A lasting memory
A grave monument can take many shapes and forms these days and there are now many innovative and creative ways in which you create a lasting memory and a deeply personal tribute to a loved one.
A good example of some of the new ideas that you might want to consider as a grave monument includes the ability to use an online design system similar to Forever Shining, where you can upload a picture of the person, in order to create a stunning visual epitaph that will bring back treasured memories every time you come to pay a visit.
Traditional or bespoke
There are unfortunately certain rules and regulations which you may have to adhere to when it comes to how you want your monument to look and how much space it takes up.
You will need to check with the cemetery owner just to clarify their policy and any rules that might affect your decision, but many forward-thinking sites understand the personal needs of relatives to create something that is unique and will often try to accommodate their wishes if they can.
Headstones don’t have to be the traditional shape or format anymore so you can collaborate with other family members to see whether a granite, bronze or stainless steel plaque might be what you want. You can even get vary the shape of the headstone within reason or perhaps choose a porcelain urn with a photo of your loved one on it.
A fitting epitaph
Deciding the right headstone and choosing the material and the design are sometimes difficult decisions but once you have chosen the picture and how you want the monument to look, the next task is to create a fitting epitaph.
Another recent change in attitudes and a greater desire to personalise the message or inscription, now means that a simple name and date are often no longer considered sufficient.
Some people prefer a poem that has been created specifically or want to call on some inspirational words that somehow seem fitting for the loved one who has departed. There is no real trend or specific protocol that you must adhere to nowadays and even humour is seen as a nice touch, especially if the person also liked a laugh and a joke in life.
The English comedian Spike Milligan was famous in life but also achieved notoriety in death with the inscription on his headstone that read “I told you I was ill”.
Sadly, even in death some compliance with rules are required and there are certain standards that a monument placed in a cemetery must comply with.
Your chosen supplier should be well aware of the fact that a monument needs to be constructed in accordance with the Australian Standard for Monuments AS4204-1994. This means that they need to last for at least fifty years and conform to the individual regulations of the cemetery concerned.
Ordering your headstoneTake the time to make sure you know exactly what you want for your monument and what material you would like it to be constructed from.
Take a look at some other examples the company have produced if you want to check their quality or maybe get a better idea of what you are ordering. Make sure you approve the final layout and design before you confirm that you want the supplier to go ahead.
You should meticulously check for any spelling mistakes or date errors as this will be your last chance to make any corrections before the headstone is made, and it can be upsetting if any of the details turn out to be wrong and you hadn’t noticed.
It is a painful experience losing someone so close to you but with a meaningful grave monument, you have the perfect opportunity to make a gesture and epitaph that will be a fitting tribute.
About the Author
Alexandra Peacock is a social worker and counsellor of several years. She enjoys sharing her insights to help others find peace in their lives. You can read her helpful articles on family and lifestyle blogs and websites.