Comments about cemetery policy missed the point

June 15, 2013 

Seeing a photo of my sister's gravesite on the Opinion page of last week's Enterprise was not a pleasant experience for me or my family. The comments made by the letter writers were off-base and frankly missed the point.

First, the indication that Deborah Lewis is 'just doing her job' and should be left alone conveniently leaves out the most upsetting aspect of these disagreements: her lack of sensitivity and respect. She treats her job like she is selling real estate, when she should be assisting in the grieving process.

I spend almost every single day at the cemetery and should not have to be confronted while I spend time with my sister or stared at from the office doorway.

Next, the rules themselves, they state that during the waiting period between burial and arrival of the headstone, the only item allowed is an ugly, plastic name marker.

I can understand rules like no glass or items that are truly harmful, but why can't I leave flowers or deliver gifts to her resting place? They tell me the rule is in place out of concern for workers safety, but if these items sit where a headstone will one day be, how can their placement be more dangerous to the workers than the headstone itself?

Lastly, the cemetery board and manager have more important things to worry about. Where was this concern when employees didn't notice a broken sprinkler that caused my sister's grave to sink six inches?

What about family members who report employees sleeping on grave sites? And wouldn't a better use of time be figuring out which plots are empty as to not sell the same plot to multiple people?

The cemetery board meetings are open to the public and I encourage you to attend and voice your concerns. At the last meeting they indicated a willingness to work with us and to re-evaluate the current rules and possibly make some changes. I welcome some changes.

Chelsea Brown

Los Banos

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