November 26, 2003

My Sister's Headstone

Ok, I specifically waited until now to write about this because I was afraid that my anger might cloud my judgement if I started too soon. I'm hoping this won't stir it back up too much.

I have never been so utterly disappointed and infuriated with my family as I am today. I'll try to keep this informational instead of turning it into a rant.

As I was coming home from LeTourneau today I remembered my mother telling me last week that my sister's headstone was finally put up at the cemetary. It had taken a while because a relative of one of the kids had wanted to make the headstones for all four of them. Everyone looked at the design that he had given us and we all agreed that it looked nice.

The basic plan for the headstones had been four blocks of some kind of stone that appeared to be separated but were in fact all one long headstone. On top of each block was what my mother called an "old cross"--the ones with the three know-like things at the end of each end of the cross. The actual name of that kind of cross escapes me. On each individual stone there would be a sport symbol etched next to the name. The symbol next to my sister's name is a basketball. On the back of each stone there would be a piece of writing if the parents of that child had wanted one there. It looked very nice in the design we were given, so I approved.

Little did I know what monstrosity these people would create.

As I drove up to the cemetary my first thought was, "Holy shit!" Each individual headstone (including the cross) is at least twice as big as the majority of the other headstones in the cemetary. The stone (I don't know what kind it is) was a "dirty white" color. This is the exact same color of a model of my car my parents had tried to convince me to choose. I told them I didn't want that color because it looked nasty all the time. I had assumed that the headstones would be the color of most headstones. This hideous white contrasts horribly with a few beautiful black headstone with etched forest scenes a few rows away from the graves. Apparently, the "individual" headstone idea had been thrown out altogether. It looked as if the stones used had been stuck together using superglue. The sides and top of the entire thing had not even been smoothed.

The etched lettering is absolutely horrible. It looked as if they had decided at the end to just cut out the shape of letters and use spray paint to make the letters black. I think some of it had started to run. On the back of one of the graves was a HUGE error. Either the person who was making it didn't care to notice that you use an "r" in "your" EVERY time, or the person who wrote it doesn't know proper English. Considering the overall quality I would say either choice is equally valid. I did not even see any birth and death dates.

However, they did manage to stick an open book statue-like thing on top of the headstone between my sister's and her boyfriend's individual crosses. Written in this book (in the same spray paint-like lettering) are the lyrics of "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica along with the note that my sister's boyfriend had written her. Had they just put the lyrics I could have handled it. I wouldn't have supported the idea, but I wouldn't have complained. But, adding a little section next to it that says something along the lines of, "this is my song to you yea i hope you can understand it," to a headstone? They even included the lines he had used to separate the lyrics with the note.

The whole thing looks incredibly tacky. I still can't believe that my parents allowed that thing near the grave of my sister. The worst part is I don't want to voice this disgust with the headstone to my parents. If they feel bad about it I don't want to add more fuel to their guilt, and if they like it for some reason I don't want to spoil it for them.

Posted by Randy at November 26, 2003 10:30 PM