The Most Precious of Headstones
Child headstones are, perhaps, the most precious of all headstones because they serve two important functions. Child headstones, of course, memorialize the life of a child, but they also can help families who have lost a child cope with what is arguably the most difficult experience a family can suffer. Psychologists say that having a special place in which to remember a lost loved-one is an important part of grieving, and that is especially important when it comes to a loss of a child. By marking the graves of young lives cut tragically short, memorial tributes to children give families a place of comfort to turn to for years to come.
Headstones and grave markers for children are almost always decorated according to the universal themes of childhood. Child grave markers typically are designed with the goal of capturing the child’s happy, fun-loving, innocent spirit, and displaying that spirit for the ages. Pacifiers, baby blocks, hearts, or other symbols of the carefree days of childhood are typical parts of the design of child headstones. The goal of such décor on child headstones is to remind visitors for years to come that that child being memorialized was, and always will be, a peace filled, loving spirit.
Aside from their important role in the grieving process, child headstones also offer the same historical and genealogical benefits of other headstones. Child headstones assure historians will have accurate records for decades, or even centuries, after a death has occurred. One mother’s case illustrates how this can be a significant comfort. After doctors characterized her infant’s death as a “miscarriage”, the woman was presented with neither a death nor birth certificate. Her baby’s child headstone, accordingly, became the only formal evidence of her child’s existence.
That woman’s story points to yet reason why child headstones are important: Because they happen usually unexpectedly, to parents on unstable financial footing, child deaths often cause often cause terrible strain for families. While typically less expensive than full size markers, child headstones can still sometimes cost too much for a young family’s tight budget. The above mentioned woman had this trouble and found some financial relief from the Connor Kirby Infant Memorial Foundation. That organization paid for her child headstone and many other expenses for her child burial. There are a number of other such groups that can help families needing child headstones. Many memorial companies also offer installment plans for all headstones, including, of course, child headstones.
Because of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding their necessity, child headstones are perhaps the most troubling for everyone involved parents, other family members, and even casual visitors to cemeteries. But, because their lives were so short, children deserve the best memorials available. And, child headstones assure that’s what they get.