During the pandemic, we’ve seen shortages of everything from cars to paper towels. Now companies are having difficulty getting their hands on the material needed to make gravestones.
Supreme Memorials in Brooklyn, New York, has been creating headstones for 70 years. Co-owner Michael Cassara said it would take about 3 months to customize a stone before the pandemic, now it’s up to six months.
“I don’t think my dad faced anything like this,” Cassara said.
According to Cassara, there is a real shortage of rubber stencil. It is used to create the template that’s later sandblasted into the stone.
“One of the major suppliers just said they’re closing their whole division of making it. And so, this is gonna be a problem that’s gonna be going forward,” he said.
Many companies are also having trouble getting the granite needed for headstones. The same worker and trucking shortages impacting all sections of the economy are slowing down the delivery of granite.
Schultz Monument Company in Tennessee is also having trouble getting bronze markers, and the delays often vary.
“The information that we’re getting from our suppliers sometimes is not always accurate, so then when I pass that on to my customer, you know, my customer rightfully gets frustrated,” said Richard Schultz.
Adding to the challenges, the cost of materials is also on the rise. Cassara said these issues aren’t going to end anytime soon.
“I see it going into the summer of next year,” he said.
And those delays are being felt by grieving families trying to say goodbye to a loved one.