PRICEVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We have all lost someone close to us. Whether it’s a friend or family member, the loss can cause great pain. A Morgan County man, who lost both his parents, is dealing with a lot of emotion. It’s not just because his mom and dad are gone, but also how they are being kept.
Mickey Raines emailed WHNT NEWS 19 to talk about the cemetery clutter. Raines, who’s cut the grass around his parent’s grave site, is sick of it.
“I can show you just how tall the grass is,” said Raines.
Welcome to Burning Tree Memorial Gardens. Raines’ parents are buried here. The flowers are sometimes the only way Mickey can find a path to his mom and dad’s final resting place.
“You almost can`t see it. There are fire ants and other stuff. It`s just been unkempt, totally unkempt,” added Raines.
Raines’ dad died in 2009. His mom passed in 2012.
“This is totally unreal when you pull up to pay respects to your loved ones,” added Raines.
He tries to visit both one or two times a week. No matter how many times he goes, or when, Raines finds the grass uncut.
“This is sort of devastating. Really. We know they are not here. They are gone, but this is where you pay your respect,” added Raines.
Raines bought his parents’ plots in the 90s. He paid $900 for each. Each one was supposed to have perpetual care.
He expected to brush away a little grass here and there, but not cut it. He told WHNT NEWS 19 he’s done that a few times. Raines also called the cemetery’s business office.
“We`ve gotten excuse after excuse. They say the mower is broke. Well, they sell mowers every day,” added Raines.
The grass is not the only issue. There are broken stones around a statue. Raines noticed the damage several months ago.
WHNT NEWS 19 asked, “Is there anything anywhere saying you have to do something?”
Raines replied, “I`m not supposed to do anything. It is supposed to be kept up by the cemetery.”
Many veterans are also buried in the cemetery. A flag pole is there to show respect. There’s a problem, no light fixtures are around the pole.
“It`s disrespect. Not just for the veterans, but for every American,” added Raines.
Raines is not the only one concerned. WHNT News 19 watched someone do yard work while visiting their dad’s grave.
“Basically, since he was buried, it`s just been left alone for us to do what we need to,” said a man visiting the cemetery.
He also complained about cemetery management not living up to their promise.
“Well, you know, you like to give people a chance and hope they will do what they say,” added the visitor.
WHNT NEWS 19 made a lot of calls on this one. The first was to a number listed for the cemetery. We left a message, but did not get a response. WHNT NEWS 19 discovered Cecil Lawrence owns Burning Tree Memorial Gardens. The station called the owner’s office in Dallas, Georgia, left a message and expected to hear from the owner’s son. The call never came.
So, WHNT NEWS 19 does not know what the owner’s reason is for the cemetery looking the way it does.