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My grandma passed away in December and we're supposed to have an unavailing between May and July. We haven't gone for a headstone yet because my aunt wants to have a say in what goes on the headstone. We were just going to have the same writing that is on my grandfather's stone. She's insisting that she be apart of the decision, meanwhile she wasn't even around when my grandma was on the decline. She chose going to Florida and going on a cruise rather than being with her mother in her final weeks. She even got mad at us for postponing the funeral as we awaited for her to make it up from Florida and her son come in with his family from California. She wasn't answering our calls and she was only talking to my uncle's wife who hardly had any details herself, then held onto them as an I know something you don't know type of deal. My mom and my other aunt already know that their sister and her husband aren't going to contribute any money to the stone, so why should we have to wait for her?

I want to go take care of the stone because I know this is not what my grandmother would have wanted. I already know there is conflict because my mom and aunt agree that the stone shouldn't say Great Grandmother because my grandma NEVER saw her Great Grandchildren.... My cousins always made excuses and my aunt never put her foot down to them trying to make them do the right thing. It's even only saying Grandma just because I was the only grandchild who cared about her.

Anybody have advice or have a similar situation that they could shed light on? I feel obligated to do right by my grandmother, and to me that's doing how it's always been... All decisions made by my aunt, mother and myself. My aunt and mother's older siblings wanted little to nothing to do with my grandmother while she was alive, why do they feel obligated to have a say in decisions surrounding her stone, and unavailing?

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Mom and aunt met with their siblings. Shockingly they managed to come to an agreement... Yet neither of them are sharing in cost.... Grams stone is going to be the same size as gramps and since Grandpa wasn't around to meet his great grand children, great grandmother will not be on grandmas stone...

Aunt and one cousin are coming one day to go through the jewelry and aunt is settling with a copy of grandmas marriage cert, and my uncle is settling for a copy of grandpas army discharge papers...

Mom and aunt don't want to see their siblings again so when it's time for the unveiling, we're going to go, then let them go.

My aunt asked my mom how I had been handling everything, I told my mom everyone has my phone number... They could have called....

Things went better than both my mom and aunt expected.. Although Uncle's wife tried taking digs at me because of things my cousin has apparently been doing... Wasn't there to know exactly what was said... Don't care anymore.... I just say God Don't like Ugly and she's ugly down to her heart and he sees it.
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Just remember, the person who owns the plot has the final say, gives permission to plant the monument. Like any other property.
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When my adopted son died in Oklahoma, his grandmother called about the headstone, she had specific ideas, since JP was buried next to his mother. I flew to Tulsa, rented a car and met her at the cemetery. With her permission, I made a rubbing, with shelf paper and crayons, an exact image of the mothers headstone, shape, size and type of lettering. I also got written permission from the grandmother to place the headstone, because she owned the plot. I drove back to Tulsa and gave the rubbing to JP's widow, with the written permit, the plot number, cemetery address and caretaker's phone number. It's not easy to match a stone 30 years later, but they came amazingly close to the color. They matched the font exactly, and the wording. They even had it placed by Decoration Day (Memorial Day) which made the grandmother happy, because she owns 25 plots and spends all day that holiday fixing them up. The family does a picnic in an adjacent park shelter the same day, sort of a reunion.
I highly recommend a rubbing and color snapshot if you want a good match. It was very helpful to the monument company for sizing things up.
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Oh goodness, maybe its just me, but I put up with so much politics in my professional world, that I would end this swiftly.
He who pays for the headstone decides what it says, I would pay for it and write a generic "in loving memory" or you will live on in our hearts. It is a headstone, it is not a biography.
End this, someone needs to be the hero and step forward to a compromise, else the family wedge will be too deep to heal. If the wedge is already too deep, then just do what you want and walk away.
What silliness to break family ties over a few words that no one will care about 40 years from now.

Frankly if you are going to list all her familial roles then it should be listed, even if she was not particularly close to the kids, she did contribute to their bloodline. Are you going to list wether she was a daughter, wife sister? One has many roles in a well lived life......how about..."A life well lived, she will be missed"
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The aunt that I live with is actually against the Great Grandmother thing. She feels that because they never visted nor made the attempts to visit that having it say Great Grandmother would be a lie. I suggested that if it was that necessary they can pay to have a little stone made up that can be placed there or go buy one. (Christmas Tree Shops tends to sell them for $0.69-$9.99) my mom and aunt laughed and thought that was a great idea. My grandmother knowing her, it would just say Wife, Mother, Grandmother... she never considered herself a great grandmother because she rarely saw my little cousins and their parents.

The excuses that were given in the past for their absences were
"I'm busy."
"I'm going away."
"I can't this week maybe next week."
"Call me when you want to come over."
"The house isn't in order, its not a good idea."
"I'll be in Florida"
"I have plans."
"We have to go to my parents"
"Why can't Danielle (me) take care of it?"
"Where's your other daughters?"
"Why can't my sisters take off from work?"
Those were the excuses we often heard anytime we made an attempt for my grandmother to spend any time with my cousins, or my aunt and uncle. Hence why she gave up trying.

