With timing that has me wondering why things have to come in bunches … like snow that builds into mountainous drifts obscuring the comfortably familiar … yesterday, Jaren’s birthday, brought me long-sought-for photos of the headstone that now sits on his grave.
It was supposed to be placed a couple of months after his burial, but has apparently taken a bit longer, and I’m sure it stands out amongst the staid markers in the tiny cemetery in Paskenta where he lies aside my father and very near my grandparents and great-grandparents.
Jaren’s dad and I had to chose from a wide range of shapes, sizes, materials, designs, fonts, texts, styles, and so on back in June when we buried our son, and it was no easy process, and certainly not one we had any practice in beforehand.
At one point, we thought to ask if it would be possible to have a guitar engraved somewhere on the stone and were surprised when the funeral director pulled out a book of tombstone clip art … yes, those exist … and showed us a drawing of a fat mariachi guitar with three cheesy notes issuing from it. Although I was sorely tempted to saddle my son with such cheese for the foreseeable eternity, being not one bit happy about him being dead and all, it was decided to investigate the possibilities of emblazoning his marker with something much more him. What is there is a representation of one of his guitars … the one his brother Sebastian now plays.
I know many of his friends plan to make a pilgrimage to Paskenta to visit Jaren’s grave, and I will be thankful to hear about those trips. It is in a lovely place, very peaceful under giant old oaks, and I plan to spend many hours there as soon as I can.
There will be no trouble finding him … his face and his guitar mark where he lies.