Sunday, September 23, 2007

Choosing a marker

This is something that has been weighing heavily on my heart the past couple months.

On the one hand, there is the pressure of making something permanant. Really, the only thing to physically mark her place on earth...forever. It has to be right. I don't want to rush into it and regret it, but I don't want to wait too long either.

There is always that 'I'd rather not even think about that' part of it. I'd like to put it off for, say...ever.

On the other hand, there is the pressure to have something to mark her grave. Her existence. About a month after she had died, we went out to her grave and there was nothing there.


My mom had taken fresh flowers out and put them in the ground, and we brought roses. But if not for those flowers, no one would've known it wasn't just a plain old patch of grass. I thought that the funeral service would've put some sort of temporary marker.

My husband said he would make something to put out there, but it would've had that 'I'm 10 and I just buried my hamster' feeling to it. We called the funeral director to ask about something temporary. He said most cemeteries don't do that to make sure people order a real marker. Isabel is buried in a family cemetery, out in the country.

But there is the fear of setting something literally 'in stone' that I might regret later. To be truthful, I feel that there is no way to win. I mean, the choices we choose today are rarely the choices we would choose in five years. How many of you reading this would do your wedding differently if you could go back? I'm thinking pretty much....everyone. At least every woman.

We looked through some books at the funeral home. They had clipart that I felt was unacceptable. It was cherub angel babies with hearts. It wasn't timeless. I just couldn't do that. I couldn't look at that for the rest of my life.

I went to our hometown library and talked to a reference desk librarian. I tried not to cry when I told her what I was looking for, but I couldn't help it. I felt bad for her. It does put people in an awkward spot. But I just couldn't help it. I teared up. She looked away.

She was so nice. She found a great book of clipart for me to look through. This was just the sort of look I had been thinking of. Maybe I should start a marker design business. There's really some sad choices out there.

I do have to make some choices. I started working on it the other day. It all takes time. Little bits here and there. And not something you want to do either.

Before we left to go home, we drove out to the cemetary and saw that the funeral director had put a temporary marker on Isabel's grave. That was so nice. A little relief in my heart.
She was a person.
She existed.
She mattered to us.
Her body lies here.


Sarah said...

I found your site through Bethany at the forums.

I can totally identify with what you have written. If my situation had been more like yours, I would have felt the same way about the marker. (I don't even feel as though a marker is an option for us, although I think I might like to have one.)

Isabel Hope. What a beautiful name. She did exist. She does matter.


Debra said...


Thank you for your comments. Email me. I'd like to hear your story.