My siblings although they live in another state, they've made efforts, my grandma has stayed up until about 12:30 in the morning to skype for just 15 minutes because that was when everyone, including my step mom was home. I've talked on the phone with them and then they have asked to say hello to my grandmother, or asked to be put on speaker just to say a quick hello. It was easy for them and they're the ones besides my cousin in Cali who live the futherst from my grandmother and they still managed to make an effort... so what excuse is there for my other cousins?

I shared with my mother and aunt the wishes that my grandmother told me and I told them that I would like to honor them as much as possible without conflict. So far the most we have done in respect to my grandmother was have a graveside service and I gave a eulogy. Everything else we can't do because of the unnecessary drama.

Honestly, as grandma started to decline. My step mom started to make preperations for my siblings so that she could come up and stay with us and be a fulltime aid for my grandmother... and that was her decision not forced on her by anybody in the family.

I think most of it has to do with guilt. I don't think they want to explain to people the truth about what happened. I think my Aunt and her husband do not want to look bad to their friends, even though it already looks bad because they were on a cruise when grandma passed even though they were told that grandma's health was declining fast. Both families are very concerned about how they appear to those around them while my mother, aunt and myself tend to accept people and the world for its flaws and we're not about to deny anything that has happened with the family and its dynamics. We all know the truth, my aunt and uncle's spouses have final say in their lives. It was easy to drive a wedge in the family... I say they all deserve eachother because its only a matter of time before somebody doesn't buy the right present and then they will be picking up the phone trying to make things right again with my mom and aunt.
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Stargazer, why can't you and your half siblings just meet with your mom and aunt and have a real truthful discussion?
Ask them...
Think back all these years, WHO visited grandmother?
WHO helped out grandmother? WHO was there for her?
All these years, they have ignored her. Did Not find the time to visit her. Not even a phone call. Not on holidays, not on holy days, not even on her birthday.

WHY now that she's dead, they want to put this on her tombstone? What Did Grandmother Want????

In the end, they will end up doing what the aunt wants. Go with the flow and not rock the boat too much.
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My mom and my aunt have a "sitdown" with their sibling and spouses today to discuss grandma's headstone. I still feel there really is nothing to discuss. Aunt I live with is paying for the whole thing. Still mom and aunt feel the stone should not say great grandmother because my grandmother hardly even knew her great grandchildren. I spent the final months, weeks, days and hours with grandma so I know what her wishes were but my relatives think I am a liar and am making it up to my benefit.

bookluvr-- Mom had to give some type of deadline because there were several headstone companies that were calling with quotes. Meanwhile they got my mom's email and just decided to ignore it until after they had conversed with eachother and decided that there should be a dinner at a resturant that nobody but my uncle's wife likes. I'm not invited because I am a "child" but like my mom and aunt said I knew my grandmother's dying wishes and my aunt and uncle and their spouses just don't want to accept the reality that out of all my grandmother's grandchildren. Myself and my half siblings (my dad remarried after he and my mom divorced, mom and grandma accepted my siblings with open arms)are the grandkids who cared and put the most effort into a relationship with my grandmother. What bugs them most is that I know my grandmother's wishes and I can't excute them because nobody wants to listen to me because they think its just lies in benefit to my mom and aunt.
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Grandma isn't being buried next to Grandpa, but she is in the same row as him, smaller stone is what we can afford, it's only a foot smaller than Grandpa's. If Aunt and Uncle got back to us and were willing to share in the cost, we can get the bigger stone.

Still no word from Aunt and Uncle, and their spouses haven't contacted us either. We'll have to see what happens with them being contacted by the monument place.

Hopefully I will have good news soon.
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I see all of this as one more reason, to pre-pay and make these arrangements yourself, especially when your spouse is already buried there. Of course, the stone needs to basically match his.

Good luck.
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Good plan and good boundary setting......The request to share costs is smart as well as a response time. Sounds like this is important for the aunt.... maybe she'd like to pay for it all since shes acting like she feels guilty.
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The only reason my mom put period of time on her email is because in order for us to have an unveiling on time, we need to get the ball rolling with the headstone company.

My aunt wanted to have a say in everything with the headstone but she has not returned any phone calls and neither has my uncle, it's been 10 days since my mom emailed both my aunt and uncle and 3 days since her 2nd email and there hasn't been a reply or phone call..they've let my mother's phone calls go to voice mail as well. My grandma's sister (She's 87) is absolutely horrified at the behavior of all my aunts and uncles and cousins. She has called my aunt and uncle and gave them a what for and still there has been nothing from anybody. We are slowly being left with no choice but to move forward.

I really didn't ask for people to jump down my throat about it, I just wanted to know what others have done in dealing with similar situations.

The woman from the headstone company contacted me this afternoon and said she will gladly send my aunt and uncle letters stating that they have been contacted and what the plans were and how much it's going to cost and will contact us if either of them contacts her. She admitted that she has seen worse.

As for stating that I was the only grandchild who cared about her, she said "What did I do to my grandchildren that they don't love me? They don't call me, they don't send me pictures. They don't visit me. What did I do?" I gave her a big hug and told her I love her and even if we didn't live in the same house nothing would have changed our relationship."

