1. Writing.Geek.
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    Writing.Geek. Member

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    Poll! Do you think a tombstone is pointless?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Writing.Geek., Jul 13, 2010.

    Okay. So, my friend and I got into a disagreement about whether tombstones are pointless or not.

    What's your take on it? Do you think tombstones are symbolic? Or pointless?


    Thanks for your time! :)
     
  2. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    To the person dead its rather is pointless. You know its not like they are going to come back say 'Wow, look at that awesome tombstone I got! Thank you!' Though now that i think about it, I would like to see some sort of zombie movie where a zombie stops to look at his or her own grave and have a smile.

    But anyways I wouldn't say they were pointless towards family and friends. Sometimes its nice to be able to do one last big thing for a loved one thats passed away. It also serves as a means to get across some important information about them.

    So to me it depends on what perspective you take. From the deceased, they really don't care. To family and friends its completely different.
     
  3. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not a question on whether a tombstone (or any item that memorializes a deceased person) is symbolic or pointless --there's no question that the tombstone is symbolic; the question is, is symbolism pointless?

    Has the person (you or your friend) ever had someone very close to them pass away? And I dont mean your second great aunt you used to see Christmas --I mean like a friend or a family member who you'd think about very often and mourn for a very long time.

    A tombstone, urn, or other commemorative object is a very nice way to remember someone. I like to visit my grandmother's gravesite; it allows me to feel like I can still hold onto her. A friend of mine passed away in March, and her ashes were buried under her favorite type of tree in her backyard. Her husband and I often spend time out there. I thought that was a very tasteful way to not say goodbye, but to keep saying hello.

    Sure, the deceased person doesnt care, but those who survive care very deeply.

    I dont understand how any kind of way to honor someone you love could ever be considered pointless. Of course it has a point. What would be the alternative? Toss the bodies into the dump to decompose with our garbage? Whichever of you considers commemorative items to be pointless --I'll bet your mind will change once you've known someone to pass away. I dont want to jump to conclusions about your or your friend's life, but I just cant imagine you have had that experience and can still hold the idea that physical reminders are pointless.
     
  4. Writing.Geek.
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    Writing.Geek. Member

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    Thanks you guys for your posts.

    That's what I thought, too. I feel like a tombstone helps you hang onto a person in a different way, and keep them alive in your hearts even more strongly.
     
  5. natsuki
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    natsuki Active Member

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    Well, I don't really care about these symbolisms, but I know there are people who think this is important and I respect that.

    If I wanted to think about a loved person that has died, I would prefer to loook at a picture or something more personal than a tombstone.

    I already told people, if I die, I don't want a funeral, nor a tombstone. My family can cremate me, and if they want to flush my ashes down the toilet, I wouldn't care. I'd be gone anyway.
     
  6. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are people who go through their entire lives, never being recognised for anything. They atleast deserve a tomb stone, to tell the world they've been there; to show that they existed.

    Their families and those that loved them deserve a place to go to find closure and solace in their death; to lay flowers, come to terms with it, and have somewhere to go and reflect on that person's life. A tombstone doesn't require religion, and provides a universally beneficial purpose for all those who've lost someone.

    So no, it isn't pointless. Anybody who has loved and lost somebody will understand that.

    Also, death is as much about those who have to live on after, as it is for the person who passed away. Just because you don't care what happens after, doesn't mean it'll be so easy for those you've left behind. You don't need to deal with your death, but they do. Let's not forget that.
     
  7. Delphinus
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    Delphinus Senior Member

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    They're probably a good way to remember people by, and they have a significance to the family at least, if not the dead person. But that said, if I died (and had the money, obviously) I'd order a huge, grandiose monument to be erected on my grave, preferably with angel statues and marble in abundance.
    Why not make the tombstone memorable?
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i think everything to do with burial is pointless... the person is gone, memorializing their moldering bones is inanity/insanity to the max, imo... keeping the person and your love for them in your memory is all that should matter...

    if people need a family-bankrupting funeral and a headstone to remember the dead by, then i can only pity them... and feel sorry for the deceased, if they're in a state anywhere that enables them to see the silly spectacle...

    when my beloved dad died, i was happy that my mom, who loved him beyond words, had his remains cremated... she didn't want the reminder of his death around, preferred to remember her life with him, so she gave me the 'cremains' to do with what i wished... i 'planted' them under my garden swing overlooking the water, where he would sit and tell stories to my children, or we'd sit together and discuss life and the world... however, i knew he wasn't there and never once considered marking the spot...

    when i go, i wish the locals here who love me and will miss me would be able to take my body out to sea and let my death give some sea creatures a continued life... sadly [and stupidly/greedily], however, laws prohibit this ultimate recycling and instead insist on someone making money on cremation, first... just one more reason why i'm so disgusted with this human-made world that i hope i won't have to be stuck in it for much longer...
     
  9. Nobeler Than Lettuce
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    Nobeler Than Lettuce Contributing Member

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    Are you ok?
     
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  10. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Old people are never okay.
     
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  11. Nonnie
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    Nonnie Contributing Member

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    I, for one, love tombstones. I can't really say they're super important because no one horribly important to me has died but I feel that is a plain gesture of respect-- sure, they don't see it and wouldn't care, but I think we need to feel like we did something because they're dead and we can't change that so we need to be able to do something.

    I for one want to be cremated and thrown into the Shannon River but if my family wanted a funeral for me, I'd let them give me a funeral, because death isn't about the dying, not really. Whatever helps my family sleep at night.

    Plus, graveyards and crazy monuments to the dead are aestheticaly pleasing to me, so I like having them around simply because they're cool.
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think graveyards are really beautiful and peaceful. The one where my granddaddy is burried has tombstones hundreds of years old, and it's really interesting to walk around and read them, just to learn little snippets about lives that are long since gone.

