CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — An Ohio family is heartbroken after they believe someone stole a handmade Christmas decoration from their son’s grave.
Each holiday season, Rosie Tish remembers what she loved most about her son, Jack, who died in 2009 after a courageous fight with an aggressive form of cancer.
“The hugs he gives me, used to give me,” Rosie Tish said. “And his laugh. He had a phenomenal laugh.”
In years past, Rosie and her husband have placed a cross or a Christmas tree at Jack’s grave.
This year, they wanted to honor their son, an avid lover of beagles, with his favorite cartoon character.
“I drew Snoopy on this piece of wood my husband had and he cut it out and I painted it,” Tish said.
Jack collected Snoopy memorabilia as a child.
“I’d buy him Snoopy stuffed animals,” she said. “He just had all kinds of them, so Snoopy was always his favorite.”
Rosie Tish and her husband visit the cemetery weekly. One day Snoopy was there. But the following day, the decoration was nowhere in sight.
“Friday we drove by and it’s gone,” the mother said. “Somebody took it.”
Despite phone calls, community Facebook posts and hours of searching the Brooklyn Heights, Ohio cemetery, the Tish family has had no luck.
“I’m crushed because my husband and I spent a lot of time when we did this because we loved our son,” Rosie Tish said. “And then for you to just come in and take this?”
Jack’s younger sister Andrea is in disbelief about the disappearance of the homemade craft.
“I’ll deal with the fact that somebody stole it. It’s the fact that you’ve now disrespected my brother’s grave,” Andrea Tish said. “And it comes up on the anniversary of his death and you put my parents through it a second time.”
The Tish family told WEWS they don’t want to pursue criminal charges and aren’t asking for an explanation.
“I wouldn’t care if my parents drove back here one day and it was placed back and nobody knows who did it,” Andrea Tish said. “At least it comes back.”
The family says the holidays are an exceptionally hard time for them. Jack was diagnosed with an aggressive form of testicular cancer two days after Christmas in 2008 and died just two weeks later.
“So we’ve lost a child, it’s close to the anniversary of their death, and it’s the holidays,” Rosie Tish said. “It’s just, I don’t know how anybody can do that and I just don’t want anybody to ever do it again.”
Jack’s family hopes that during the season of giving, the person responsible will have a change of heart and return the Snoopy carving to Brooklyn Heights Cemetery.
“This was made out of love and respect for our son,” Rosie Tish said. “Making another one isn’t going to do any good because somebody could just take it again.”