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Steve Irwin discusses the Astonishing Angel monuments

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Desch Paine Memorials - A talk with Memorialist Steve Irwin

KRGI Radio interview with Steve Irwin

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Children Need to Grieve Too.

Children are affected by grief too. Here's some helpful words from Jackie Waters. 


How to Help a Child Understand and Accept Death

The loss of a loved one is difficult no matter your age. However, according to National Geographic, young children don’t possess the ability to completely grasp the permanence of death. As a parent, it is your responsibility to help your child process their emotions and ultimately come to terms with his new life, a life missing someone of importance. Here are a few tips that will help the entire family during this difficult time.

Be open and honest about the situation. One of the most heart-wrenching responsibilities of parenthood is having to inform your child that a grandparent, parent, friend, or family member has passed on. Don’t use soft words to conceal the hard truth. Be clear that the person has died and will not return. Phrases such as, “they have passed on” or “grandma is sleeping now” will only confuse minds that are only capable of understanding literal explanations.

Listen and be ready to answer questions. Upon learning of the death of a loved one, some children break into inconsolable tears; others ask questions. Others still may simply wish to talk about the person. These are all normal reactions and you can expect most children to rotate between responses. Stay close by your child’s side to offer support in the form of hugs, kisses, and reassurance. Listen intently to anything they have to say and provide answers to their questions with age-appropriate responses.

Discuss what happens next. As points out, the death of a close family member can mean drastic changes to your child’s everyday life. These could be short-term or have far-reaching effects to the child’s family dynamic. If you must be away for any period of time, let your child know. Unless they are aware ahead of time, your actions will only confuse them and potentially send them into a panic that you, too, have died.

Help them understand the death was not their fault. Many children believe there’s something they could have done to prevent their loved one’s death or that they were a direct or indirect cause of it. Explain to your children that death is a natural part of life and nothing they did caused it to happen.

Let your child say goodbye in their own way. Depending on how old the child is when the death occurs, they might not be ready to attend the funeral or memorial service. If this is the case, help them find closure by having them dictate things for you to write in a letter that will be buried with the loved one. Older kids may wish to send a special stuffed animal or drawing in the coffin or urn. Within reason, allow your child to do and say whatever he or she needs to in order to feel “okay” with the death.

Children grieve in their own way and many don’t begin to show effects of that grief until long after the passing. As they mature, so will their understanding of the loss. The American Cancer Society notes that new questions may arise in time and these, too, should be answered candidly but with care and compassion. The age-old wisdom that time heals all wounds remains true, even as the devastating effects of loss tear at those you love the most. Taking care of your child’s emotional, mental and physical health is very important during this time. Be there for your child, and they will be there for you. Together, you will overcome the heartache and reclaim the happiness your child fears lost forever.

Image via Pixabay

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Dealing with Grief


When you lose a loved one you often lose a confidant. For your own good you need to reach out and find a new person to talk with. No, it won't ever be the same, but you will find many rewards in developing or deepening new relationships. We are happy to bring you an article written by Jackie Waters who has a passion for helping people. Please read her article below and find out more about her at Thanks Jackie for a this helpful article!


Helping Seniors Deal with the Loss of a Spouse


Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

Grief does strange things to our minds and bodies. It can make us lash out at family members and feel intense anxiety and fear. It can make sleep impossible and can even make us more prone to illness. Friends and family members can help the widow or widower by ensuring that he or she is practicing self-care and that a strong support system is present.

Psychological Effects

Grieving the loss of a loved one can stir up a wide range of emotions, including anger, anxiety, blame, guilt, loneliness, sadness, denial, fear, and numbness. “There is a big overlap with symptoms of depression,” says These psychological effects of bereavement can last up to two years.

After a spouse dies, the widow or widower is left with a to-do list that can bring up further emotional challenges. For example, he or she must carry out final arrangements, go over the will and other legal documents, handle life insurance, and more. Sometimes, the death of a loved one can create conflicts within the family. “As the family gathers in this difficult circumstance, tempers can be short and old patterns of interaction can become more extreme,” says Hospice & Palliative Care Center.

There are groups and programs available that can help you deal with your loss. There are even free online options that can provide some comfort.

Physical Effects

Most people are aware of the physical effects of grief, such as fatigue, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, and difficulty concentrating. But losing a loved one can also have a harmful impact on the immune systems of the elderly. When someone loses a spouse, he or she has a 66 percent increased chance of dying within the first three months – a phenomenon that scientist have dubbed “the widowhood effect.”

A study found that a type of white blood cell called the neutrophil, which is essential for fighting off infections and illnesses, is weakened when someone is grieving the loss of a loved one. Scientists believe the neutrophils were damaged because grief disrupts the balance of two hormones (cortisol and DHEAS) that are involved in coping with stress. The effect was only found in people older than 65.

How to Cope

When people lose their spouse, it’s important that they’re allowed to grieve and mourn in their own way. Support from family and friends is crucial in their ability to move forward in life. The widow or widower may also benefit from support groups or speaking with a mental health professional.

