By Rebecca A. Gardner –
Discussing burial and cremation is part of my job. Proper estate planning involves not only discussions about your estate and your heirs, but discussions regarding your end-of-life decisions and what happens to your remains after you die. These aren't always easy conversations for my clients, but once in awhile someone has a very clear picture of how they want to be honored after his or her death. Clients have asserted they do not want formal memorial services. Others designate assets from their estates to cover the costs of their wakes. Some clients direct their burials be done as economically as possible. My clients have been scattered in rivers and at family ranches, buried in centuries-old family plots, and one even entertained the idea of compressing her ashes into a gemstone for a ring (see http://www.memorial-diamonds.com/).
I have yet to encounter a client who yearns for a SpongeBob SquarePants marker, though. In fact, until this article was posted earlier this week, I wasn't even aware that such custom markers existed. Licensing issues aside, the marker for Kimberly Walker's grave shows great creativity and talent. Her obviously custom SpongeBob SquarePants watches over her final resting place decked in a military uniform to honor Walker's service to our country during the Iraq War. Flags and other patriotic emblems are nothing new at the cemetery, but a cartoon character sporting fatigues might be going a little too far, according to the Ohio cemetery where Walker was buried. Does this push your boundaries of reverence, too?