Getting To The Heart of Designing The Perfect Grave Marker

I began my career with O’Connor Mortuary at precisely the right time. My boss, Neil O’Connor, is an idea man and to my benefit, one of his better ideas was that all of our orders for grave markers should be designed and processed by one member of our staff. He chose me for this role and three years later, I could not be more honored that he did.

A grave marker is the rectangular bronze or granite stone that is placed on the grave of a loved one at a cemetery. While the name is that of the departed, the marker is created for the family to remember them by.

Scrabble Fan

Scrabble Fan
Photo via

Grave markers tell a beautiful story in a 28×16 rectangular space.  Multiple photo tiles may be used to chronicle each decade of your beloved’s life.  Custom emblems allow the opportunity for meaningful hobbies, clubs and organizations to be represented.  Your relative’s signature can even be immortalized on granite for future generations to examine.

Some families come in with exactly what they want written on the marker.  They select a basic design and we typically meet for thirty minutes or less.  This same family will usually approve the first proof and have their marker delivered within a month.

Other families will take years to complete their loved one’s marker.  Sometimes the process is too painful so they put it away for a period of time and contact me when they are ready to resume. Some families even create the artwork for the marker themselves.

I’ve noticed that many of my families are looking for someone to hear their story and help them develop a marker that is the perfect tribute.  With these families I typically spend about 2 hours or more listening and learning about their loved one.  This is where I have found ministry through memorializing.

I believe it is what I am made for.

Out of the Wheelchair

Out of the Wheelchair
Photo Via

My position is also unique in that I have ongoing contact with the families that I serve.  During the weeks or even months that the marker is being designed, approved, produced and delivered, I am in frequent contact with the family.  We share a lot during this time.

I have been invited to their children’s baseball games, family gatherings and lunches stemming from the connections that we made.

The most important element of my job is that families trust me enough to be transparent and invite me into their world and what they are experiencing each day.  That is the heart of why I am so passionate about what I do.

Career + Passion = Beautiful Thing Photo via Pinterest

Career + Passion = Beautiful Thing
Photo via Pinterest

Neil O’Connor gave me solid advice when I began this position: “Treat this like it is your own business.”  It has ignited a fire in me that makes me strive to be the best I can be.  Pride of ownership is a driving force but beyond that I have found my purpose and passion.

Have you designed a grave marker for a member of your family?

What was the biggest challenge in the design process for you?

What do you want your grave marker to say one day?

By | 2013-07-31T05:00:07-07:00 July 31st, 2013|Ceremonies, Inspiration|58 Comments


  1. Mike Bayer July 31, 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for being there Lori. You’re doing a terrific service.

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 8:48 am - Reply

      Thank you so much Mike! It truly is the most rewarding experience to be a part of such a compassionate work environment. I appreciate your comment.

  2. Becky Finch Lomaka July 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Lori, I love that you have found your passion and purpose in your role at O’Connor. It speaks volumes about you that families choose to include you in their lives. We know so well that once the memorial service or funeral is over, that it is only the beginning of the family’s grief journey. Thank you for shepherding and supporting them during this time.

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your lovely comments. Yes, I am in a unique role to have that extended connection. I have made some wonderful friends along the way.
      I am so glad you are with us at O’Connor to continue our strong relationships within the community. I look forward to deepening our friendship in the years to come! <3<3<3

  3. Molly Keating July 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    I”ve never had to design a grave marker but I didn’t know that you could do so much in the realm of personalization with those stones. I’ve been to a fair number of cemeteries and seen stones that just all look the same, one after the other, so the ideas you shared of adding a signature or a photograph seem like such wonderful ways to personalize and truly “mark” the grave of your loved one.
    It is such a blessing to work with someone like you who loves their job so dearly. The more passion & compassion we have on board the better and your spirit for what you do is a beautiful thing.
    Thank you so much for writing this great blog & for sharing your hear & ministry with us!


    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Thank YOU for all you do as our Director of Social Media!! We have come a LONGGG way from that first BLOG DOG meeting, huh? I know it is due to all of your work behind the scenes, editing us, researching, posting to our website and other sites. All of this and you contribute to other blogs as well. You are so perfect in this role! I know you understand my passion because I can tell you have it too. One of the reasons I love my job so much is because of the people, like you, who I get to see throughout my day. Okay, I am out of ways to tell you how wonderful I think you are. 🙂
      Love you!

