Visitors: Whitney Houston Fans Take Over N.J. Cemetery, Block Others From Visiting Own Loved Ones
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WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There is now outrage over Whitney Houston’s burial. Visitors to the New Jersey cemetery said Monday they were blocked from the graves of loved ones.
Meanwhile, Houston’s fans began visiting her final resting place, reports CBS 2’s Emily Smith.
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A steady stream of fans stood before Houston’s grave site. A huge pile of flowers, balloons and notes on were left on the spot where her grave stone will soon be placed. It was an emotional day for those who miss Houston and the memories her love songs trigger triggered all kinds of feelings.
“I lost my wife and I know what it feels like. I miss her very much,” one mourner said.
As the crowds got larger Monday police had to put up barricades around Houston’s grave site. Until then, fans had to show their love and support by leaving mementos at a memorial in Newark or by lining the streets to see the gold hearse carrying Houston’s body to Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.
“I love her. I love her music and I am honored it is open to the public, so we are here today to say goodbye,” Rowena Maesta of Westfield.
“I was just on my way to work and I thought I would just stop in,” a Scotch Plains woman named “Doreen” told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.
She was the first non-family member to pay her respects at the grave, Sandberg reported.
“Well, it’s a beautiful cemetery and she was an icon of New Jersey, so I think it’s a proper place for her to be,” Doreen said.
But some who are overwhelmed by grief and loss of their own loved ones are worried Fairview Cemetery will turn into a zoo. It was closed all day Sunday for Houston’s family. On Monday it was crowded with fans.
“My wife always says to her mother ‘I will see you tomorrow.’ She came on Saturday. She wasn’t allowed to come on Sunday. That is not right,” Jeff Latawiec said.
“I passed by here. It was all blocked off. You couldn’t get in.”
Privacy for Houston’s family is well deserved — everyone agrees — but to shut out others for an entire day meant some had to miss marking an anniversary of their own loved one’s deaths.
CBS 2 tried to reach out to cemetery officials, but did not get a response right away.
The 48-year-old singer died Feb. 11 in California just hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party.
“She deserves to be at a place where it’s nice and calm for her. Finally for once she doesn’t have to deal with all the craziness,” a man named Jason told Sandberg. “It means a lot to me. It puts warmness in my heart.”
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