Saturday, December 17, 2005

Arguments that make no sense.

Back in April, my grandfather died. Dad, being the one with financial control, has been handling the resultant bills for my grandmother. One of the big expenses is a headstone.

Dad likes the way my great-grandparents' stone is done (so does Grandma), so he decided to replicate it for his parents stone.

Enter familial controversy.

The Masons were extremely important to Grandpa, so he wanted the Square and Compass to appear on his stone. No problem, Dad included it in the design. But, now Grandma's half will look unbalanced with nothing between her dates. So, Grandma suggested the Methodist cross. No sweat, right?

Wrong.

According to the family...

The dates are done wrong. It shouldn't be 1916-2005, but September 3, 1916-April 3, 2005.
Grandma's half will "look stupid" with the cross there. Never mind she wants it.
Grandpa shouldn't be shown as "Dad" on the stone, but "Father". Never mind he was never called that.

Oy. A $10K piece of near-flawless granite from the quarry down home, cut by the best place we know, and $100K worth of controversy. Screw it. When I go, put a plaque with my name and dates on an oak tree, and don't worry about it.

But, this isn't the first argument and weirdness my family has had with stones.

Back some years ago, when my great-uncle still lived, he was widely known as the cheapest SOB around.

How cheap, you ask?

He has two headstones.

One of them was his, paid for by his estate. Name, his MD degree, and a etching of a Cessna, as flying was a hobby. The other? Army bronze, the one given out to vets whose families cannot afford a stone. So, he has a headstone and a footstone.

Death is big business, but that doesn't mean there aren't a few laughs afterward.

2 Comments:

Anonymous naneth said...

Family. Gotta love 'em!?!

It doesn't matter what the rest of the family wants. When all is said and done, it does not make a difference in the least. EXCEPT what your Grandma wants. If your Dad is in charge of these things, and Grandma told him what she wants, then that's it and that's that. The rest of the family may accept it or not, that's their choice. But once it is carved in stone....

Also, most headstones have the birth year and the death year. If they want to chip in to have the exact dates, let them; exact dates on granite is not cheap! But since this is by your father, for your grandmother, then no money otherwise should come from them. The relatives, if it is such a big deal, may certainly toss in their hard-earned money for this. No? Then, as Grandma wants it, Grandma should have it.

My deepest condolences for your loss of your Grandpa, Tirithien.

12/26/2005 9:53 AM  
Blogger Tirithien said...

Just saw this...

Grandpa was a good man. Enough said. He's getting the same stone he designed for his parents, and as far as I'm concerned, the rest of the family can... welll... you can guess.

12/29/2005 8:59 PM  

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