Shortly after your loved one has been put to rest, you'll be ready to look for a fitting memorial for the grave site. The memorial is a lasting testament to the life of your loved one. It provides a way to remember them and the place they held in your life. You have a number of choices as to materials and designs for headstones. Take your time as you search for just the right marker to honor your friend or family member.
Understand the Cemetery Rules First
Every cemetery has its own regulations as to the kinds of memorials they allow. Before you begin shopping for a headstone, understand the limitations in the cemetery. These regulations normally include:
- the materials allowed in the construction of the memorial
- the maximum sizes allowed
- the shapes or style of marker allowed
- the type of base required on which the memorial will sit
Materials Available for Memorials
While marble was the standard for memorials for many years, advances in mining and manufacturing have made many other materials available for a memorial.
Marble - This is available in a number of colors and patterns. It can be carved into a number of shapes and engraved easily. Marble is a durable material, but after a few decades of exposure to weather, the stone can wear down and inscriptions become harder to read.
Granite - This has become more popular than marble because of its resistance to the effects of weather. It is also easy to carve into many shapes. It is available in a number of colors and can be polished to a high gloss or left with the natural matte appearance.
Bronze - Bronze markers are formed by using molds to shape the hot metal. Bronze markers can be molded into a number of shapes that are difficult to achieve with stone. The memorial is etched with your inscriptions and polished to a high gloss.
Concrete - Forms are used to create memorials from concrete. With the addition of dyes and resins, concrete can be made to look like other stone and can be polished to a gloss.
Common Memorial Shapes
As you walk through a cemetery, you'll notice the most common memorial shapes, and a few unique designs to consider for your loved one.
Slab - This is a square or rectangular piece of material that rests flat on the ground. The inscription is on the upper surface and can only be seen when looking down on the marker.
Square or rectangle - This shape sits upright on a base. It can be engraved on both of the large faces and can be polished on all faces, or the sides left natural.
Wedge - This is a square or rectangle that sits on a base. The bottom of the memorial is wider than the top, which provides a more stable memorial that can't easily be knocked over. It can be engraved on both faces and polished or left natural.
Circles, ovals and other shapes - A memorial can be a circle or oval placed on its side, heart shaped, a pillar or column, and any number of other shapes into which your chosen material can be formed. Match the shape of the memorial to the memories of your loved one.
To learn more about headstones, contact a company like Maurice Moore Memorials.