BLUE ISLAND, Ill. (CBS) — A labor shortage is compounding the grief for one Chicago woman – whose mother still has no headstone on her grave eight months after her death.
CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra went to Oak Hill Cemetery in Blue Island on Thursday, looking for answers.READ MORE: Kenosha County Sheriff's Deputy Shoots Chicago Homicide Suspect At Bristol Gas Station; Suspect Shot Police K-9 During Confrontation
“It was already a shock that she passed away,” said Dr. Zummuna Davis, “but I cannot close that door.”
Davis is mourning her mother, who died on Jan. 9 of this year. She says that process has been harder, because of what’s missing from her final resting place.
“I go there every Sunday just to see if her headstone is down – and it’s not,” Davis said.
Loved ones buried Theresa Pritchard at Oak Hill Cemetery on Jan. 15. Her headstone was paid in full with another company in April.
Davis said the cemetery told her it would place the headstone this past spring or summer.
“This is September the 21st,” Davis said in a Tuesday interview. “No headstone, no marker, no anything.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Sprinkles And Cooler Than Normal Temps Through The Weekend
It can take weeks and months for headstones to be put in, depending on when the marker’s ready and ground conditions. But Davis says when she called the cemetery, the reasons were different.
“Oh, we do not have enough workers, or some workers are out with COVID, or we don’t know when it’s going to be done because we’re not done with 2020 cases yet,” Davis said, rolling her eyes at those claims.
We reached out for answers, and received a statement confirming there are delays for several reasons – including the pandemic and staffing shortages.
Oak Hill Cemetery staff say: “The length of time is not up to our families’ standards, nor is it up to our standards. We are working diligently to ensure that we get headstones placed so that those resting in our cemetery may be fully and properly honored.”
And that is all that Davis wants, in memory of her mother.
“We shouldn’t have to wait almost a year to put out a headstone,” she said.MORE NEWS: City Council Finance Committee Approves $76.5 Million Property Tax Hike, As Mayor Lori Lightfoot's 2022 Budget Plan Passes First Test
A few hours after we started making calls, Saavedra got an update from Davis. She said she heard from the cemetery, and they promised they would pour the concrete for her mother’s headstone by the end of this week.