The only thing harder to stomach than a loved one's funeral is when that funeral is crashed by a dead stranger's decomposing foot. Such was the lesson learned by one Brooklyn family, who witnessed one such foot at their grandfather's burial when it popped out of a neighboring grave.
The Daily News reports that the family of Cleveland Butler, 85, had gathered at the Mount Holiness Memorial Park in New Jersey for his burial last Friday, when horror struck. As Butler's casket got lowered into a grave, mourners spotted the decomposing body part sticking out of the ground next to it.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 11, 2017
"We all looked down and we were looking at what apparently was a human foot and leg wrapped in plastic, with cloth wrapped around it, sticking out on top of my father’s casket,” Alonzo Butler, 53, told the News.
The Butlers, naturally, had not expected to see any unfamiliar dead people at their beloved family member's funeral, and they were upset. "This was a very traumatizing situation, first dealing with losing my father and then this,” his daughter, Sandra Butler, said. "I couldn’t even look at it."
She said the cemetery employees didn't even address the errant limb. "It was too much and no one said anything to us. 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 said. The Butlers noted that one of the gravediggers also dropped his cell phone and a pack of cigarettes into the grave.
Though the Butlers are clearly traumatized, Mount Holiness owner James Shmergel pointed out that in a City of Dead, the bodies break free from time to time. Cemetery caretaker Bill Plog told the News the casket probably deteriorated (apparently faster than the foot.) "It’s unfortunate that this happened, but this is a graveyard," he said.
But let us all pause and remember: somebody loved that foot once.