Monday, August 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - I'm a Bit Disappointed and Angry

Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown (middle)
I'm traveling back to Texas while this posts so no 1860 census form this week, so I decided to post one of the many tombstones that I visited while on my trip home.

One of the gravestones I very much wanted to visit was for my cousin, Nancy O'Donoghue nee Brown.  She was killed last October.  I never met the rest of the family.  Nancy and I corresponded because we were both researching our Brown line and realized that it was the same line.  We met once and exchanged information.  We corresponded occasionally on Facebook and would email each other from time to time with life events or if either of us discovered something new in our research.  She was an incredibly warm, sweet lady.  I wanted to visit her grave and get a picture of the tombstone.

There was no tombstone.  There was only the metal marker that the funeral home puts out after burial.  The temporary marker.  I spoke with the caretaker and the rectory and was told that many friends had stopped by looking for Nancy's grave to pay their respects, but that the temporary metal marker wasn't even placed by the funeral home until recently.  She was buried in October and nothing had marked her grave until very recently.  Unacceptable.

A bit harsh perhaps.  I never met her immediate family as I mentioned, but I don't understand the hold up.  I know that the family no longer lives in Hazleton, PA where Nancy was laid to rest in our old parish cemetery, but wouldn't someone have checked to see if the marker had been placed?  Wouldn't someone at least have insisted on the temporary marker after the funeral?

I know they are going through hard times right now.  Money may be tight.  I won't go into the circumstances surrounding Nancy's death in this post.  It is truly horrific and is undoubtedly tearing the family apart, but with so many people wanting to visit Nancy's gravesite could a memorial fund not have been created?  I would have given money for a marker.

I'm going to have to bite the bullet though.  I've got the funeral home's telephone number and I intend on calling and asking if the stone was purchased through them or if other arrangements have been made.  If I have to I will raise money for a marker for my cousin.  I will not let this sweet lady's memory fade away. 


  1. So sad. I have three that are without a plaque or headstone. I know how you feel. I hope to get family to kick in for two of them, but the third one I will be taking care of. Good luck!

  2. Oh wow, that is so sad and disappointing Cherie. I'm so sorry to hear about this. I hope you will find some resolution. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. That's very sad and I hope you're able to resolve the issue. :-(

    I recently found my 3rd great grandfather lying in an unmarked grave in Kansas (I'm in Washington). I don't know if his family didn't have the money for a stone or didn't want to spend it but either way, there is no marker. Since he was a Civil War veteran, I'm working with a local funeral home and the Department of Veteran's Affairs to get a stone for him. I will feel complete when this stone is placed and I can see a photo of his marked grave.

  4. Thanks everyone! I'm hoping that her family is taking care of it and there is simply a hold up. Still, I'd be quite angry if it was my mom and it wasn't done yet. I still have to look into getting one for my grandfather as well...he's a longer story! :)

  5. Good luck. I hope you are able to get the situation resolved soon. It really is sad.