I was supposed to know what it should say.

I’ve been sitting here for the last fifteen minutes trying to explain what it feels like to buy a gravestone for your husband.  Because that’s how I spent my morning.

Stephen had a journal that only had a few pages of writing in it.  He wrote it in the wee hours of August 28, the morning of his last scheduled chemo treatment and days after we got back from our trip to San Antonio.  It was a detailed list of how he wanted his funeral.  The music.  The bible verses.  Who reads what.  The meal.  Cremation.  Regarding the stone he wrote, “Either black or red, Jenn will know what it should look like.”  Ummm, no darling, I don’t.  We never talked that far.

In fact, we were in denial (and needed to be in order to function) clear up until the DNR order was put in.  I tried not to think about how quickly he was going downhill.  All I knew was that he was afraid of being intubated and I had promised him early on that I would never let that happen.  So, no.  I don’t know what to put on the stone.  It hasn’t come to me in a dream or a driving epiphany or even in the shower.  What do you say?  Who do you include?

I knew this was something I wanted to do alone.  I didn’t want either set of ILs to be emotionally involved in it at all.  I think they are still POed because his remains (gulp…that sounds weird even now) are buried here and not in his hometown.  And, because of the cemetary we chose, his stone can only be so wide and so tall.  Which limits the list of people to include in granite.  (I actually don’t know the official type of stone.  I know it’s called “Himilayan Rainbow” and it’s imported from India.)  There may be some fallout.  The kids are on there (“Daddy to Will, Ella and Amelia”) and I am on there (“Husband of Jennifer”) but neither of his parents are or their spouses and neither is his brother.  Maybe I should have left us all off.  Except him.  The design on the top of the stone is his tattoo from his back.  It’s a Celtic symbol the TKEs used which means “eternal life.” 

So, there’s one thing off my list.  A big one.  I want to go back to bed.

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2 thoughts on “I was supposed to know what it should say.

  1. Jen, I think you did know what to put on it. That’s sounds just perfect. It’s so nice to check a big one off your list.

  2. Just remember: “Take it all one day at a time and just breathe.” The tombstone sounds absolutely wonderful and is Stephen to a tee. I am sure he LOVES it!! Rebecca is correct…just check one more big point off your list of endless “to-dos”

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