The thousands of remains found not properly disposed of at Grand View was a tragedy enough; Glendale didn't need another one — a local cemetery shuttered to visitors. And that was the case since June 13.
Even before a lack of funds forced cemetery operator Moshe Goldsman to shut down the 121-year-old cemetery, the city was already looking at how to intervene to keep it open. In the end, officials secured four hours on Sundays. It's a modest window, but no less significant for mourners.
And it averts, hopefully for good, a tragedy for the living, who came from miles around to visit family who rest there.
Without at least one day to visit, these people, many of whom have generations of their families buried at Grand View, had no way to exercise a vital part of being human — remembering their dead.
Reopening Grand View at least for a day each week gives the cemetery a fighting chance at staying alive.
During the closure, "Rest in Peace" engravings gave way to "No Trespassing" signs. Grave sites became covered with dust and weeds. Dead grass and dry leaves covered the landscape and the rapidly drying brush, baked by days of scorching heat in July, created a fire hazard.
But we saw the recuperation taking place on Sunday as hundreds of people entered the gates to visit. They brought weed whackers, rakes, shovels and clippers to do what they could to clean up Grand View.
In a case with no easy answers for the cemetery's future, it's the living that provide a glimmer of hope that Grand View has for a future.
In the days to come, the cemetery will become the subject of court battles and it will become fodder for lawyers as a class-action lawsuit against Grand View proceed.
But at least each Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m., thanks to the city of Glendale, it will also be a place where people can come to clip the weeds, reflect, mourn and remember — a place where the dead can rest and their sanctuary can once again be a grand view.