Choosing The Right Memorial For Your Loved One

It's time to find a headstone to put up on the grave of your friend or family member. Memorials are a way to mark the passing of an individual. It will be seen not only by people visiting the grave, but by passersby who are in the cemetery to visit others. The marker is a way to convey your feelings about your loved one to those strangers. Here are some considerations when looking for just the right memorial.

Ask About the Cemetery Regulations First

Each cemetery maintains a set of regulations regarding the use of grave markers. When shopping for a headstone, keep in mind the regulations, which typically include:

  • the materials allowed in a headstone
  • the size, shape and styles allowed
  • the type of base to be used

Memorial Materials

Marble - This has long been a favorite for memorials because it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, is easy to carve and engrave and withstands the weather.

Granite - Advances in mining techniques has made granite a preferred memorial material over marble. It comes from a variety of locations, making it less expensive than marble, which is mined in only a few areas. It is easy to carve, engrave and polish. It can be polished to a gloss or left with the matte finish of the stone. You can see granite memorials in nearly every shape and size you can imagine.

Glass - Glass is molded into a variety of shapes and etched to produce ornate designs and inscriptions. Entire memorials are made of glass, but it is frequently used as accents on other markers.

Bronze - This metal has also been used for years to create unique objects with which to adorn granite headstones. While it can be used to create an entire memorial, it needs frequent cleaning and polishing to maintain its appearance.

Memorial Shapes

Slabs - These markers are placed flat on the ground with the inscription facing up for people to read. The traditional slab is rectangular, but squares, ovals and other shapes may be used. They usually do not require a base on which to sit. Slabs may hold various accents, such as vases for flowers.

Rectangular or square - This memorial sits vertically on a base at the head of the grave site. The inscription can be seen from further away than the slab and both sides of the marker can be engraved.

Wedge-shaped - This memorial is square or rectangular and is wider at the base than the top. This gives you a slanted surface on which to place an inscription. The wedge shape also makes this memorial harder to tip over than the standard square or rectangular marker.

Custom shapes - You will also see memorials that are round, oval, heart-shaped, cylindrical and a variety of other shapes into which the material can be carved.

Bases and Accents

The standard base is a square or rectangular slab used to provide stability to the memorial and prevent it from settling into the ground. The base is normally a few inches wider than the bottom of the memorial, but it can extend much further out to hold other memorial accents.

On the extended base, you can place such items as:

  • vases to hold flowers
  • engraved images
  • photos of the loved one
  • replicas of favorite items

These accents can be made of marble, granite, glass, bronze or other long-lasting materials. Contact a company like Pemi-Baker Memorials for more information.