Movie screening at suburban cemetery ‘really disrespectful,’ grieving mom says

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — A suburban mother is trying to stop an Arlington Heights cemetery from hosting a free screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on Saturday.

The movie will play not too far from where Leyla Durmus' only child is laid to rest.

"This is really disrespectful," she said in an interview Friday. "Cemeteries are supposed to be sacred ground."

Memory Gardens Cemetery is slated to play the film at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Beverage sales will benefit the Arlington Heights Historical Museum. Durmus said she has tried to get the movie canceled or re-located to no avail.

Her son, 21-year-old Kaya Dikmenli, died of a heroin overdose on Christmas Eve in 2016.

"His life ended so tragically and so quickly," Durmus said.

Dikmenli had epilepsy, his mom said, and had been prescribed oxycontin for related pain. Durmus said it took just three months to get hooked. When he was was taken off the opioid, Dikmenli looked for another — and found it in heroin.

Durmus said her son's death is still raw. She hopes people won't attend Saturday's screening out of respect.

The cemetery issued a statement: "Our intent in hosting these types of events for those with loved ones interred at our cemetery and members of the Arlington Heights community is to serve as a gathering place and to foster a sense of community among Arlington Heights residents.”

Durmus said: "We bury our loved ones there in the hopes that they will find eternal rest. ... It doesn’t matter that their spirit is not there. They are there."


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