Losing a loved one is an extremely difficult part of life. Not only do you have to deal with the inevitable heartache, but having to plan a funeral is not something anyone wants to do. The concept of a funeral is to obtain closure by delivering your loved one to their final resting spot. It allows you to give your family member a proper goodbye. But, what if the funeral brought more tragedy to your life? What if you left the funeral with terror in your heart? That’s what happened to this New York family after attending the funeral for their father, Cleveland Butler.After dying from a fatal stroke at his nursing home in New York, it was time for his family to prepare his funeral. They chose Mount Holiness Memorial Park in New Jersey, since other members of their family were buried there, as well.
Instead of a funeral that left them in peace, they got to experience something that came right out of a horror movie. They saw something that could scar them for life.
After a short ceremony, the workers began to lower the casket into the grave. While lowering the casket down, one of the workers dropped his cell phone and cigarettes into the grave.
The worker grabbed a rake to get out his belongings. As he was raking, a rotting foot, wrapped in cloth, dropped down onto Cleveland’s casket from the nearby grave.
Workers continued doing their job as if nothing had happened. They finished burying the casket, while the family just stood there in disbelief.
“No one said anything to us,” Sandra, Cleveland’s daughter said. “It was like business as usual for them. They just dumped the dirt in the plot like it was normal, like it’s nothing to them,” she continued.
“We were shocked. All we could say was ‘Wow’ because that was a human, someone else’s loved one,” he reported to the local paper. “I feel guilty seeing someone else’s family member like that,” he went on to say.
Sandra has reported that what happened at the funeral is greatly affecting her, and her grandkids. She says that her father’s funeral was the first one she had ever been to, and was not expecting anything like what had happened to occur.
Alonzo Butler believes the way the workers handled the situation was wrong. He has expressed anger that they did not investigate the foot, and wants to know why it was not in a casket.
“Nobody’s limbs should be sticking out from any other object or thing or nature in that form,” he said. He also goes on to say that the “cemetery is predominantly black” and he wants to make sure they’re just not “throwing bodies into the ground, and taking their caskets.”
They believe that the workers and the director of the funeral home showed no remorse. The workers had something to say on their behalf.
The grounds appear to be nicely manicured, and doesn’t appeared to be neglected at all. While scrolling through their page on Facebook, I found that many families have found the peace they’ve needed at Mount Holiness.
Caretaker Bill Plog said that he understands that it’s extremely unfortunate that the Butler family had to witness this at their father’s funeral. He goes on to say that he believes that the grave where the foot came from was taking its natural course.
After so many years, caskets begin to rot away, just as the bodies do. Plog believes that’s exactly what has happened here.
The workers kept burying the grave because they thought it best to “just get it over with.” “People are grieving. The last thing you want to do is get into an argument,” continued Plog.
They have attributed this incident to horrible timing. As of now, no charges have been filed against the funeral home or Holiness Memorial Cemetery.
It’s tragic that the family had to go through this at their father’s funeral. But it appears that bad timing, and a rotting wooden casket, led to this horrifying incident.