When my cousin passed away, it was the hardest day ever in my life. The two of us were born within six months of each other, and we were closer than most sisters. When she passed, it was a hard time for all of us, but I took it especially hard. She had entrusted me with her arrangements, as we knew that it was coming because of her poor cancer diagnosis. She helped me make all of the arrangements, and we even went to a monument store in Morris County NJ together. I thought that it would be morbid planning her funeral with her, but it was actually very helpful for both of us.
We had both been to many funerals of friends and family members through the years, and we sometimes thought that the final arrangements were different than what some of the people may have wanted. She picked out her own casket, the floral displays and music she wanted, and even helped plan the menu for the wake after the funeral service. She wanted my input for the headstone though, which is how we found ourselves shopping for tombstones together about six weeks before she passed away.
She did not want a plain tombstone, and I agreed with her. There is nothing wrong with a headstone that just has the name and some dates on it, but that is just not her style at all. She wanted something fancy, and we definitely went to the right store to find just that for her. She ended up with a headstone that has her name and dates on it, but it also has a picture of her etched above her name. There is also a much bigger etching of Jesus to the far left, with his hand stretched out to her. Every time I visit her grave, that is what gives me the most peace, knowing she is with Him and is in my future too.