Potter’s Field and Georgia Clean: Extending Dignity in Death

Cemeteries such as Oakland Cemetery, while often a place of quiet rest and beauty, are woven with tragic stories and grief. Throughout Atlanta’s history, this has been especially true in Oakland Cemetery where a large section is dedicated to those who could not afford the last expenses death requires.

Potter’s Field in Oakland Cemetery

Potter’s Field, the 7.5 acres in the Northeast corner of Oakland Cemetery, is estimated to hold the remains of around 7,500 people under its rolling green hillside and tall trees. While the names of around 4,000 people who are buried there are known (though without an identified burial location), around 3,500 people are buried without a recorded name or identity. No less important than those buried with stone monuments in other parts of the cemetery nearby, they lay below our feet in quiet witness.

Now closed to new burials, Potter’s Field has been preserved as an anonymous burial ground for Atlanta’s poor and lower income classes, travelers, and the space where many African Americans were reinterred from a different part of the cemetery. Surrounded by a growing city around its borders, Potter’s Field is transformed from how it once looked. In the midst of buildings and parking lots, Potter’s Field is, instead of just a burial site, now a wonderful place to picnic and spend some quiet moments. With wooden grave markers long ago rotted away, what is left is a living monument to the last measure of dignity we can give to those both known and unknown underneath the soil.

Georgia Clean strives to give the same dignity in unattended death cleanup as found in Potter’s Field

At Georgia Clean, we often see the same kind of situations that over a hundred years ago would have been handled with a burial in Potter’s Field. Someone without a lot of financial resources or community support around them passes away alone in their home or unsheltered outside. Without any fanfare or family handling the estate, some people slip away with few other people knowing about their passing. While this is certainly not true of all unattended deaths, people can die alone for any number of reasons, an astonishing number pass away without support or the money to pay for their burials.

In all types of situations involving unattended deaths, our staff at Georgia Clean are deeply respectful of every person and object we come into contact with during the course of our work. We live by the value that no matter who a person was, whether they had financial or community resources, they deserve dignity as we clean up the remains left behind in all unattended deaths.

While we know we can’t disinfect every scene of an unattended death to look like the beautiful garden that Potter’s Field has become, all our unattended death cleanup staff strive to leave the place of a death in a clean and orderly condition so it can remain a peaceful place for those will occupy the space in years to come. It is our way of creating safe spaces in which the living will work and play and where their families and friends may remember the loved one who died there.

Do you need cleanup after an unattended death?

If someone has died while unattended on your property or you’re in charge of cleaning up a loved one’s home after their passing, our team at Georgia Clean are always here for you, 24-7, to make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned, and safety restored.
Never let someone untrained in biohazard cleanup handle the mess after a body has started to decompose. Being neither trained in how to protect themselves from potential diseases nor how to properly disinfect all layers of an affected structure, blood, fluids, viruses, and bacteria are likely missed, thus forming a health hazard to anyone in the area and damage to the structure. With most property insurance policies covering the cost of professional unattended death cleanup throughout Atlanta and the wider state of Georgia, you can rest easy knowing everyone is protected and the home thoroughly cleaned and disinfected no matter how deep the damage may go. Diligent and thorough, our entire team is well-trained and experienced in making sure all affected layers are dealt with and disinfected. We’ll even file the insurance claim on your behalf so the load on your shoulders is even lighter.

Georgia Clean is here to create safe spaces

While grieving a death can be horribly difficult to walk through in addition to cleaning out the belongings of the person who died, Georgia Clean is here to make sure you do it in a safe and clean space. Like in Potter’s Field, we give one of the last dignities we can extend to a person: respectful cleanup of their remains after they have passed away so others may grieve in a safe and peaceful environment.
Available any time of day or night, call us at 770-766-4562. We are here to serve you.