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Headstones and Monuments

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 4 Jul 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Headstones monuments tombstones grave

Whether you want to call them monuments headstones, tombstones, grave markers or anything else, the memorials erected in memory of a loved one should be a fitting tribute to that person’s life and the love that others felt for that person. There are many options available for monuments and headstones, and many more possibilities for words and pictures that can be engraved onto them. Unveiling a monument or headstone also offers a host of opportunities for fitting tributes to the deceased.

Options for Monuments and Headstones

Not every cemetery, funeral home or unique artisan is able to create monuments and headstones in all possible materials, but there are some options that are commonly chosen for these memorials. Natural stone, granite, marble and bronze are probably the most popular materials, though glass may also be a possibility. The materials used will almost always affect the price of the memorial, with granite usually being the most affordable option, and there may be several grades of a material (for example, different colours of granite depending on the abundance or scarcity) that could affect the price as well. How much of the material is needed for the memorial (how big or detailed the memorial will be) will also likely affect the price.

Options for Words and Pictures

The vast majority of monuments and headstones will have at least the deceased’s name and year of birth and death engraved on them. Very often a verse of the Bible, a snippet of poetry or prose, or even a few heartfelt words (for example, “beloved husband, father and friend”) will also be included. Sometimes pictures such as hearts, roses or angels are also engraved. Vases, such as in bronze, that are attached or otherwise inserted into the design of the memorial, are also an option. Before signing on for anything intricate or unusual, however, be sure to check on the price of each option as “extras” can often add up.

Options for Unveiling Memorials

Rarely is a personalised monument or headstone ready for dedication at the time of a funeral. Instead, monuments and headstones are usually finished and interred at a later date. This is often the perfect opportunity to formally unveil the monument or headstone as well as hold a short memorial service for family, friends and colleagues of the deceased. Such a service may be greatly appreciated by those who were unable to be present at the funeral, and it allows everyone who loved the deceased to celebrate his or her life. Most often such ceremonies are followed by a reception of some sort, whether it be a formal lunch in a local establishment or a pot luck buffet at a family home. If you are considering a similar occasion, plan whatever you are most comfortable with or think would be a fitting tribute to the deceased.

Monuments and headstones are frequently ordered to mark a grave and allow family and friends to erect a small memorial to a loved one. Cemeteries may offer their own monuments and headstones, though usually it is not forbidden to bring in a memorial from another source. Today there are even Internet suppliers offering unusual options, though all care must be taken to avoid entering into transactions with scam artists, rogue traders or international agents who may or may not understand regulations or requirements regarding importation to the UK.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Claireang - Your Question:
My grandmother has recently passed away. My Mum and the rest of the family want to change the headstone and burial stone that has been on the grave since 1966 when my grandmothers son died. My grandfather is also in the same plot and there is room for my grandmother. We are a little bit unsure as to who we need to contact to get this sorted. Please help

Our Response:
Contact the cemetery office, the staff there will be able to help you locate the grave deeds and explain how you change the headstone etc
FacingBereavement - 5-Jul-16 @ 2:47 PM
My grandmother has recently passed away. My Mum and the rest of the family want to change the headstone and burial stone that has been on the grave since 1966 when my grandmothers son died. My grandfather is also in the same plot and there is room for my grandmother. We are a little bit unsure as to who we need to contact to get this sorted. Please help
Claireang - 4-Jul-16 @ 9:47 PM
I'd like to know, where can I find out who is the deed owner to my mothers grave plot? After a family rift, I have no idea, even though I paid for her funeral, her ashes were collected and buried without my knowledge. No family member will tell me who arranged this. I would like to have a headstone laid, but have been told I need the deed owners permission! I'm so distraught! Thanks, Sam. X
LouLou - 24-Jul-13 @ 2:47 PM
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