Nov 3, 2016

New Graveside Tears

In August of 08, after about a year of blogging on conditions at Fairview, The Morning Call ran the story shown above. I did manage to organize a small meeting between the cemetery operators and the public later that fall. Yesterday I received the following comment, submitted to a posting from that period.

Patti from California has left a new comment on your post "New Graveside Tears":

My family is buried at Fairview and 2 weeks ago I visited and was appalled at the horrible conditions and total lack of maintenance throughout the cemetery. I have been trying to reach Loretta or David most of the summer and was told they had taken an extended trip out of the country. (business must be good) They seem to be back now - but still no way to actually talk to them.

My mother is 97 - plans to be buried there with her parents and my Dad. I could cry at the thought ....

I googled Fairview and was led to your blog. Loretta told me in May I could get our plot maintained if I invested in their endowment for $1000. After seeing the total lack of care there, I feel like I would be throwing the money away. What do other people think or do about this appalling condition?

I feel sorry for this family, Fairview may have been a well maintained place when the father was buried there many years ago. I believe the cemetery is in better condition than it was two years ago, but that's not saying very much. I will occasionally revisit this topic, to at least continue a small noise on behalf of these families.

reprinted from September of 2009

ADDENDUM: Over the years I have published numerous posts about Fairview Cemetery. Today and yesterday, I revisited the cemetery to cast light on a problem; Allentown's orphan cemeteries. Although Fairview isn't really an orphan, it shares the same issues as the West End Cemetery, in center city. Our esteemed mayor took it upon himself to purchase two unnecessary parcels, ostensibly to add to the park system. In addition to their cost, $1.5 million dollars, there will be upkeep expenses by an already underfunded park system. City hall should instead concentrate on these cemeteries, which have been problematic for decades.


doug_b said...

According to Wiki: "The cremation rate in the United States has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising from 3.56% in 1960 to 40.62% in 2010 and projections from the Cremation Association of North America forecasting a rate of 44.42% in 2015 and 55.65% in 2025."

TRENT HALL said...

As in many other areas, the strong tradition of opposition to cremation by the Abrahamic religions retards development of the practice. In Eastern religions, cremation is favored because it is considered a direct path to either a celestial paradise or entry into a reincarnation cycle.

Because of the Genesis story that man was created from earth's dust and therefore must return at death to same (i.e. burial)as well as Christian dogma that those "saved" by faith in Christ will achieve bodily resurrection in Heaven with him, cremation has been viewed as antithetical to the proper scheme for entry to the afterlife, at least in the Western viewpoint.

Like many other things in life, economics is slowly changing viewpoints of many, as the attendant cost of burial and maintenance of plot sites become more and more prohibitive for families.

doug_b said...

My story: I'm an atheist. Not an angry atheist, I just don't feel the need to believe in a god. If others do, it's OK with me. So my dad died before my mother. Had to bury him - steel casket, flowers, etc, etc. What a waste of $10K!. Several years later, my mother dies. Got her cremated, didn't really care what she wanted - end of story.

Where are my relatives buried? I'm not sure, I don't care - why would anyone care about dead people? I can understand about getting counseling for past hurts, but I can't understand why anyone would want to visit a cemetery? Seems like a really old, scam - don't you want your loved one.....

As far as cemeteries - I view it as a pagan ritual. The government has no business spending one cent on their maintenance.

I would hope in 2017 that Americans could understand (what ever their spiritually) that a dead body is just that.