I consider myself very lucky to have spent as much time as I did with her and at times it was very frustrating when help was needed and not one family member stepped up, but to each their own at this point right?
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this reminds me of the grandkid who was going to grind me into a fine powder last week for interfering in his grandmas health care -- hes the kid who lives in her house, hopes to inherit it, but never comes to see her.
anyway, ive learned to flow along with nut cases. they are trying to rile you and they have a public meltdown when they realize it aint gonna happen..
my older sis lives 5 miles from aunt edna right now but isnt about to go see her. she'll be front and center for a funeral later tho. i wont be there. let those saps get their comfort from youporn like everybody else..
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Sorry about the typos. My laptop keys require that I slam it hard. If I don't slam it hard, it doesn't type the letter. "spit" is "split", etc....
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You showed you cared for grandma by being there for her. You visited her and did not ignore. Action Speaks Louder Than Words. I spent a little over half of my life caregiving mom. None of my 7 siblings relieved me and father. If I wanted to go on a business trip, I had to pay my nieces to come and change mom's pampers. Until one last trip, they never showed up - even though I paid them. When mom died last year, my siblings cried. I was dry-eyed. I already spent years crying at nights, damning God, life, everything when I reached my lowest (depressions). My siblings decided to spit mom's funeral money gifts into 9 (including father). Uhm.. where were they all these years?

So, I understand where you're coming from about your aunt and her kids never really being there or visiting your grandmother. I understand where you can honestly say that you are the only grandchild to care for her.

I just wished your mom just not give your aunt a deadline. But I understand that she's trying to be neutral. Yes, I understand that cruises are fully paid and she may not get her money back so that she can attend her mother's funeral. (Just like my siblings tell me that they have no money to help out - to pay for someone to caregive a few hours a week to relieve me - but these same siblings can travel several times a year and stay at hotels, eat out in restaurants,etc...)

Too bad we're not mean or hardhearted like them. If I was, I would put on grandma's tomb that she was a great grandmother who never met her great grands. sigh... I really need to stop reading these vampire books. I find that when i read it, I tend to be so blunt and hardhearted... Well, please let us know how it turns out. I'm so curious if and how your aunty will respond. My condolence on your grandmother. {Hugs}
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Also, all of that stuff about being the only grandchild who cared about her, I would drop that as well. Who knows what others really feel and why they behave as they do. Grandma has passed. Bury the hatchet.
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Why is it always this way with some people? Much power playing and disagreement. I live in Florida and my brother who lives near mom makes all decisions whether I like it or not. I find it much better to just agree and move on than to argue. What's the point? Someone needs to move forward with the decision making and I don't intend to be the one holding up them up. If you don't hear from your aunt by the deadline you have set, move forward without her input but don't expect any money toward the stone. Maybe that is her angle after all, to not pay anything and just whine about being left out later. Who knows?
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So just a small update about this situation.

Mom emailed Aunt and Uncle about Grandma's stone, with a picture of Grandpa's stone telling them that due to cost, we we're going with a smaller stone but pretty much everything that was on grandpa's stone will be on Grandma's. Aunt and Uncle were given until April 1st to respond with their input and if they were going to share the cost. If neither answers by April 1st, April 5th (Mom is having medical procedure on April 2nd, and Aunt I live with cannot handle the situation of Grandma's stone) we move forward with Grandma's stone being completed.
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Do what you feel is right and what you know your grandmother would have wanted. They have no right to be involved - their previous behaviour has made that clear. I agree that after a death there often are people who want a say and are quick to blame. Rise above it. ((((((hugs))))) You are doing well in a difficult situation.
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I agree with all of the above. Wonderful answers Like they said, take the high road. Too many people want to whine and carry on, do it my way, do it my way...but they want you to pay to do it their way. They won't contribute. Like Countrymouse said, acknowledge her, wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, great-grandmother...however you want to do that. But don't allow spite or bitterness towards your aunt to get in the way of that. Just acknowledge who your GRANDMOTHER was. if auntie don't like it, tough
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Be careful. Your grandmother's headstone will literally set in stone how the general public remembers her. When she was born, when she died, and her significance in this world. It is not like an author's note of thanks at the end of a book. It is a public record of her status.

If her headstone is going to acknowledge her as a wife, mother and grandmother, then it ought also to acknowledge her as a great-grandmother. She was one. She is entitled to have that status recognised as part of her memorial.

This is more important than either letting your aunt have her say or, on the other hand, putting her in her place and punishing her for her lack of filial duty. If you can prevent it, do not allow animosity among her descendants to deprive your grandmother of her due.
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If you want to take care of it, and are pointing out the others are not going to pay, I suppose that means you are going to pay. Then do so and do it your way. If they are so infuriated that want a change they can do and pay for it themselves. They won't. I know lots of people like this they huff and puff and opine, but do little to actually contribute. They will of course find someone (you)and something (you did not do it their way) to blame and justify their lack of contribution.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to absorb the expense, take the high road, take care of the problem and leave the cackling losers behind.
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Don't wait. Just do it and if Auntie objects after the fact, she can paid for any additional writing.
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