Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Requesting Letters from the Families of the Deceased Buried at White Tanks Cemetery - Letter Campaign #1

White Tanks Families, I am getting ready to launch a letter writing campaign to raise awareness for the organization and all of the issues that you have each shared with me.

However, I need some help doing this folks! I am asking each of you to write a letter about your families experience and situation. The letter should include how you feel you have been ripped off, violated, etc... due to the current policies and procedures of indigent burial.  Dictate what you would like to see happen to fix the situation or what you feel would have been a satisfactory ending for you.  NOTE** Unless otherwise specified by you, THE LETTERS WILL BE LEFT ANONYMOUS without names. I will be taking the names out of all the letters as I know that familial problems are relations are sensitive in nature.

This is the most important letter campaign that our organization will do. We need to be heard! They need to be reminded that those bodies they are just putting in the ground in little wooden boxes- are REAL people with REAL family! We need to write, collect and send in as many letters as possible, flooding the mailboxes of the people who can assist in changing some of the issues at hand with White Tanks Cemetery.

The letter does not have to be extremely extensive (unless you feel like it). Longer letters with even more detailed feelings/thoughts are even better and will be graciously accepted. Length of the letter is not important! Your letter just needs to be heartfelt about your emotions (and the struggle that your family has endured) of having your loved one labeled “unclaimed” and buried at an indigent desert dump ground with no personal affects.

I want the letter recipients to feel the letters as they read them (and be able to picture themselves or their family in this situation). The letter does not need to be "proper" or grammatically correct, that’s not important! (Plus, I was an editing assist for a newspaper and do a lot of proofreading and editing anyhow.) I just want you to sit down and put your feelings on to paper to be read and then send them to me.  The best way to do this would be via E-mail to whitetanksangels@gmail.com  but if you prefer to handwrite a letter and send it for me to copy, forward and distribute, you can also do that.  Letters should be sent to: White Tanks Angels Foundation, c/o  Miranda Rhuda, 415 Dewey Street, Sandusky, OH  44870.

I know that many of you, like me, feel ripped off because you were denied the ability to bury your loved one, have proper personal services to celebrate their life and say your final goodbyes. Please tell them that. Many of us have had a terrible time with tracking down and obtaining information about our loved one's death and burial process. That needs to be described to them! Please, whatever you and/or your family have experienced with all this-- jot it all down and send it to me. Some of you have shared your feelings with me in emails and messages back and forth; I will go ahead and copy your words into letters to use, sparing you some time that I know can be quite limited!

Some of the questions for you to answer in your letter are:
1.     What are you the most appalled about with the whole death/burial situation with your loved one?
2.     What is your perspective/view on having your loved one at White Tanks? Do you feel that they belong there?
3.     Do you feel that authorities should have been able to find you or other next of kin for your loved one? How easy do you think they could have obtained that information?
4.     What do you think about the practice of placing the blurb in the paper to request more information about the deceased?
5.     How did you learn that your loved one was buried at White Tanks?
6.     Have the officials/authorities/funeral home been helpful in assisting you with whatever you needed in relation to the deceased?

I will also be writing a letter about my experiences in great detail, as I am the founder of the foundation and it is the reason for the foundation’s existence. When I have completed the letter, I will post it for all of you to see. Maybe it will give you an idea of what I am trying to establish with this letter campaign.

The way that I feel and my reasoning for doing this is that THEY CAN NOT SOLVE A PROBLEM THEY DON’T KNOW EXISTS!  So, we have to stand up and tell them about all of the problems we have seen and experienced. If we want to spare other families from experiencing the same pain, lack of closure and frustration that we have-- then we need to be the VOICE that is heard and NOT forgotten. 

You HAVE TO BE A VOICE for your deceased loved one, as they cannot speak for themselves! Please try to put aside any and all angst or bitterness you may feel toward your deceased loved one… because the simple fact and point that we need to get across is:

1.     Everyone is someone's family, whether chosen to be estranged or not!

2.     Everyone deserves to have their life celebrated with a memorial service by loved ones who know them

3.     Everyone deserves to have the option of a personalized, honorable burial surrounded by loved ones and friends.

4.     Families deserve the opportunity to say goodbye and celebrate the deceased life.
5.     Families deserve the option of paying for and carrying out personalized funeral and memorial services for their loved one.

6.     Families should not have to pay an extra $2,500+ (that they can’t afford) to RE-DO their loved one’s burial process.  Also, people should not have to dig up their loved ones and disturb their final resting peace to re-establish the desire results for the family.

7.     Families should be given the opportunity to choose to have their loved one shipped home to them (especially if living in another state) so that they are given the opportunity to visit their deceased family member (just as those buried who are not considered indigent).

8.     For each family of the buried, they should be allowed to place a personalized stone/marker/ shrine to give honorable representation of who the deceased really was in their life. A father, mother, son, daughter, etc… should be recognized in death and honored, just as in life.

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