"Gone But Never Forgotten" is the rallying cry coming from devoted fans of the lovely Brittany Murphy who would have turned 33 this week.
They plan to remember their fallen idol on Wednesday, Nov. 10th, the actress' first birthday since her death last December, by visiting and decorating her grave at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.
Image courtesy BrittanyMurphys.com
I spoke with two fans, Wendy & Lisa, who have visited Brittany's grave, decorating it with flowers, glitter and other tokens of love, regularly since December as a way to cope with the loss of the young lady they admire.
"Her death was unnecessary and we miss her so much, it's just so painful," Wendy told me.
There, they're asking other fans to bring flowers, balloons "or whatever your heart desires" to her grave that day. Fans who can't make it in person are being encouraged to order floral tributes from the Forest Lawn Flower Shop.
They plan to photograph the tributes and share details of their day at Forest Lawn online afterward.
"We've followed what's happened to items being left for Michael Jackson by his fans at Forest Lawn Glendale," Wendy said, referring to reports that gifts were being trashed.
"We're going to document the items and then take things that might be in danger of being thrown out home with us and make sure they go to the family," she added.
The family she's been referring too, who has been in contact with grieving fans to share their sorrow, is Brittany's father, Angelo Bertollotti, who has relocated from Florida to Los Angeles so that he can visit her grave, too.
After Brittany's funeral and burial, which Angelo was not invited to attend by Brittany's mother and husband, he visited Forest Lawn but was denied information about where here grave was located.
He said he was told that his name wasn't on the approved guest list and only immediate family could be given information. His name as her father was left off her death certificate, adding further insult to injury. It's an error he has since worked to correct.
He was finally able to visit for the first time in February 2009 after fans forwarded him directions provided by AGH and bringing Inside Edition along to document any further trouble. There was none and he has since had no issue visiting his daughter's grave.
"I'm very grateful for the devotion of her fans and the idea to remember her birthday is very touching," Angelo told me during a recent telephone conversation.
"It means so much to me, that she's remembered. I want her fans to know how much I appreciate all they have done at the cemetery in the past year." he added, noting that he's run into a few of her fans at the cemetery when he visits, including a lady who traveled from Ireland.
"I'm still not over [her death] and I probably never will be, but the love her fans show her is very comforting," he said.
Angelo told me that he has not been in contact with his ex-wife, Brittany's mom, Sharon Murphy. "I don't know where she is, or if she is even in Los Angeles," he said. Nor did he speak with Britany's husband, Simon Monjack, who died in May and is buried next to Brittany.