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Woman says delay in getting headstones for loved ones' graves like throwing 'salt onto the wound'

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The global supply chain issue is prolonging the mourning process for people who've lost a loved one. 

The granite industry is experiencing a supply shortage, which is then increasing the time it takes for people to get a headstone.

It used to take only six to eight weeks to get a headstone for a deceased love one, but with the disruption in the supply chain, it's now taking Decatur Marble and Granite Works anywhere from 30 to 40 weeks to get headstones in. 

Maggie Akers told WAAY 31 that it makes the grieving process all the more difficult when she visits her grandmother's gravesite.

“It does throw lots of salt onto the wound to go out there and see nothing just yet," Akers said. 

Akers lost her grandmother May 10. Not long after, her family ordered a headstone from Decatur Marble and Granite Works.

They were told it would take about five months to get in, which is something Brad Tapscott said he hates having to warn customers about.

“It hurts me to have to tell people now that it’s going to take so long to get stuff in," he said.

Tapscott's been in the business for about 20 years, and he said he's never seen anything like the current delays and shortages.

“This, we were not prepared for. Our suppliers weren’t prepared for it. Nobody was," he said.

Decatur Marble and Granite Works isn't the only company experiencing this delay, either. When Akers lost her aunt in February, the family ordered a headstone through a different company.

Ten months later, they still don't have it.

The gravesites for Aker's grandmother and aunt are right next to each other. Besides the flowers the family has put out for them, there's nothing there that recognizes and honors the two.

“It’s been hard waiting, just because I feel like that’s kind of the last thing to tie everything up, you know, to get past the grieving and mourning stages of things," said Akers.

She said not having a headstone makes it so there's no closure.

“It is pretty gloomy out there without having something with their name and anything to recognize them," she said, adding that even though she knows her loved ones are there, she's ready for their headstones to be there, as well.

Tapscott suggests people take their time to pick out a headstone they're happy with, because there will be a long wait to get it.

He said gravestones with unique shapes or intricate detailing take even longer to arrive, as well as gravestones that are black or other colors besides gray.