how-do-you-want-to-be-remembered-photo.2.jpgLooking back at man’s earliest historical records, loved ones have always found their own particular ways to commemorate life. Each one of us occupies a unique place in our time and space on this earth. No matter where we live or how we live, we all place our distinctive fingerprint on our world. 

From the tombs of the pharaohs to a name on a donor’s wall in a hospital the attempt to preserve our personal perspective is ingrained into our being.


Some of us prefer to fade quietly out of sight while others want to go out with a bang that resonates forever. Scattering ashes over a golf course or into a favorite lake can work for one person, while another expects an elaborate granite mausoleum to preserve their memory. However, there are also many folks who absolutely refuse to think about what they want to leave behind even when they realize their days are numbered.

Some of my earliest memories date back to walking through local cemeteries with my dad, who came from a long line of stone carvers going back over 150 years. I vividly remember the faded ceramic photos, pithy epitaphs and all the symbols carved precisely into the polished granite headstones, but mostly I remember standing over the graves thinking about the interesting stories that were buried below! It was kind of like finding a faded message in a bottle that had floated the seas for many years.


Since my working life (over 50 years so far) revolves around preserving memories, I have always been on the lookout for the right options to enable me to provide a "perfect fit” memorial for my clients. One of our newest additions "The Living Headstone®” uses a QR code tag that is attached to the cemetery memorial. Each code tag leads to a personal website which contains family information, photos, comments or endearments that are accessible via home computer or by scanning with a smart phone in the cemetery.

Just like "taking a trip without leaving the farm”, family members from around the world can leave messages on the site for special occasions like birthdays or Mother’s Day if they can’t come to visit the grave. Precious family photos and other genealogical information can be preserved in cyberspace from fire and flood by using this new technology.


But some of us don’t connect with new technology and only want a one-of-a-kind tombstone that marks their grave. Today we have many different ways to tell a "Story in Stone”. It can be distinctly personalized with detailed stone carving or it can contain a permanent ceramic photo, an engraved verse from a favorite song or poem or even a cool solar light that illuminates the monument in the cemetery like a beacon in the night.

The act of trying to define our own core values is an interesting exercise in life. What is it that we want to leave for future generations? What gave us strength and kept us on the right path? I see it as giving a "leg up” to people who come after us. There is so much that we can learn about life just by walking in a cemetery and searching for the things that people who went before wanted to have us think about!

How do you want to be remembered?