  4. Christopher Iverson July 31, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply


    Thank you for sharing your vocational passion. I’ve had the honor of watching you develop what could have been “transactional” meetings with families into some very beautiful connections. You have bright a trusting value to your position here at O’Connor Mortuary.

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

      You are one of the ones who has been with me on this journey from the Memorial Ministry days. It is people like you who made me want to be part of O’Connor Mortuary. Everyone I encountered was so wonderful.
      I have enjoyed a variety of roles over almost four years. Markers is the one that gives me that extended contact with the families that I thrive on. It is great to have a little experience and be able to suggest things and watch their faces light up like, “Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking”.
      It is due to the support of not only Neil and Fitz for giving me my start, but also you and Joanna for covering for me at reception when I have appointments, Amy, Kari and Shayna for picking up my Administrative case load, Diana and Rosemary for answering extra calls when I am out of the loop. It has definitely been a team effort.
      Thanks for all of your support Man!!

  5. Shayna Mallik July 31, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Wow, thank you for sharing more about your role as Marker Specialist. I know how much you love meeting with the families and helping design the best marker for their loved one. You are very passionate about your positions here at O’Connors and I am very lucky to not only call you my co worker but my friend.

    Love you!

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      As I mentioned below, I could not do it without the help of you and the rest of our Administrative team. Your willingness to jump in and help with my cases and the break times has been a HUGE load off of my mind when I am on back to back appointments.
      I am honored to call YOU coworker and friend….and there is still time for bridesmaid? flower girl? guest book coordinator?
      C’Mon, Elsa took the bait!! 😉
      Love you Little Miss!!!

  6. Jeff Turner July 31, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    One of our favorite florists was delivering flowers the other day and went into the flower room to see how he was doing since we took care of his father just a few months ago. We caught up and then he told me about the marker that you helped them with. He had family visiting and they went for the first time with his mother, the new widow, to see it. He said that when they arrived at the grave and approached getting their very first glimpse of the marker in place, his mother began weeping and commenting on just how beautiful it was. He described just how important that permanent memorial is and how perfectly it honored his father. He could not say enough about just how highly they thought of you in this effort.

    Well done Lori!

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 3:16 pm - Reply

      I am glad you mentioned this because this is an example of a time I gained more from a family than they did from me. He told me stories about how wonderful his father was, always a kind word for everyone and did not see the benefit in being angry. To watch him share how proud he was of his father was very heartwarming. He passed that trait down to his son, because he always has kind words for all of us when he comes in.

      You have been a great source of support as well in my journey here at O’Connor. It means a lot when an owner of the company gives you their support in each of your endeavors. Supportive management is key to the team’s success.

      Thank you for believing in me and encouraging me along the way….oh and aggravating me too, you do that sometimes, so you know…..


  7. Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Jodi, I am honored by your words, as you are quite the hero in our community. Your unending efforts to spread awareness about prescription drug abuse is admirable. I know God and Jarrod are looking down on you with a great deal of pride and love. That is obvious from all of the signs you have received. I am honored to have you as a friend and partner in our community!
    Love You,

  8. Lori July 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your complimentary words. I take that to heart as you are one of the hardest working people in that building! More importantly, you always do it with a smile. You have an inner light that shines and I am so glad to have you as my friend.
    I didn’t get to meet with your family to design Casey’s marker, however, I look forward to running into your family around town now that we are neighbors. I know from the sweet girl you are that I will love all of them too. <

  9. Lori July 31, 2013 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks for your heartfelt words. Lol!
    More importantly, thanks for letting me pick on you and be the MUCH younger sister you never had and never wanted!! You make work fun!!
    “Livin’ It?” “Calm Down”
    Love ya Brother!!

  10. Connie July 31, 2013 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    As your Mother I am very proud of you, reading what you do day to day makes me realize that all the love, caring, and concern you have had all your life has never left you. You are a very Special Person. I am so happy you work in such a wonderful environment with people who care for one another and there interests. Love Mom

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks Mom! I learned from the best when it comes to being loving, caring and compassionate. I am very blessed to have you as my Mom!
      Love you so much!!!

