COVID-19 causing delays for families trying to get gravestones

COVID-19 causing delays for families trying to get gravestones

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Not only has COVID-19 changed the way funerals are being conducted but as one mother is finding out, it is also delaying the process of cemeteries getting footstones.

Cindy Shields' son, Le’Monte, is buried at Vine Street Cemetery.

Le’Monte was shot and killed in July 2019 in the City Heights complex in Covington.

When he was buried, the family didn’t have enough money for a footstone. So, a former teacher helped raise money so they could buy one.

They now have the money for a footstone, but the general manager at Vine Street Cemetery says COVID-19 has caused long delays in people receiving them for their loved ones.

“I am so frustrated because I was so excited when we got the money up,” Cindy said.

Terese Marshall, the general manager at Vine Street Cemetery, says the demand for footstones has overwhelmed them.

She said she thinks the surge in orders is a result of people receiving stimulus money during the pandemic.

Before COVID-19, Marshall said they would order between five to 10 a week.

This week alone, they have ordered 25.

Marshall said the people who buried loved ones before the pandemic has started ordering footstones because they now have the money.

“Monument companies are having a hard time getting their temples,” Marshall explained. "Some are working 24 hours a day to catch up. "

Manufacturers having to abide by social distancing and CDC guidelines is also a factor in the delay, Marshall says.

Vine Street Cemetery is now telling people a regular footstone will most likely take longer than 12 weeks to arrive.

In Cindy’s case, it is even longer because she is getting Le’Monte’s picture etched on his.

“Part of me can’t believe my baby is in the ground so that picture brings me to my senses,” explained Cindy.

Marshall said that could take months to complete and deliver.

“It’s disheartening but our families have been very understanding,” said Marshall.

Cindy said once the footstone arrives, they will hold a dinner and a balloon release to celebrate.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.