Last weekend, we, along with many family members throughout the county, traveled to Huron for a memorial service for my parents and our uncle. While we were there, we stopped at Restlawn to see what kind of progress has been made. We saw some positive signs, some areas that still need improvement, and some rather dreadful aspects of the cemetery. Let’s start with -
All the flowers from Memorial Day were still there, and they brightened the look of the whole place.
We were greeted by a new employee in the office who was friendly and helpful. She was able to answer some of our questions and was hard at work on straightening out the records, an important step.
Also, the interior of the mausoleum was clean, and the foul odor that we’d heard about before was gone.
Most of the graves had markers, which has to be a comfort to many families. The grass had been mowed, and maintenance workers were on site – another plus.
Now onto -
It was treacherous to walk across the grounds since there were so many graves in which the soil had settled. And there were many that had gone to weeds, with little or no grass. It’s important to note that quite a few of these graves were not new. They clearly had not been properly tended across more than one season.
We could see some grass seed here and there, but the soil was very dry and looked as if it hadn’t been watered in some time.
The exterior of the mausoleum had many bird droppings and what looked like water damage—or something. Any ideas about what caused those half circles on the walkway ceiling? There were lots of them.
Signs around the grounds were in need of repair, and those dead trees around the perimeter were just depressing.
And finally –
The utility building and the office were in a sad contest for being in the worst repair. The roof of the office building is clearly in need of replacement.
Even worse was the odor inside the building. We couldn’t identify if it was mold, dead animals, water damage, or something else. Whatever it was, it was terrible. I can’t imagine what a person would think if they were looking for a cemetery to bury a loved one or to purchase plots for themselves in the future. I know I would have left immediately and never returned.
And our visit did not, of course, inform us of the status of the trust fund. We have chosen to wait to inter the cremains of our parents until we know the results of the investigation of the Attorney General’s office. There is still a great deal of work to be done and questions that need answers before we can make that final decision.
In the meantime, it was hard to drive away from Restlawn. Even if we make another choice for our parents, a number of our other family members are buried there in a place that still doesn’t reflect the respect they are owed. We know that so many other Restlawn families feel the same.