An unmarked grave gives thoughts to early American settlers, ancestors, unknown war heroes and bygone times.
This may not always be the case. Factors such as indecision, guilt and even expense can lead to a burial taking place during a time of need without a decision being made on marker or memorial tombstone.
A family under the duress of grief might leave that decision "for later," but find themselves victims of "coulda, shoulda, woulda" when wanting to visit the burial space years later and finding it still has not been addressed.
A recent survey conducted by the National Network of Cemeteries found that as many as 17 percent of families have at least one relative they know of in an unmarked grave.
What causes a grave to go unmarked?
Sometimes a grave site can go unmarked for simple reasons. For instance during a time of need, the decision process can become stressful and a family debate about choosing an appropriate marker could escalate right up until the burial. The family can decide it can be put off until afterwards and move on with the service.
With out of town guests, relatives, friends and neighbors wishing to pay their respects and taking time to grieve, the distractions can mount after the burial and family members move on without making a decision.
Grief and guilt can compound things and a family matriarch or patriarch may be distracted with the nagging thought of needing to get the family together again to finalize the decision. Days can become weeks, weeks can become months and time easily slips away.
This situation can be avoided with appropriate planning. Making a decision on a marker is included when making prepaid burial plans and can be taken care of well before a time of need. You can make the decision on the type and style of marker or memorial tombstone and it never becomes a matter of family debate or discussion.
Wayne Memorial Park in Dudley, NC pictured aboved.