Historically, various ways of marking someone's burial place were used. From sticks to large, carved stones, it's been important to people to memorialize their deceased loved ones with a physical marker. When it's time to select an appropriate memorial grave marker for your friend or family member, here are some tips to get you started in that process.
Choice of Materials
Wood was long used to mark a grave site, but with advances in stone quarry techniques, materials such as granite and marble have become the most popular. Marble was initially used because it's easy to polish and engrave. But if you wander through an older cemetery, you'll notice marble monuments that are worn and pitted, some having inscriptions that you can barely read. This is due to the wind erosion and the chemicals in the air attacking the porous marble surface.
Granite is now the preferred material because of its resistance to weather and air pollutants. It can also be polished to a high gloss or left with a matte finish. Deep engraving techniques create inscriptions that will be visible for decades. Once a granite monument is installed, there is little maintenance needed to keep it looking good.
Choice of Styles
Before shopping for a monument, check on any restrictions that the cemetery has on allowable styles. There are four traditional styles offered when looking at stone monuments:
- Monument - This is the simple square or rectangular shape set into the ground or resting on another flat slab on the ground. Engraving can be done on either one or both sides.
- Slant - This stone is wider at the base than at the top. This creates a slanted surface on which the inscription is engraved. This monument can also be engraved on either side.
- Flat - This is a square or rectangular stone that sits flat on the ground.
- Ornamental - This is a term given to memorial markers that include other features, often made of the same stone, such as benches, flower vases and benches.
Choice of Engraving
What you choose as an inscription on the memorial will be read by all of those who visit the grave site. Some people choose to have just names and dates but little other information. You could include a favorite quote or saying or some words that reflect your feeling of loss. With the right inscription on the monument, even passing strangers reading it will know that someone special is buried there.
Take your time when picking out a monument. It will be on the person's grave site for decades as a sign that someone thought enough of them to erect this memorial to their life. For more tips, contact a company like An Thiel Monuments.