Teen's headstone repossessed

Filed under: Teens

The death of a family member is painful under any circumstance, but losing a child takes pain to a whole new level. Ask my mother. I vividly remember after my brother's death seeing my parents struggle to put their grief aside long enough to handle the logistical - and financial - aspects of planning his funeral. This was left mostly for my dad to sort out, as was most other financial dealings in our household.

A large part of the expense of burying a loved one is the headstone. This is generally a separate transaction from the other funeral arrangements. And they don't have these things made up and ready to go - in my family, we paid a deposit on a headstone that was finally placed on my brother's grave months after he was buried. Because of my own experience, I can see how forgetting to pay for that last expense can happen.

I imagine a similar scenario played out for the Conger family after their 17-year-old son Brady died in a car accident in 2006. They ordered a headstone for his grave from Memorial Art Monument, but never paid the $750 balance after the marker was placed.

The company attempted to collect the money by sending bills, but those were returned. They couldn't reach the Congers, so they repossessed the headstone. As Linda Anderson of Memorial Art Monument points out, headstone-making is a business. "If we give every stone to everybody, we'd be out of business. They'd repossess your car if you didn't make payment," she says.

She's right, of course. But it is hard to imagine the additional pain the Congers suffered because of this business decision. But here is the nice ending to the story - Brady Conger's classmates got together and raised the money to pay the bill and the headstone will be replaced.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.