During my year of researching many topics that deal with death and loss I interviewed several people who had involvement with purchasing a headstone and I asked for their thoughts on this experience. The people I spoke with had applicable experiences prior to a death, after a death or during the dying process. Some people bought their own headstone while others chose for someone after the death.
Comments consisted of;
- I felt pressured by family to do something when I actually was not prepared emotionally to deal with this issue so soon after the death
- I was surprised by the amount of choice when wanting to personalize the marker with a theme such as gardening, hockey, fishing, spiritual etc.
- Since everything was in place years ago, all I had to do was make a call to have the date of death put on the marker
- I wish we could have bought it together instead of waiting for one of us to die
- It took 4 visits to finally be able to decide what to choose; the family jointly decided on what they liked
- I don’t want my name on a tombstone before casino I die
- Your decisions are carved in stone, take your time deciding
- “Do I like it now, will I like it later?” was the question one person said to themself
- They wanted family members identified on the stone
A few words used to describe their experience were;
Healing, pleased, contented, painful, felt it was the end, unsure of self, not a nice experience, sad, heartbreaking, difficult, confusing, painful and overwhelmed.
Comments when asked “What you would have done differently”;
- In hindsight, I would have made a different choice if I had waited
- Made sure each person (family member) got one of their ideas on the stone
- Waited longer
- I would have had someone come with me to make the purchase
- I would have put the maiden name to allow for ancestral searching
- I wouldn”t have done it at all
I provide this information to help you better understand the process
for yourself or to be supportive of others.
Thank you to the individuals who shared their stories with me.