Headstone Shopping: Cliff Notes for the Living

headstone shopping

Following her husband’s death, Lore Powell, PRiME contributor, kept a journal she refers to as “The Grief Project.” She is graciously allowing us to share her entries with our readers. You can begin with her first essay here

Headstone shopping can be daunting. It is curb appeal for the dead. My husband’s parents took the task of choosing an appropriate headstone very seriously (as they should) and I appreciate their common sense. However, the saleslady called me to confirm their choice and “mentioned” that they had requested the most “economical” choice, as if implying it was made of Styrofoam and Crayola.

Once I got past her snooty sales pitch for an attached vase, a portrait etching, and a disco ball (I made that one up), we had to talk about wording. Again, snotty sales pitch lady mentioned that the marker wasn’t big enough to include a poem or any relevant info for those passing by. Well, I thought, perhaps we could use the standard texting abbreviations? Example: BFF to his Dog, or even better yet, my husband’s classic “WTF” saying.

I set aside my evil thoughts and bad feelings and came up with: Beloved Son, Husband and Dad. I seriously wanted to put Husband (X3), but I wasn’t sure it would go over well.

If I had more room I would have liked to let cemetery walkers know the following:

  • He called his 3rd and final wife his “sweet baby”
  •  He rarely talked, but always listened
  • He was a ladies man
  • He was once a bouncer at a gay bar
  • He loved to take road trips
  • He told his 3rd and final wife that he was going to marry her…long before he married her
  • He loved animals
  • He was always courteous to service industry people
  • He knew the names of native plants in Illinois
  • Kids loved him…were never afraid of him
  • He could tell the most interesting stories about history
  • He fiercely protected the people he loved
  • He was an athlete
  • He was impossible to argue with
  • He never gave up until he had to, and for that, he will always be my most beloved 2nd and final husband.