- Death & Loss of Life
Would You Sit on Your Own Headstone?
I've lived in small towns in Texas all my life. These are towns, that usually have more churches and cemeteries than they do everything else combined. I'm not sure how we fill either of them, but evidently, we do. I have found that a cemetery is place you don't pay much attention to until someone close to you is buried there. Then it becomes a place you visit like visiting a old friend's house.
Having lost a son in 2003 and my dad in 2008, I often visit the cemeteries where they are just to do general maintenance around their gravesites. Both cemeteries have a wonderful maintenance crews that regularly mow and weed-eat, but I go to do the 'usual' tidying up type stuff, like cleaning off the bird droppings, wiping off the grass clippings, watering the grass and changing the flowers. Both locations are scenic and were chosen because of the sense of oneness I feel when I'm there. So, going there is a pleasant experience for the most part. Crying is sometimes included, but that's ok too.
Something I've noticed and I've wondered if it's common everywhere. When a spouse dies the remaining spouse usually purchases a double monument and has it completely filled in with both names and leaves just the death date left to be etched in on their own side. In some cases, like another family in the same cemetery as my son, their teenage son died and they have already placed a triple monument on the gravesite with the son being placed in the middle. The mother and father have already been named on the monument to be placed on either side of the son.
There is another man and woman that I see at the same cemetery quite often. They can be seen watering several sites around this one particular stone. I have even seen them sitting on this stone taking a break and talking to one another. On one visit, they left before I did and I was able to walk over to the stone. I was curious. I found that both names etched on the stone were showing to still be alive! I did later confirm that it was their own stone. They regularly water and tend their own plots and the plots around them.
Since then, I have noticed more and more stones already erected with everything filled in except the date of death. It's evidently the thing to do now. I guess more and more people are wanting to release their family from that task after they're gone. Although I totally agree with pre-planning my own funeral, I'm not sure I'm ready to see my own name etched into my own tombstone. I like the idea of designing my own stone. I custom designed my son's. Some people don't like to think about their own funeral at all. So that leads me to this question: