Funeral preplanning benefits both you and your family. You ensure that your memorial service and burial are exactly what you want, and your family doesn’t have to guess what your wishes are during an emotionally challenging time.
Among the many funeral options that you have to consider while preplanning are the gravesite and the marker. Even if you choose to be cremated, you can still have a burial for your ashes. A permanent marker provides a tangible reminder for your loved ones to visit. This can be important for family and friends you leave behind.
Choosing a marker and choosing a gravesite go hand in hand. Every cemetery has rules that govern the type of headstone that you choose. Therefore, you cannot choose a marker without also choosing a gravesite.
Factors Involved in Choosing a Cemetery
Many families having traditions that involve burying deceased relatives near one another in the same cemetery. If your family has a tradition like this, it may narrow down your choices.
If you belong to a particular faith, your religious principles may govern where your gravesite will be. You may wish for a cemetery with a particular affiliation.
The location of the grave may make an important difference to you. You may wish to be buried where you live now, or you may wish for your remains to return to the area in which you grew up (if you no longer live in the area).
Funeral costs is also an important consideration. You or your loved ones may be responsible for maintenance and upkeep in addition to the cost of the burial and the price of the plot. You should be sure you understand the terms and pricing before you commit to the purchase of a burial plot.
Considerations in Choosing a Marker
While you’re deciding on a cemetery, ask the management about the rules regarding grave markers. If a specific type of marker is important to you, then this should be weighed carefully along with the other factors before you make a final choice.
If you don’t already have specific wishes in mind, you can use the following points to guide your decision-making.
It is typically customary to place a marker at the head of the grave, which is appropriately called a headstone. However, a marker can also go at the foot of the grave, in which case it is called a footstone. Cemeteries may have rules regarding where you can place a footstone.
You can choose a marker that extends above the ground, or your marker can be level with it. A flush or flat headstone is easier to maintain, but many people opt for a tall marker. There are countless options in either category.
Grave markers can be made of a number of materials, including marble, sandstone, or slate. However, the most common materials are granite and bronze. These materials have some particular advantages:
- Resistant to weather
- Easy to maintain
Because of these advantages, some cemeteries only allow grave markers made of at least one of these two materials.
Most cemeteries will impose limits on the size of your marker. This is to maintain a degree of uniformity.
It is customary for grave markers to bear some decorative elements. These may include an epitaph or a quotation that is meaningful to you, or a symbol that has some special significance. However, before you decide on a symbol for your headstone, you should check and make sure that you know what it means.
In addition to your name, it is now also possible to have your photograph etched onto your headstone with a laser. This allows your loved ones to look upon your face as they remember you without exposing a printed photo to the elements.
Assistance With Funeral Home Services
Preplanning a funeral can sometimes be difficult. However, at Wujek Calcaterra & Sons, we have the experience to help make it easier. Contact us today for more information.