Colorado Springs woman waits over a year for father’s headstone due to shortages

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:41 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2022 at 6:31 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado Springs woman says she’s been waiting more than a year for her father’s headstone to be delivered to the cemetery where he is buried. He passed away at the end of 2020 from COVID.

It’s a problem many families are facing right now due to a shortage of products. Ana Blumenhein says the waiting has been stressful.

“I just feel like his grave is just plain dirt right now and it’s really frustrating because we are not able to close, there’s no closure without having that final stone and memory of him on that grave,” said Blumenhein.

After Blumenhein’s father died, her family decided to purchase a big headstone for her parents Mihaila and Ana to share. She says a lot of love and thought was poured into the design.

“That’s the Bible that we wanted to have because that’s been his guiding light all his life,” said Blumenhein.

Her father was a pastor all his life. He grew up in Romania.

“It just says, ‘Forever in our hearts with love and pain until we see you again, your kids and grandkids,’” said Blumenhein. “It would just mean so much to be able to visit and see it.”

Blumenhein first placed the order back in January of 2021. 11 News reached out to the memorial home where she ordered the headstone. They tell us a shortage of stone and pileups at ports are the cause of this delay.

Those in the memorial industry say this is a big problem right now.

“A lot of granite comes from overseas, and I know for us for example, we have lots of granite that’s sitting on a boat somewhere. Or maybe it never even got loaded because granite is so heavy,” said Dick Wilhelm, owner of Wilhelm Monument Company in Colorado Springs.

Wilhelm says a stencil shortage is making the problem worse.

“There have been three suppliers of this worldwide, and one of them in the United States went clearly out of business during the COVID problem … It’s become a huge nightmare finding the stencil,” said Wilhelm.

The stencil protects the polish of the stone during the engraving process.

“So all the lettering, the designs,” explained Wilhelm. “Whether its a hummingbird or a mountainscape. All of that is engraved through this stencil. By taking pieces of it out, sand blasting the granite.”

Blumenhein says this has been a tough experience to go through. She’s sharing her story so others know they are not alone.

“I know it’s difficult to be in this waiting time and find that closure where it’s OK, it’s done, I feel like there’s a place where I can go and remember them,” said Blumenhein.

Blumenhein just got an update that her father’s headstone should finally be delivered Friday.

Ana Blumenhein has been waiting over a year for this headstone her family created for her mom...
Ana Blumenhein has been waiting over a year for this headstone her family created for her mom and dad to share.(Ana Blumenhein)

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