DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Anita Crow and Pat Little said they are looking for closure after months of waiting for Burningtree Memorial Gardens to lay headstones on their husbands’ graves. Cemetery management has promised Crow and Little the markers would be placed for months, but they are still waiting.
Crow and Little lost their husbands to COVID-19. They have since visited them at Burningtree Memorial Gardens in Decatur at graves that remain bare.
“Nobody should have to go through this to get it down,” Little said. “It should have already been taken care of.”
Tom Little was laid to rest at the beginning of last October. Nearly a year later, his grave is marked by a sign placed by the funeral home after his service.
His wife, Pat, said she wants to bring flowers when she visits, but she can’t because her husband’s plot does not have a headstone. Tom Little was a veteran, and his family wants to place American flags around his grave on holidays, but the cemetery requires all flowers and memorabilia to be put in a vase attached to the headstone.
“If it were not for this little flag here with his name on it, I probably wouldn’t even know exactly where he was,” Little said. “That’s very disheartening.”
Anita Crow has spent 20 months visiting her husband’s bare grave. She has marked it with a single flower. Crow said Burningtree Memorial Gardens management has given her a series of excuses to explain the delay, including COVID shutdowns, a granite shortage, and trucker strikes.
“I feel like I’ve been lied to a lot,” Crow said. “I hate to say that, but I feel like I have. For the last several months, they’ll say it’ll be here by the end of the month. Here it is September, the end of the month, and it’s not here.”
Crow has waited almost two years, and she said that’s too long.
“More or less it’s just a piece for me and closure for Ricky,” Crow said. “I know he’s in heaven, so he’s not worried about it, but it’s just something I’d like to see down.”
News 19 spoke to Dale Lawrence, the owner of Burningtree Memorial Gardens. He said a two-year-long porcelain and concrete shortage is the reason for the delay, and he is hopeful to get the headstones done in the coming weeks.