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Ideas for Selecting the Right Headstone

A Guide to Getting the Memorial You Are Looking For

Choosing the right headstone for your loved one can be a meaningful, comforting experience that will assure your family member has the most appropriate memorial possible. Many families, in fact, select the right headstone together, and they find that helps them cope with their loss of their beloved as well. When a family gets together and patiently considers the many ideas for personalizing a headstone, they find it can be a therapeutic and healing experience. Here are some ideas for selecting the headstone that is right for your family’s treasured memories.

A person's personality and lifestyle should be taken into consideration when selecting a headstoneOne important thing to consider when selecting the right headstone for your family is the requirements of the cemetery. Some cemeteries have very strict rules for what type of headstone your family may select, and others have no rules at all. So, probably the first thing to do when selecting a headstone is to check with your cemetery to make sure that your choices are within their guidelines. Even in cases in which the cemetery’s guidelines are very narrow (some cemeteries, for example, require specific religious symbols such as a Star of David or a Cross, and still others have very specific size and color requirements) there are usually plenty of choices available to personalize a headstone to most any family’s content. Most every headstone can be designed to include an epitaph of at least a few words that will be fitting for the memory of your lost loved one. Many families find great comfort with just a minimum of words: “Beloved wife and mother” for example. And that is just the start of how a headstone can be customized. Text and other graphical elements on a headstone can be arranged in just about any manner your family deems suitable, and the arrangement of the text is typically not prescribed by cemeteries -- even those with the strictest of requirements for grave markers.

In the event your headstone will be installed in a cemetery that has few or no rules for grave markers, your choices are almost limitless. Perhaps the most important ideas for selecting the right headstone in these cases involve practical matters such as weight and size of the marker. If you intend to install the headstone yourself, selecting a large, heavy headstone Simply going through old remembrances can provide great ideas for personalizing memorialswill likely not be the best option. Most cemeteries can provide or recommend professional installers (and in many cases the cemeteries require that headstones be installed professionally), but others -- especially those in rural areas -- require that you install the headstone yourself or take responsibility for contracting a professional. In these cases, a light weight, flat grave marker will likely be the best option.

In the event you and your family are not hindered by practical matters or cemetery rules, ideas for selecting your headstone center on your intentions for the future. Bronze grave markers will likely remain legible for many years to come, and flat markers require very little maintenance. Upright headstones are long-lasting, beautiful structures as well, but they do require occasional maintenance. With all of this information in mind as you and your family select a headstone, you will build the exact monument that your loved one’s memory deserves.

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