Champaign family without proper goodbye for father after 7 months

Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – We’ve talked about shortages the pandemic has caused, from food to staffing. A new shortage is on the block, one that is impacting how families grieve, and find closure after losing a loved one.  

Rich Herr, owner of Kelley Monument in Champaign, said it is impacting business. “We are not just seeing it in our industry,” said Herr. “We’re seeing it in every industry across the country.” 

Herr said finishing off a burial with a headstone is an important part of the healing process. “The headstone is the last thing the family has to do and that provides the final closure to the death,” said Herr. 

Closure is what Kim Hawn and her family have yet to receive, seven months after losing their father. And not having a grave site has made it harder for Hawn and her family to visit her dad, especially during the holidays. “I lost him, and now to not even be able to find him when I go to the graveyard….” said Hawn.  

Hawn said if it was not for a picture, she would not even know where to go when visiting her father’s grave. “Luckily my son told me to take a picture of the headstone that was at the feet of my dad’s grave and if it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t know,” said Hawn. 

Herr said he is not sure when the parts will be available to check up on back orders and most clients are waiting 3 times longer for a proper goodbye. Herr said luckily his company does more than just headstones but smaller monument companies who rely on headstone business are suffering. 

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