    Plus there are bunnies hopping about, and lots of flowers. It's a really summery, pretty place; in the winter it's like a little wonderland.

    My Granddad didn't believe in making a fuss about funerals, but I know he'd be really chuffed about how pretty we've made it. Besides, it helps us remember him in a positive way, and in the end, we're the ones left without him. He'd want us to be happy.
     
  13. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    I for, one, prefer to have the bodies of my loved ones buried in a plot in the earth without any physical indication of where they lay. Because you know how much fun it is to roam around an open space full of bodies not knowing which one is which...

    but yeah, of course tombstones are important. Sure, the person is dead, they're nothing but 'mouldy' bones, as one member has so diligently highlighted, but what about the symbolism behind the marking? There lays, beneath the earth upon which you stand, the body of someone that once had a life. I think it's profound, and important in remembering that person and the contribution they made in others lives.

    It's also an important socio-political symbol - do you think a massive amount of tombstones all representing soldiers who've died in past Wars, would send the same message if they weren't there?

    Looking 'back' might be a pointless endeavor to some, but to those like myself remembering the past is paramount to understanding the present. It's also important when grieving for loss, and healing.

    My Mum's ashes currently sits on the dining room table in an earn. Logically I know the ashes are simply 3.2 kilograms of carbon - but it's still symbolic of my Mum, it still helps me to remember her when she was alive.
     
  14. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Turkmen had a beautiful way of doing 'headstones'. They used to put a staff into the ground where they buried the body and then wind the turban of the dead man, or the headdress of the woman, around the top to identify who lay there. This is why old Turkish grave stones are carved like a post, as if there are folds of cloth around the top.

    Burial and headstones can be a beautiful and important part of saying goodbye to someone you love. Even if someone has no living family, they still deserve a headstone. Every beach is made up of the individual pebbles. Many religions have set ways of conducting the burial and mourning. This can be incredibly comforting to the bereaved family, and also to old people.

    Okay, it sounds stupid--since once you are dead, you can't feel anything--but my bro-in-law works in an old people's home in the UK. He's talked often about how they can be worried about what will happen, and how they will be remembered. NO ONE I know here is frightened of what will happen when they die. They know they will be have a simple ceremony, and a headstone. These are not expensive or elaborate, they just record the name, date, and the equivalent of RIP: 'Ruhuna Fatiha'. My parents, who are Catholic, know they will be buried near the beautiful village where they live in France, by the church which they love. With a simple headstone to celebrate their lives.

    In this cynical age, people are just making themselves miserable about things all the time. Are they afraid of showing weakness by wanting a physical reminder of someone who has died, or do they think religious belief is not allowed? Some of the strongest and most intelligent people I know are strong believers, or if they are agnostic, they still refrain from upsetting comments to their family like 'Don't even think of a funeral or a headstone. Just dump me somewhere.' (Like so much rubbish).
     
  15. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I have a strange phobia of Graveyards, and have always found them very creepy. I do find Tombstones pointless; but if they make someone happy on some level I don't see any problem.
     
  16. natsuki
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    natsuki Active Member

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    Well, I have to agree with you that some people upset their families with this kind of comments, In my case, as I stated before, I say that to my family because I know they do not get upset with me in the slightest. They think exactly like me.

    But, if that was as important for my family as it seem to be to most people here, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Try to remember, every thing depends on the culture. People are different, and different people don't get bothered by the same things.
     
  17. OvershadowedGuy
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    there pizza is terrible, just get Papa John's...
     
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  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nobeler/sab...

    i'm as ok as one can be who can't ignore what goes on in the world... and as ok as one can be at my age [which i guess is 'old']...
     
  19. Sabreur
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    EDIT: What, I don't even
     
  20. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think tombstones are a very lovely reminder of those who had left us. Just a walk through a graveyard, veiwing the names of people and the years...

    I remember seeing the tombstone of a young man that died in the 1880s. This was in another city in Alabama that I was visiting, but as I gazed at that year, I thought "Who was this man? What did he do in life? What did he look like?"

    I felt a lump in my throat. I am not going to say I suddenly knew this man because I didn't, and I still don't, but I felt at peace. That tombstone is his last testament to the world, his reminder to everyone that walks by it that he was once alive.

    He's not forgotten. He lives on. I think that's the point of tombstones. So the deceased can live on in the hearts and minds of their loved ones, their descendants, and anyone who passes by with a simple gaze.

    Especially, might I add, if one memorized the name and looked it up on the internet.
     
  21. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you said it all Link, and really well.
     
  22. Videodrome
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    Videodrome Member

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    We don't need an Urn we're scattering the ashes!

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Sayso
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    They're a very valuable tool for us genealogists. Headstones can give a lot of useful information that you may take a long time to find online or by journeys to distant record offices. For instance, some might give relatives details if they're buried together which might take a lot longer to find by going through written records!

    I'm all for them.

    Some of them are really beautiful and can be a real work of art in themselves.
    As has already been said, I often wander through graveyards and think about the people below and what they were like or did. Very interesting and beautiful places.
     
  24. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    This. Exactly my thoughts. Even if it's pointless to the dead person, it's something physical for the family. It's a physical sign their loved one is there. They'll always have the loved one in spirit, but it helps to have something physical, meaningful like a tombstone.
     
  25. Lydia
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    Lydia Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pointless as in having no real purpose for the dead person that's buried beneath, yes. As a sign of respect and love for the person that passed away, I think it's great.

    (same with burying people, btw. Burning is kind of disrespectful in my eyes... but that's just my opinion. No, please don't start discussing about it)
     

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