Zion Ridge Cemetery

Harriet Cohen (b. July 12, 1938, d. June 29, 2017) 

Just barely arrived but already I can see that Zion Ridge is not the 5-star cemetery my children thought it was! I hate to kvetch, but after the mourners left, my coffin remained only partly buried for hours until two cockamamie workers showed up. Even then they did a really sloppy job.

They're lax about the grass-planting, but it’s finally taken hold and is growing well. If you are looking for peace and quiet, forget about it! I was laid to rest on a Sunday and quickly found that's the only restful day of the week. Come Monday, there's a cacophonous racket from the construction site nearby: drilling, hammering, bulldozing.

Oh, and did I mention the teenagers who hang out here? Smooching and more! Smoking weed and speeding in cars so fast that they had to put in speed bumps! It's giving my aching bones a migraine! Look elsewhere, this is two stars at best.

Junipero Meadows

Five starsJose Gomez (b. April 20. 1952, d. November 8, 2015)

I have to say, my family did me proud when they chose Junipero Meadows—a five-star cemetery for sure. I’m lucky to be on top of a hill which gives me a perfect view of the nearby meadows with ample grass for the cows that graze there. Note: if mooing bothers you, then Meadows is not for you!

The soil is rich; its loamy smell is comforting, especially to those of us who loved gardening. The grounds are well-maintained and the graves are nicely spaced so that I’m not annoyed by the ruminations of my neighbors. No one has stolen the beautiful roses my cousin Maria brings each month. Only been here for just over a year, but so far, so good. Heartily recommend this place.

Forest Grove

one star

Maya Kovish (b. April 10, 1980, d. March 30, 2014)
Sorry to say, I’m not a happy camper at Forest Grove Cemetery.

Bad enough to have died so young when my marketing career was skyrocketing and I’d just scored an awesome apartment in Williamsburg. But this place is adding insult to fatal car injury! Bad choice, Mom and Dad. You were bamboozled by that flashy salesman and his endless hype, promising a scenic view, a well-maintained plot and fertile soil for the grass to flourish over my grave.

The grass is sparse and mowed sporadically at best, and the soil tastes flat. The view is fine, but nearby freeway noise is deafening. I have taken up Zen meditation just for some piece of mind.

It's going to be a long forever.

Gates of Paradise

Three starsJack Leverowski (b. January 4, 1929, d. October 8, 2012)

Never bothered with social media and leaving online reviews while I was alive, but now I have the time, so why not?

This cemetery is barely two miles from the home I lived in for forty years after getting the hell out of Hungary in the '50s. It’s “mezzo-mezzo,” as I think the Italians say, meaning it’s OK but not fabulous. Visitors love the Gates since the staff fawns over them. It's all fussing.

Each visit, my kids are escorted in a golf cart to my grave so they can conserve their energy for our little talks. The scenery is pretty good, mostly flat with a few molehills and gopher digs, and the grass is lush and trim. One downside: when it snows, the place is a mess and ice forms on my tombstone. Not good since it discourages visits.

Also rain: if you’re on a hill, you may be washed away in a mudslide, but luckily I’m in the flats. Maybe the kids should have buried me in Florida or Arizona.

See also: “Best Sites to Toss Your Loved One’s Ashes”