'She isn’t at peace’: Family upset with cemetery’s empty promises

'She isn’t at peace’: Family upset with cemetery’s empty promises

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Lorain Slaughter took care of her deceased family members, but now that she has died, her family has encountered one problem after the next and feels she is not being properly remembered.

It’s not unlikely to find Tiffany Slaughter visiting the people she loves.

“As a little girl, my granny used to bring me out here to visit her husband that had died the year before I was born,” Tiffany Slaughter said.

Forest Lawn is the eternal resting place for many loved ones, including Tiffany Slaughter’s grandmother, Lorain Slaughter, who died on Palm Sunday.

“She always took care of the grave for the family,” Tiffany Slaughter said.

Now, Tiffany has to take care of her grave. But since her grandmother’s death, she has encountered one problem after another with Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Tiffany Slaughter is trying to take care of her grandmother the way she did for everyone else, but has encountered one problem after another with Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Tiffany Slaughter is trying to take care of her grandmother the way she did for everyone else, but has encountered one problem after another with Forest Lawn Cemetery. (Source: NBC12)

“When I came here on Palm Sunday, it looked as if someone had been buried in my grandma’s plot because the ground was just as new as you see it here,” Tiffany Slaughter said.

That was just the beginning. Slaughter said another problem led to her family having to cancel her grandmother’s graveside service.

“We got a phone call five minutes before the funeral that said we are not going to be allowed to have a graveside service because they were unable to complete getting the grave dug,” Tiffany Slaughter said.

She said the cemetery was able to place the casket hours after the funeral, but family members weren’t allowed nearby because of construction equipment.

“We know how important this would have been for her for us to move forward," Tiffany Slaughter said. “We feel she isn’t at peace.”

Now, months later, the family is still experiencing problems.

“We ordered a headstone that day and there is still no shipping date," Tiffany Slaughter said. “Today would be her birthday.”

Lorain Slaughter would have been 81.

The Slaughter family plot was bought in 1946 by her great-great grandfather and was intended to be kept in the family. But there is a guest. Someone unrelated is buried just inches away from Lorain Slaughter.

Forest Lawn Cemetery sent a statement that said it’s mission “is to help families memorialize every life with dignity, including providing and maintaining a tranquil and beautiful place for memorialization. We are aware of the issue being raised and acknowledge that we have fallen short of our standards in this matter. We work diligently to balance our staffing needs with the needs of our customers, and want to reassure our families and the local community that we are committed to serving them and their loved ones.”

Moving forward, the family is asking for change and peace.

“It’s been one promise after the next and nothing seems to be getting done,” Tiffany Slaughter said. “They promise, promise, promise, and they don’t ever deliver."

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