The pandemic has caused a headstone shortage in Michigan.

You know, there are a lot of industries that I thought would be affected by the pandemic, but I thought for sure the funeral industry would actually gain because of the extra deaths that have come from the pandemic but it is more complicated than that.

The pandemic has shut down a lot of companies and one of the industries that has been hit hard is the quarries who get the stones for headstones and another is the actual headstone engravers themselves.

According to WOOD, quarries spent most of last year shut down and they are still working to try and catch up with the demand. This is a problem for headstone engravers because without the stones, they have nothing to engrave.

There have been a few deaths around my family and friends over the past year but other than limited people being allowed at the funerals, I have not heard of any headstone issues. But, I didn't ask either.

I do know there has been an uptick in cremations and that is not just in Michigan but all around the country. Many families have been simplifying the funerals with cremations just to cut down on expenses and furthering the spread of COVID-19.

If you are set on a headstone for your or someone close to you, this may sound morbid, but it never hurts to shop ahead. If you have someone who may pass soon you may want to order a headstone now.

Also to relieve the burden on your loved ones, many people work out their funerals while they are still healthy and have everything paid for already. If you can afford to do so, it is a great option.

WOOD spoke with the owner of Muskegon Monument & Stone Co. Brooks Wheeler and he said, "usually I have my stones by now. I usually have a whole bunch of stones here and I don't have as many as I usually do."

About the only thing that has not been affected by the stone shortage is the price. Stones didn't go up in price during the pandemic but since gas prices are through the roof again, that makes shipping costs rise.

So keep in mind, if you lose a loved one, it may be a while before you put a headstone on their final resting place.

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