Grief can be exhausting, so self-care is important. Poor diet and inadequate sleep can make other symptoms worse. A person in grief should take time to be pampered, whether it’s going for a walk, getting a pedicure, or spending the afternoon enjoying a book in a coffee shop.

Physical activity lessens tension, increases energy levels, and improves mental health. It can also provide a sense of purpose and control of one’s mind, body, and life. Exercise acts as a distraction and provides many health benefits. Swimming, gardening, walking, yoga, and club sports are great ways for the elderly to exercise. Meditation and breathing techniques also provide benefits.

Family Issues

As previously stated, family conflicts can arise, but you want to avoid family conflict to limit the stress on everyone who is grieving, especially the widow or widower. Remember that most disagreements and tension can be blamed on heightened emotions and stress. Someone who tries to take full reigns of funeral planning may be trying to gain a feeling of control in life as he or she feels such a loss of control in the death of the loved one.

Lack of communication is another major issue. “If a plan isn’t made for who, when, and how certain things will be handled, it is not uncommon for one person to go rogue,” warns What’s Your Grief?. Making a plan and maintaining frequent communication is key. Try to remain positive and give people the benefit of the doubt. Grief is probably to blame for their erratic and poor behavior.

From causing feelings of fear and anger to making the person physically ill, grief has a heavy impact on a person’s mind and body. Ensuring the grieving person receives support, good nutrition, proper rest, exercise, and pampering is important. There’s not a quick fix for grief, but a friend or family member’s love and support goes a long way in helping the widow or widower move forward.

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Sequoia granite no longer available

Sequoia granite, shown here and in our brochure as CAT-5030, is no longer available. Particular granite from their respective quarries are not limitless.Sometimes a quarry has limited supply of a specific color or the access is limited by various circumstances or the granite vein changes in appearance and no longer gives the look people are wanting. We have a very nice replacement granite for Sequoia. It is called Indain Mahogany. Like Sequoia this is a non-stock color. It is from India and can be ordered. Please allow 14 to 18 weeks for delivery from time of approval. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We remain committed to offering the best granite available. 

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Core Values of a 100 year old company

Do the right thing. Family first. Employee ownership. Respectful relationships. Working together. Fun at work. These are the core values here at Monumental Sales. This will be guiding us into our next 100 years! Listen as Steve Irwin who manages our store in Grand Island Nebraska talks with local radio personality Brian Gallagher about what makes our company an enduring company. 

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Monumental Sales Celebrates 100 years of Making Memories

Monumental Sales is celebrating it's 100th year of preserving memories of loved ones through the Sunburst Memorials brand of Monuments and Markers. Check out the video as we celebrate our past and look forward to our future.

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The Time to Plan Ahead is Now

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Designing the Monument for Your Loved One

When you are faced with designing a monument for yourself or a loved one it’s often difficult to know where to start.  There are so many choices; color of granite, size and shape of the stone, and then the actual design on the monument itself.   The use of laser etching, from your personal photo or from an image found in a computer search, brings out the fine details of the image.  A portrait set in ceramic and attached to a monument gives a clear picture of our loved ones.  The use of a sandblast design can often tell a person’s interest and passions.  No matter what technique or technologies a person chooses to design a monument telling the story of our loved ones in granite is the goal.  When that time comes our professional and caring staff is here to help you do just that.  Please give us a call or stop by one of our dealers near you. 

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Memorial Day is coming!

The first days of winter doesn’t necessarily seem to be the time to be thinking of purchasing a monument.  However, if you are planning to get a monument installed in a cemetery by Memorial Day stopping by now is a good idea.  All our monuments are handmade and take time to be made just the way you want it, with care and craftsmanship.  Give us a call at 1-800-442-1660 to find a dealer closest to you.

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Fire and Ice in the monument business


Steve Irwin discusses cremation in America's heartland along with how to dig a grave in frozen ground. Also a look at the Grave Diggers Championship. 

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Adding a Death Date

Ever wonder how we add a death date to a monument in the cemetery? Watch this video. Wayne Winkleman shows you how he does it. 

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Planning Ahead

We plan ahead to help you plan ahead. Check out the video with Steve Irwin from Desch-Paine Monument in Grand Island, NE talk about planning ahead with Brian Gallagher at KRGI radio. 

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Traditional Sandblast

See what makes a Sunburst Memorial so special. Old World craftsmanship still has a place in preserving the memory of our loved ones.

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Friends of Lansing's Historic Cemeteries

Here's a WILX news video about Lansing citizens joining together to restore monuments at local cemeteries.

Mt. Hope Cemetery restoration


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Terry Redlin's monument

Check out Watertown Monument Works' post about the cemetery monument we had the priviledge to create. Here's the link to that page

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Genealogy Searches

Check out Steve Irwin's video about genealogy searches. 


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Genealogy Searches

Check out Steve Irwin's tips for Genealogy Searches. He talks with Brian Gallagher on KRGI radio in Grand Island Nebraska.

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Steve's Genealogy Quest

Steve's Genealogy Quest

Knowing yourself comes from knowing your family heritage. Steve Irwin and Brian Gallagher discuss the importance of keeping memories alive.

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Why do we have Memorial Day?


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