Death can come unexpectedly. Along with coping with the grief, you may also be tasked with the difficult decision of choosing a headstone. This can be particularly difficult if your loved one didn't leave instructions for this eventuality.
Here's some advice to help you choose the right gravestone for a dearly departed:
Ask Before You Choose
Some cemeteries have stringent guidelines for what type of gravestone are and are not allowed, and this is particularly true if you loved one will be laid to rest at a military cemetery. Obviously, you can't choose a gravestone unless you know what's allowed in the cemetery.
Here are the most common gravestone restrictions stipulated by some cemeteries:
- Colors: some cemeteries require one color or only "naturally" hued colors.
- Material: some cemeteries require gravestones to be carved from certain stones (marble, granite, etc.)
- Pictures: some cemeteries do not allow pictures to adorn gravestones.
- Shape: to maintain uniformity, some cemeteries require certain gravestones to be a particular shape and/or size.
- Font: also for uniformity, some cemeteries limit the types of fonts allowed on gravestones.
Design with a Theme
A tasteful gravestone should tactfully encapsulate your loved one's personality and tastes. Although this process is rarely easy, it can be one way that you and those morning the loved one can help celebrate their legacy.
Here some idea you might consider including on the gravestone:
- Quotes: choosing a favorite Bible verse, line from a song, quip from a movie, maxim from a poem, or a quote from someone your loved one admired can serve as a reminder for what they loved.
- Font: choosing an unusual font will make your loved one's gravestone feel more personal. When considering fonts, consider fonts that represent your loved one's style and sense of presentation.
- Finish: gravestones can be finished in a variety of ways. They can be sanded to a mirror-like sheen or left with a natural matte finish. Before you commit to a finish, it's important to see completed, full-sized, gravestones in a variety of styles.
- Pictures/symbols: images can "speak" volumes. You can chose your favorite picture of your loved one to adorn their gravestone. You can also choose a symbol of something they loved or were passionate about.
Honoring someone you love is a big responsibility. Choosing the right gravestone is just one of the ways that you can honor this special person. These steps can help guide you through at least part of the process. For more information, work with a company like Palmer Bros Granite Co.