Several months ago, my friend told me about the website Find a Grave. It is "a resource for finding the final resting place of family, friends and 'famous' individuals." (Thank you Find a Grave FAQs)! One of the things members of this site can do is upload photos of gravestones for others who are researching someone but who cannot travel to where the grave is located. You can also request a photo for someone for whom you are researching.
For some odd reason, yesterday I decided to visit the site and typed in my mother's maiden name. I was thrilled to see that someone has posted the marker for my grandfather's plot in the mausoleum at Palm Mortuary in Henderson, NV. Rumor has it he requested to be placed in the mausoleum because at the time of his death there was a bar across the street from the cemetery (don't know if it is still there; he died in 1975), and he did not want drunk people to pee on his grave. I also found a photo for my step-grandmother's mausoleum plot. These were very happy finds for me so I tried a couple of other names but came up empty.
So, I decided to search for the cemeteries in this area and saw that another member of the site has requested a photo of a gravestone in the cemetery I could walk to from my house if I wasn't so lazy. I decided to "claim" the request, meaning I have 14 days to take and upload the requested picture.
This is when I discovered I never actually signed up to become a member of the site (yet another widow brain moment). I know I meant to and thought I did. So, I signed up for the site and claimed the request.
I know it may seem like this is a weird thing for someone in my circumstance to do. But, of the 7 family members who passed away in the last 5 years, only 3 are buried in a cemetery-two in Florida and one in California. I can't exactly visit them at will. Dad is in my brother's closet. My father-in-law is somewhere. We let his girlfriend have the ashes. I am not sure who has James' aunt. I think his brother does. And James is downstairs on the mantle. Because of this, I am able to disassociate myself from my own grief and view cemeteries as a genealogy tool. And I am excited to have found a way to start giving back to the genealogy community (and practice my photography skills). Now I just need a day (or at least a few minutes) without rain in the next 13 days...