Help us stop the Bullying at the Marllia Cemetery on Two Rod Road
To Whom It May Concern:
In January, 2010 our daughter, was fatally injured in an automobile accident. At that time a Family member offered her plot in the Marilla cemetery on Two Rod Road across from Tomarsue Drive. The deed for the plot was presented to the Funeral Director at Wood Funeral Home. The Funeral Director informed my Aunt that Cemetery Officials, from the Marilla Cemetery, were not cooperative and had told him that the plot could not be transferred. Eventually, the Funeral Director was able to convince them of the legality of the transfer, and our Loved One was laid to rest on January 20, 2010.
We have had numerous issues with the grave site, so on June 15, 201l, we attended the annual meeting of the Marilla Cemetery Association to address these problems. Six members of the association were very willing to hear what we had to say, a few others were not receptive. A family member, addressed the Association because we were asked that only one member of our group speak.
She stated that we are all very displeased with the condition of the grave site. The initial grading was done immediately, and we realize that final filling and seeding cannot be completed until the ground settles. However, as of the date of the Association meeting, it had been seventeen months and the site was still not completed. To this day, it has not been completed.
On one occasion, when I went to the cemetery to place flowers, I discovered that two new graves had been dug near our Loved One’s site and her grave had been disrupted by the equipment used to dig the new sites. When I returned on a later date I saw that the two new graves had been filled, seeded, and the grass was beginning to grow. They looked very nice, but my daughter’s grave still had not received any attention. It was very upsetting. I asked why my Daughters grave had yet to be taken care of, and the cemetery people told me he was “out of grass seed.” I offered to provide him with seed and he became quite agitated.
On Mother’s Day, 2011, I went to visit the grave. When I arrived, a friend was on her hands and knees picking up shattered pieces of the grave marker that had been shredded by the lawn mower. This was very disturbing because the marker was all we had to locate the grave. We attempted to find all the pieces of the marker, without success. However, we did find a large portion of it in the garbage pile at the back of the cemetery. I called Wood Funeral Home, and they were gracious about replacing it.
On numerous occasions, we have found the flowers and other mementoes that we, our family, and friends have placed on the grave, in the garbage. We understand the grounds need to be groomed, but most of these things were disappearing in the winter months when they do not do any grooming. We know that other people have also had issues with missing planters and flowers on their family’s grave sites.
My husband and I selected a headstone at “Stone Art.” We chose one that reflects our Loved One’s personality. The headstone is in the shape of a tear drop and has a bear hugging it from the back. The gentleman at Stone Art told us the stone is the appropriate size for the site. As is procedure, he contacted Cemetery personal to let him know the dimensions of the stone. He also faxed him a picture of the headstone. The cemetery person told him that the stone was not acceptable “because a portion of the stone is glued on and could possibly be vandalized.” The headstone is carved out of one single piece of granite: nothing has been glued. There are similar stones already in the cemetery; we have pictures of them.
At the June Cemetery Association meeting, we presented a picture of the headstone as well as the dimensions. We also supplied pictures of other similar stones in the cemetery. Some of the cemetery people made the comment that “the stone would invite vandalism,” we offered to provide a waiver stating they would not be responsible for any acts of vandalism. They said “If I let you do this I will have to let others, too.” We do not understand why they have issue with the headstone we have selected.
At this same meeting, an association member asked why we had chosen a bear for the stone. Some remarked that the bear was “ridiculous because Our Loved One was twenty-six years old.” We do not feel that it is up to them to pass judgment on the stone we have selected for our daughter. We chose the bear because, from the day she was born, we called her “Care Bear.” Obviously, I was very upset by their criticism and disrespect and I asked to address the association members. I tried to convey the excruciating pain that is caused by burying a child. All of the members were very sympathetic about our loss, with the exception of the two. At that point, one of the members stated that “we had been nothing but trouble since day one.” We have not asked for anything above or beyond the basics.
This headstone is the last gift we can give her: we want it installed and we want her grave site maintained properly.
This behavior has been completely inappropriate: they have been rude, disrespectful, uncompassionate, and their remarks were very unprofessional. Many other people who also have family or friends buried in the Marilla Cemetery have been subjected to their unpleasant behavior. Complaints have been made at the Marilla Town Hall about this situation, but nothing has been done. We feel we should have some recourse when our issues falling on deaf ears.
Perhaps it is time for the Marilla Cemetery Board to either step down, or be removed from his position.
So what we are hoping to do is bring awareness to this and if you have had or know of someone who has had problems please sign the petition and send me a email stating the problems. With help we can help STOP others from being bullied. Email Donna @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard & Sheryl Brzezicki