  11. Neil O'Connor July 31, 2013 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Lori – It has been a pleasure to see you thrive in this role. You have taken our company to another level. Your care, compassion & professionalism for our families shines through everyday. I am proud of you and grateful for you, thank you! Neil

    • Lori July 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      I certainly do not take you being proud of me lightly. You set a high bar and if I have achieved even half of that, then I feel I have succeeded. I look forward to what the future holds. There are many more opportunities for me to personalize my service and I am working on these ideas all of the time.
      Your leadership sets the example of how I should always take service to the next level. I will always be honored to be part of the great things that are happening at O’Connor.
      With Gratitude,

  12. Anne August 1, 2013 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Lori, I know you give your all to making these markers a meaningful final step in their grieving process with our team. I think sometimes that’s why some take so long. It seems to be the last thing they can do for their loved one. I get that. Thanks for putting up with me when I scrutinize every transaction for accuracy. Such a mundane thing to have to do when all we really want is for it to be meaningful, but hey, I guess that is why you have me. Love you.

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 8:43 am - Reply

      You are right. Many families say exactly that about it being the “final step”.
      Scrutinizing transactions is only a fraction of the reason I have you. You are a treasure to me and I am inspired by your love for God and everyone around you. You have shared your wisdom with me on many occasions. I have walked away from each conversation wiser or at least in the process of becoming wiser, I’m stubborn sometimes. 😉
      Love you!!

  13. Innessa Khabovets August 1, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply


    Thank you for all that you have done for our family! Your fast responses and attention to detail, just exceptional!


    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comments! It was a pleasure helping your family place your father’s marker. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
      Take care!!

  14. Lori August 1, 2013 at 10:22 am - Reply

    Thank you so very much for your heartfelt words. I treasure them and I am so grateful I am the person who had the privilege of walking you through this often difficult process. I am so glad that once the marker was completed, it was exactly as you hoped. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you and your family.
    My best to all of you,

  15. Lori August 1, 2013 at 10:39 am - Reply

    The best part of this process is that I have made a new friend! I think the world of you Robin and it is truly my honor to suggest ideas to you for John’s marker. I think we are definitely on the right track with our latest ideas.
    I’ll bring the wine and we will toast to John once the marker is delivered and set!
    Thank you for allowing me this glimpse into the beautiful love story of you and John.
    Warmest regards,

  16. Sharon Watkins August 1, 2013 at 10:46 am - Reply

    I am so glad that Molly is having our team members help us get to know you and others of our team so much better. I loved feeling your passion for what you do in assisting the families we serve. It is great to see, hear and understand the different ways that families are served by the team members here at O’Connor Mortuary through the difficult process of loss – whether expected or unexpected. I loved reading about your feelings of connection with the families. I know you are warm and caring and give love and compassion to everyone you meet with.
    I am really grateful that we took the opportunity to go to dinner to get better acquainted. I really appreciate your friendship. Great job on your blog entry!

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 11:07 am - Reply

      I too am so glad we went to dinner. Getting away from the office and having all of the time we need to share our experiences is so important. I only wish our schedules would ease up so we could have that next dinner we have been talking about!
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      I am thrilled to see all of the positive things that are coming your way. You have worked so hard and now it is time to reap the rewards and successes that you so deserve.
      I look forward to seeing what the future holds for both of us.
      Thank you for your friendship! I am grateful for you!

  17. Lori August 1, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Wow! Thank you so much! I am pleased when I hear I make you guys proud. Again, to have an owner recognize me in such a public forum is so affirming. I could not have gained the confidence to spread my wings in this role without the support of all of you. Your pats on the back when earned and tough love when warranted have taken me on a journey of self discovery. You have tirelessly (you may have been acting, because I talk… A LOT) sat and listened to me express where I am in this journey on multiple occasions. While I may not always agree with you in the moment, the lesson always reveals itself when I open my mind and heart. Thank you for your patience and mentoring.
    And you’re pretty….can’t forget that… 🙂
    With Gratitude,

  18. Lori August 1, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply

    You set me up for success by handing off families who are so pleased with you. A good portion of our appointments include hearing your name in a positive light, multiple times. They already love O’Connor when your families get to me so I would have to royally mess up to remove them from that place of complete satisfaction with our services. Thank YOU for being not only my coworker, but my wonderful friend as well.. MWAH!!! XOXO

