In keeping with Bluestem’s guiding principles, memorials to loved ones are modest, natural, and respectful. Gravestones are native stone and lie flat to the ground. With every purchase of a burial plot we include the selection of a gravestone from stones found during our restoration work at Bluestem or North Carolina flagstone that we have secured onsite. Families are responsible for engraving the stone which is performed offsite. Families are then invited to return to Bluestem to lay the gravestone at the grave. Offsite stone or polished granite headstones are not allowed.
Individuals and families may also choose to “leave no trace” and rely instead on the Bluestem marker that will be centered in every grave. This aluminum pin, similar to a survey pin, records the individual's name, dates, GPS coordinates, and is tracked through Bluestem's record-keeping system.
Honoring Loved Ones
A burial service at Bluestem is created by the family or designated service leader and can include as much or as little ceremony as desired. Families that have designed services at Bluestem have invited ministers, poets, musicians, singers, pets, all of the relatives, or only friends. Bluestem staff and volunteers support the family by being present and witness, standing by to lower the casket or shroud, or the placing of the ashes in the ground. In our experience, people are so deeply present in nature and with the support of loving friends and family around them, moved to lower their loved ones into the ground. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if we can be of assistance in helping to craft your burial service.
Remembering at Bluestem
Returning family and friends can locate their loved one’s gravesite or, as importantly, they can experience the fullness of the entire nature preserve in honor of their loved one’s memory.
Memorial plantings must be made in concert with Bluestem staff. We are currently engaged in a landscape wide inventory of existing plants, shrubs and trees, and developing a list of approved native plants for future consideration. Contact us if you would like to make a donation towards this effort in the name of your loved one.