Choosing a Tombstone for a Family Member
Choosing a tombstone for your loved one is not an easy thing to do, but this article will help you
through the process. Ordering a tombstone for your loved one is an important step in the healing process.
The completed tombstone is an everlasting tribute that can be
cherished for years to come.
When choosing a tombstone or grave marker,
there are several things that need to be taken into consideration.
First and foremost it is important to know what the Cemetery Rules & Regulations for tombstones are.
Having this information beforehand is crucial to ensure the right
memorial is ordered the first time.
Probably the biggest deciding factor in
choosing a tombstone is the cost. Many people have been deterred
from purchasing a memorial or had to settle on downsizing their choice simply
because high prices.
Once you know what kind of memorial can be placed on the grave you can consider the different
options you have in choosing a memorial. They include:
- Selecting a size that is suitable
- Granite color and vase option
- Choosing a meaningful design
Materials: Bronze or Granite
If the cemetery grants you the option of choosing
either bronze or granite for a memorial here are some things
Bronze Grave Markers
Bronze grave markers are very popular
and their use is growing rapidly throughout the country in memorial
parks. Many modern memorial parks only allow bronze markers
to be used as a memorial because it gives the cemetery a uniform
look and it is easier to maintain the grounds.
Bronze grave markers are made from an alloy
consisting of copper, tin and trace amounts of lead and zinc.
They are usually mounted to a base of granite, concrete or in
some cases a composite material. The person's name and dates
as well as the design are cast on a bronze plaque which is then
hand finished and given a protective coating. If the bronze marker is for a person that is still living, the final date can be
added on a scroll (another name for
a small plaque that is attached to the existing bronze
Granite tombstones are the most popular
form of cemetery memorials. Practically all of cemeteries
in the US allow some form of granite memorials. Natural stone is one of the oldest forms of
memorialization and granite is the best possible choice.
This is because granite is a durable stone and one of
the hardest substances on earth.
Granite Tombstones are made from granite
that has been quarried from the earth. Utilizing specialized
machinery and skilled craftsmen, the granite stone is cut
to a specified size and finished normally with a polished
An artist will design the memorial complete with name and
which is then engraved onto the stone surface by means of
If the granite tombstone is a pre-need tombstone the final
will be added by simply sandblasting the final date on the
at the time of need. This is usually done on-site at the
A space for it is already provided for it when the memorial
was first produced.
Many cemeteries regulate the size of
the tombstone that can be placed on the grave
space. Some offer a minimum and maximum size and as long as
the tombstone is within these guidelines it will be okay. Other
cemeteries are very strict with their size requirements and will only
allow particular sizes for tombstones. It is very important to select a
tombstone that is within the size requirements.
You will want to select a monument dealer
that offers a range of sizes to accommodate your needs and the
requirements of the cemetery.
The color of a granite tombstone can be a
very important decision. Some people choose a color based on
personal reasoning. Others choose color so that it sets
itself apart from others
in the cemetery. Some cemeteries restrict the color of
granite being used for a
tombstone or grave marker. You will want to verify with the
cemetery if they have any granite color requirements before making a
There is a wide variety of granite colors
available for a tombstone, but not all monument dealers will carry them.
In fact most dealers carry a selection that represents the major color
Many people who visit a loved one's grave
in the cemetery bring flowers to the grave site.
A cemetery flower vase is a very convenient option on a tombstone or
grave marker. It accents the memorial when filled with fresh
or silk flowers and brings beauty to the resting place of
loved one. Most upright tombstones have a place on either
side of the base for the placement of a flower vase. Flat grave markers
can have a hole cored to accommodate a bronze flower vase. Bronze vases,
when not in use,
can be turned upside down and placed flush into the
Design & Layout
Probably the most important aspect of
a tombstone or grave marker is the design.
Many families placed such importance on this area since they
feel it is a reflection of the person the memorial is for. A headstone design can
depict a scenic location, a favorite flower or a have religious
significance. A design can be further personalized by the use
You will find there are limitless
design possibilities for creating a memorial tombstone. They include an
array of floral, religious
and scenic motifs just to name a few. When choosing a design
may want to consider the symbolism behind many of the different elements within a particular memorial
design. For example a dogwood design features the
dogwood tree's flowers and leaves around the border. The dogwood
flower symbolizes Christianity, divine sacrifice, triumph of
eternal life, and resurrection. Choosing a tombstone with symbolism
significant to the deceased is much more fitting.
After you have selected all other options
you now have the opportunity to personalize the tombstone. You
start with the person's name, date of birth and date of death.
You can further personalize the tombstone or grave marker with
emblems or adding an epitaph.
An emblem is an image or insignia of
a particular interest such as a sport, religion, hobby, military
branch, animal, vehicle to name a few. They are usually 2" -
4" in size and are cast on a bronze plaque or sandblasted on
a granite tombstone.
As you can see there is plenty to learn
regarding the choice of a tombstone for a family member. We
hope this section was beneficial to you in your quest for information
on choosing a tombstone.