  19. Joe Lavoie August 1, 2013 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Very well said Lori , not only have I had first hand experience with markers at the cemetery as well as here at the mortuary I had to help design the marker when my wife renee died how challenging that really ended up being but with the help of my many friends I was able to honor her in a very special and everlasting way. I was once told by a family I was serving that the marker is the address for the grave and a very important step in honoring your loved ones life. Thank You Joe Lavoie

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      I love the comment about it being the “address for the grave”. I never thought of it quite like that.
      Thank you, also for being transparent about how difficult the loss of Renee and designing her marker was. Even though you have a beautiful new family, I know you still deal with residual grief.
      Also, a big THANK YOU to you for showing me the ropes when I began my work with markers. You continue to be there for support whenever I have questions and that is much appreciated.
      Yes, I have made this reply all about you, but as we know, that is how you prefer it. 🙂 You are a good friend Mr. Lavoie!!

  20. Mitch August 1, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I know you love your position. You obviously are good at connecting with families, they must appreciate what you do and how you care for them. Keep up the great work.

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for commenting. I have heard families mention how much they appreciate what you do for them on their services. What you do lays the groundwork for my time with them to go smoothly. I do love what I do and I thank you for recognizing it.
      Thanks friend,

  21. Elsa August 1, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

    Great Read. I am so appreciative to have you as our Marker Specialist. I feel very confident when recommending you to the families that I have served. I can’t think of any one person more perfect for this role.
    Great Work Lori!!

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

      Wow! I take that as a huge compliment coming from you! When I meet with your families and they compliment you, my standard response is, “I know, I tell her I wish I had it half as together as she does when I was her age”. I am so glad that you are at ease once your families come to me. I know you are a perfectionist and I am glad I do not let you down, well, most of the time. Lol!
      I’m grateful for ALL that you do and for your friendship!
      AKA The Wedding Planner 🙂

  22. Joanna Ramirez August 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm - Reply


    Very well written Ms. Bristol. I love when you come out of a Marker Appt with these stories families have shared with you. It shows that you have made a strong connection and that is very valuable. Great job friend!!!!!!

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Wait….you actually listen to my stories? Usually you tune me out, but now I know that is just my personal stories.
      Thank you for covering for me on weekends that I have appointments when I know you have multiple tasks that need your attention. You never make me feel like I need to rush an appointment or that you are concerned about your work that is waiting. You are part of the team that has encouraged and helped me grow in this role. More importantly, we have established a special friendship that has been a very nice surprise.
      Thank you for everything!!!

  23. Jenn August 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    When I first saw the “out of the wheel chair” grave marker a year or so ago I was so touched and humbled and appreciated the families creativity and wished I could have been there when it was first revealed to them, it must have been a very moving moment. I think all grave markers should have their own special theme or uniqueness to represent the person whom it is identifying.

    • Lori August 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      I agree with you about each marker being unique. In my few years of experience, I am beginning to learn the families who are open to personalizing vs those who do not like to step away from tradition. The exciting part for me is being able to suggest things they never even thought of or asking questions that lead to that “light bulb” moment. They are surprised by some of the things that can be incorporated.
      I am so glad to have the opportunity to work with you. I foresee great things for you and look forward to getting to know you better.
      Thank you!!

  24. Lori August 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    I’m working with a family whose loved one’s wishes were to be cremated, however, he is so beloved that they purchased a space at the cemetery so a marker can be placed for his multiple friends to go and pay their respects.
    Just because you want to be cremated, you might not be off the hook for the marker! 🙂 Remember, this is a place for your children and future grandchildren to go and remember their favorite things about you. The design of your marker might not come to mind for you immediately, but I know your children could think of many loving things they would want to incorporate. I love your urn idea too!!
    Appreciate your comments and YOU!!

  25. Greg Forster August 2, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Hi Lori,

    What a unique, caring, artful and sensitive career that you possess! And aren’t you exactly the right person to fill this role! I was very touched by the two marker photographs that you displayed. I have a new vision of the freedom of expression that you are able to offer to all of our families if they choose to be communicative and creative in the memorial that they create for their loved one. This is their choice for the permanent memory that they leave behind for posterity.
    At the time my father passed my mother was unable to leave her retirement residence for his funeral. Nor was she ever able to visit the gravesite prior to her own passing, but I took her directions for what she wanted. I designed the traditional granite marker myself, including the religious image of her choosing. After the marker was in place for my father, I returned to the site to confirm its correct design and proper placement. I took a photo and said a quiet prayer. On my next visit to her I presented her with the photo. I felt both relief and satisfaction that she approved of the marker. Here it was, with both of their names on it. She saw and knew that it, at some point, also would be the sign of her passing. She liked it…she liked it. It’s a good feeling when you have done something so permanent that you have also done it so well.

