Even Atheists Think You're Going to Hell

Okay, so the title of this post is going out on a bit of a limb, but I think most people would agree that desecrating corpses for profit, especially those of children, ranks fairly low on the morality scale. Last week, at Burr Oak Cemetary in Alsip, a major scheme came to light in which a cemetery's staff had been routinely reselling occupied gravesites. Details are still coming to light and many questions will likely go unanswered forever. But you have to wonder what kind of person has this little respect for other people.

Regardless of your feelings about what happens to people after they die, anyone with a shred of compassion has to understand that when someone goes to the effort and expense of burying a loved one, they expect a certain level of respect to be afforded to that person. I, unfortunately, know the pain of making these arrangements. In your time of greatest pain, you're having to make, what amounts to a business transaction regarding the place where (you assume) your love one will be forever.

There are some who are saying "These people didn't visit the grave sites, so why are they so upset?" or "If you don't remember where the plot was, then why does it matter if they're not there?". Those people are morons. How many of them visit their grandparent's graves more than once a year? More than once every five years? Ever? What about their great-grandparents? We aren't able to visit Aiden more than once or twice a year. I haven't been to the grave of either of my grandfathers since the funeral. Yes, this is something I wish weren't true, but it's a fact of life and doesn't change the fact that if I should go to visit them tomorrow I expect that they will be there, and be maintained properly. The idea that someone would destroy those graves, dump the bodies and sell the site is unfathomable to me. If I went to the cemetery and couldn't find my grandfather's headstone, I wouldn't think it was gone. I'd assume that I'd remembered the location incorrectly. And we haven't placed a headstone for Aiden yet. There is a marker, but it is not permanent. And being in another state, it's not only logistically difficult to make that trip, it's emotionally painful. There are many, many parents who have buried a child who cannot bear to see the grave site. They prefer to remember their child as a child, not a body. Those memories don't make the reality any less sacred to them.

Yes, lawsuits have been filed, and some people (as in any terrible situation) will see this as an opportunity to get a payday, but there are many others who will have very real burdens, both in terms of the financial impact of having to find, and relocate a loved one (or several), and the emotional impact of having to go through the funeral process again.

To those who have had their trust violated in this situation, my heart goes out to you. To those who see this as a payday (including the lawyers who are only in this because they smell 30% or more of a settlement) you should be ashamed. And to those who committed these acts, or willingly allowed them to go on, I hope you lose everything you own in civil suits and spend a significant portion of your life in jail on criminal charges, and when you die, I hope that no cemetery will take you. Donate the body to science so that at least some good can come of you.

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