Editor’s note: The Opinion Writer requested that all identifying information be taken out of the following letter. The Valley Voice has left an outline of the Opinion Writer’s complaints about a family member’s burial. This editorial was updated July 13 at 11:00am
“I want to give the Tulare Public Cemetery District Management and Board Members an opportunity to accept this letter as my official complaint and take the appropriate action to set things right in regards to ************ recent burial dated on *******, 2022.”
The Opinion Writer stated that they have several family members buried at Tulare Cemetery. Here is an outline of their complaints.
- The conditions of the gravesite where the ceremony took place was undignified. The headstone was dirty, tree branches were not removed (we had to remove them ourselves), and long weeds were growing over my father and mother’s headstone. Also, the surrounding headstones where the ceremony took place were all in bad shape as well. It was not a pleasant atmosphere.
- There was a broken nearby headstone next to the gravesite and it was placed on the ground unsecured next to where all of our family and guests were sitting and standing. Many of us, including myself, needed to walk around it. It was definitely a hazard and whoever placed it there was very unthoughtful and irresponsible.
- We were told that a canopy would be provided and that it was part of the burial service fees. But no canopy was provided. When we asked the local grounds person after the funeral service why no canopy, his answer was because they used the tree for shade instead. Unbelievable!
- There were holes everywhere on the grass where you had to balance yourself every time you took a step (non-gopher related holes). Our elderly family and guests had to be assisted to and from their cars because they were afraid they would fall and injure themselves. Also, all eight (8) pallbearers told me that they were nervous that they were going to lose their balance and accidentally drop the casket because they had such difficulty walking on the grass due to the unevenness.
- The handling of the gravesite was unprofessional and careless. There was just a pile of dirt above the grave. It had not been leveled and there were sunken footprints on the dirt. It was obvious that there was no attempt to use any kind of machinery to level the dirt or any attempt to level the dirt before the flowers (4 easel flower arrangements, 1 casket flower arrangement and two vases with flower arrangements) were carelessly thrown over the gravesite and destroyed. Some of the flowers were buried a few inches under the dirt. It was a complete disgrace!
The opinion writer is asking for a refund of the cost of burial.