Monday, January 31, 2022

Honoring Family Members: Designing a Headstone

Words continue to fail me at the loss of my husband.  I am so thankful for our wonderful employees who have helped work through this crisis and bolstered me up personally during this time.  I am thankful that we will be able to carry on Kim's legacy in making this company strong and healthy and in strengthening families by printing beautiful, unifying family history charts.  

Despite the miracles we have been blessed with, I still don't know how anyone has survived a loss like this in the history of the world.  As we are now 7 months away, it seems to be getting harder.  The despair at his loss is crushing.  I have felt him close, and I am thankful for that.  I appreciate everyone's love and concern.  

Strangely, though few days go by without tears, choosing a headstone has felt good.  The mortuary counseled us to let everything settle through the winter and order a headstone in January in order to have it in place for Memorial Day.  Kim was buried in one of my family's plots, next to where my parents will be buried and next to my maternal grandparents.  My Grandmother, Eila Dana, chose Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park in Salt Lake City to purchase the plots because her parents and grandparents and brother are there as well.  She liked the cemetery because all of the headstones are flat in the ground and she liked how it looked like a park.  It is lovely.  What Grandma didn't know though, was that she was saving me alot of choices in choosing a headstone.  I'm so thankful for that.  I think this impossible task  would have been overwhelming had my choices not been limited to a flat marker.  

My Sister and nephews telling stories about our Great Grandmother at her grave. Memorial Day 2021

Wasatch Lawn Memorial Cemetery. Memorial Day 2021

Somehow choosing a headstone for Kim has been comforting.  Being a genealogist, it feels like I am building a lasting memorial to him.  Making sure he is remembered.  This is only one of the things I am working on to create a memorial to him, but this one feels substantial.  As we've visited the graves of my ancestors, and even helped place markers and headstones on some of my ancestor's unmarked graves, we have been strengthened and comforted over the years.  I've felt our place in the family and the passage of time.  It feels like I now have my own place for family to gather and remember.  

It was an interesting twist for me to have someone design for me something of such great importance.  I thought I didn't have many opinions about it, but when we got into the process, it turned out I did have a feel for what I wanted.  It was interesting to work with them to try to come up with what I was envisioning.  It gave me new insights on what we can do to help our clients visualize what we are trying to create for their families and how to help them to actualize what they are envisioning.  

I'm happy with it.  It is rich with meaning for me and my family.  A monument to a man I love and to the family we created.  I have a new appreciation for what a sacred trust it is to memorialize someone who has passed and to try to pass on a family heritage.  What a momentous work we do as family historians.