    With your unique experience, I certainly hope that you have been compiling a scrap book with examples of unique designs that you have been a part of creating. Each design is a memory gift to you, and inspirational to the rest of us here at OCM.

    Please continue to share your memories with us on our journey together.

    Thank you, Greg

    • Lori August 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words and for sharing about the marker design process for your parents. Your story is very touching.
      I have not created a scrapbook, however, I have been to local cemeteries to take pictures of many of the markers I have helped families design.
      Your encouraging words are much appreciated, as is your friendship.
      Thank you!!!

  26. amy August 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    I commend you on doing what your are so passionate about. They way you are able to connect with the families and continue on their journey with them is a gift. Continue to do what you do and continue our level of flawless service.

    • Lori August 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for your praise. I appreciate you calling my connection with the families we serve a gift. I do thrive on the interaction with them and I am thankful you have picked up the slack on many occasions in Admin so I can take my time with family appointments. Supportive management is key to the success of the rest of the team.
      Thank you for your support!!

  27. Hiro August 5, 2013 at 12:01 am - Reply

    How great that you get to hear a family’s story and help create something that will be around for future generations! What a perfect role for such a caring person!

    • Lori August 5, 2013 at 5:17 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind comment. I see great things in your future. You are a very special young lady and I think our families are so blessed to have you on their services. I am going to sit back and continue to watch your star shine.

  28. Lori August 5, 2013 at 5:05 am - Reply

    I am so grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve in the Memorial Ministry. Neither of us knew, but God knew, that you were setting the stage for what would become my career/ministry. I tried out many different jobs before finding where I am supposed to be. You not too long ago said, “you’ve found your sweet spot at O’Connor, haven’t you?” Indeed I have and without the encouragement of you and Sue Blagg I may have missed this wonderful opportunity.
    Love you and Gary so much!
    Thank you,

  29. Lori August 5, 2013 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Thank you so much Thiago. It is unfortunate that cemeteries here in California do not allow the upright monuments that are depicted here. I have had a few families who would love to select something like this for their loved one. Fortunately we are able to get more and more creative with advances in technology with what we can do with flat grave markers.
    I appreciate you reading and commenting.
    Thank you,

  30. Lori August 5, 2013 at 5:13 am - Reply

    The honor is truly mine. I come alive (really no pun intended) when I step in with a family. I mean it when I give you credit for supporting me. I still have the email tucked away when I was ready to give up because I didn’t think I could meet your expectations. You talked me off of that ledge by telling me you believed I was the right person for the position. That gave me the confidence I needed to move forward and I have gained more confidence with each family.
    Appreciate you so much!

  31. Lori August 5, 2013 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Thank you so much, my partner in crime. You are at the core of the family I have gained by coming to O’Connor. I love how our friendship has grown over the years. You are one of those people who can make me laugh, hard. That is such a rare and precious gift.
    Love you!!

  32. Patricia Kolstad August 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Lori . .
    This was so very interesting and given the type of caring individual that you are, it made me appreciate, even more, your role as Marker Specialist.

    You and I have talked at length about your commitment to this part of your responsibility. I have enjoyed listening to your stories of how you have walked along side a family and helped them to design just the perfect remembrance of their loved one. It takes a “listening to understand and not to respond” type of person, and you, my friend, fit that perfectly. I also love how you are able to “draw out” the story so that you are better able to help the family with their choices. Thank you for your care and compassion and for providing flawless service. It matters to the families and to the legacy they want to preserve. Nicely done!


    • Lori August 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for listening to me share my passion on more than one occasion. As I have learned more in my role, it is so satisfying to be able to make suggestions that families might not have thought about otherwise.
      I can’t tell you the feeling of receiving an email from a family with a picture of the marker set on the grave with their comment, “It’s perfect! Thank you!”.

      I’m equally excited to begin my new endeavor alongside you as Family Care Coordinator. I always hoped to have a chance to work with you. I think we will be a great team!

