, bike paths, walking paths, and fields – to play, walk a dog, or to socialize. Other than looking for a peaceful and serene environment to walk and perhaps sit in contemplation and enjoy the quiet, the cemetery should not be used for recreational activities. We ask that visitors to the cemetery be respectful of our loved ones and those of us that visit and mourn them. For example, dogs should not be walking on any graves and personal items on graves are not meant to be played with.
Additionally, we strongly encourage the Town of Bedford to designate alternate parking areas for the popular Old Reservoir/Valente Land trail – parking areas that are outside of the cemetery. Using Shawsheen Cemetery as a thorough fare to the trail accesses invites unnecessary traffic to the sacred site. Removing the traffic from the heavily used trail within the cemetery will help preserve the historic cemetery as well as provide peace and serenity for us and our loved ones in the cemetery.
On a personal note, Karyn lost her son Kyle Dietz in July 2020. He is buried at Shawsheen Cemetery. She misses him and mourns for him and all the lost years. Visiting her son in prayer brings her some peace. Please think of this when going to the cemetery, as there are other families in similar situations who too are saddened by their personal loss. Please be respectful of all.