      I value having you in my life so much!!
      Love you,

  33. Erin Fodor August 10, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply


    I have not had the chance to design a grave marker for a loved one. But after reading your post, I would love the chance to be able to. I think it would be a great way of honoring that loved one.

    One thing I don’t have is a specific grave marker for my father. Sometimes I am envious of people that can go to a cemetery and visit there loved ones. But then I also think back to my dad’s wishes. He wanted to be scattered in the ocean at Diamond Head, Hawaii. I do feel as though now, he has moved to all parts of the Ocean and I can see him no matter what body of water I visit. So even though I don’t get to go see a specific single grave marker, I can visit him in many different places. We did however plant palm trees, at the crash site. So in a way I can relate that to a grave marker. My father had a true love for palm trees, at one point we had 48 different kinds in our backyard.

    I want to be cremated as well, and scattered in the ocean. But if I were to design a grave marker for myself, I know I would have palm trees etched into it. I would only want my name, birthday, and date of death on the marker. I would want the palm trees to make the statement. I believe that would best represent me.

    I think it is amazing the work you do for families in need, and relationships you
    are able to build with them. I will strive to be as passionate as you are! Thank you for sharing!

    -Erin Fodor

    • Lori October 10, 2013 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      First and foremost, I apologize for taking so long to reply to your comment.
      How many times have I said to you, “I still have to reply!”.

      Your comment touches my heart because we have at least one thing in common, we lost our fathers too young. I am sorry you have had to experience all of the sadness that came with your father’s unexpected death.
      I am glad that you are using your pain to walk others over the threshold to begin their grief journey. You are such a wonderful young lady. I get to hear first hand from the families we are privileged to serve the special things you do to care for them. I know you will only continue to become better as you become even more seasoned in your role.

      You already have the passion! I see it and love to watch you take on any task that is placed in front of you.

      Thank you for the bagels last week too!!

      Much love,

  34. Chris Andrews October 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Considering the heart-wrenching circumstances, you made the extremely difficult process seem easier as your sensitivity and care for me and my son was awe-inspiring. Designing a marker for my wife was something I never imagined would be required. After combing through thousands of photos my son picked out what he thought was the perfect reflection of mom. Unfortunately during the process of making the tile the image was blown up too large and was very blurry.

    Although I know you rarely have problems with these markers, you were instrumental in helping us through the process of getting it fixed and we can’t thank you enough. My son and I are still looking for the next perfect picture to replace it, but we are relieved to know you are on the other end to help us through the process once again.
    Kym was an absolutely spectacular wife, mom, sister and friend, and your guidance helped create a marker that reflected all of those qualities.
    Continue doing what has made you so special. O’Connor is blessed to have you in this position guiding families down a very difficult road with the utmost care and respect.

    With continued blessings,
    Chris & Blake Andrews
    Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “For I know the plans I have for you…a future and a Hope…”

    • Lori October 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Chris and Blake,
      Thank you so very much for your kind words. I know how much you both continue to miss Kym. It was truly my honor to assist you with the process of designing her marker.
      One of the favorite parts of my job is the friendships that blossom during the time we are working on the marker.
      It was so nice that our emails were not about the “transaction” of completing and placing Kym’s marker. I heard about how busy you were at work, what Blake has been up to, how often you got to sneak a motorcycle ride in…..we shared time together, we didn’t just conduct business.
      While I thank you for the wonderful things you have said, it is very much a two way street. I can only do well if the families I am serving are receptive.
      You were kind and patient when the tile was incorrect and that attitude is much appreciated.
      Continued prayers for you and Blake as you continue on this grief journey….

  35. Rhianna Hawk December 19, 2018 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Wow, I really love your creative ideas for memorials, especially where you mention engraving their signature. My father had a beautiful signature that I think would look great on his grave marker; he passed away a week ago and I’m helping my mom with the process of designing the memorial. As you said, the process can be painful, but I think that adding more personalized touches will make it more cathartic and give us the closure we need.

  36. David Norriss December 30, 2019 at 10:10 am - Reply

    I like how you brought up that a loved one’s hobbies and story can be immortalized on granite so that future generations can learn about them too. I honestly love this idea because it can turn a sad gravestone into an emblem that resembles the diseased person. I’m going to share this idea with all of my family and see what they think about us making it a tradition to get customized gravestones for our future generations to read.