Losing a loved one is never easy. Surviving family members are tasked with the overwhelming responsibility of planning final arrangements in the midst of processing their own grief. This can lead to sudden financial burdens and stressful decisions if final wishes aren’t documented ahead of time.
To prevent this incredibly difficult situation, more people are choosing to preplan arrangements to give their loved ones peace of mind. When working with a monument provider to preplan, you’re able to select and document all of your final wishes, down to the memorial details.
With the help of a memorial and monument provider, you can design a memorial that is unique to you. You’re able to decide if it will be simple or elaborate, granite or bronze, what the inscription says and more. Not to mention, the memorial can be a great gift to loved ones who wish to honor your memory in a meaningful way.
To help you preplan your own memorial, follow our five-step process to designing a personalized memorial.
1. Find a Cemetery
The first step in preplanning your own memorial is to research local cemeteries, including their specific rules and regulations for memorials. Unfortunately, we know of many families who have purchased land at a cemetery, then realize the memorial they envisioned is not permitted.
Consider consulting with a local monument dealers and specialists first. They understand the guidelines for memorials at different cemeteries and will help you navigate the options. Whether you want a cemetery to fit your ideal memorial or a memorial to fit the cemetery, they’re available to help.
While each cemetery has its own rules and regulations, there are several types of cemeteries to choose from, including:
- Public cemeteries
- Religious cemeteries
- District and municipal cemeteries
- National and veterans’ cemeteries
You might picture a national cemetery (Arlington National Cemetery is shown below), with matching grave markers of the same size and material, but other cemeteries have different requirements your memorial provider can explain and ensure are followed.
2. Select the Size and Shape
There are a number of memorials available both online and offline, varying in shape, size and style.
Review the available options to ensure the selected memorial or monument embodies your final wishes. A variety of memorial types exist for both burial and cremation, including:
- Upright monument
- Slant marker
- Raised bevel
- Recessed urns
- Memorial urns
Additionally, if you’d like to be close to your family after passing, consider options for companion and family memorials.
3. Choose a Color
Next up on the preplanning checklist is color. Which type of stone best suites your desires?
With a variety of colors to choose from, popular shades and patterns include:
- Aurora red
- Barre gray
- Erin green
- Coffee brown
- Impala black
- Blue pearl
It’s important to note granite is a product of nature and will vary in shade.
Visit our facility to view our extensive inventory, color selection and handpick a memorial or monument.
4. Customize a Design
After choosing the color, it’s time to customize the design of the memorial. Memorials are so much more than stone grave markers. They are personalized tributes that honor the life and legacy of your life lived.
Talk with your provider about design options. Some common elements include:
- Hand and laser etching
- Sculptures and carving
- Unique engraving
- Bronze lettering and accents
- Ceramic and porcelain photos
- Flag holders
Ask to see design options on a computer screen before committing them to a memorial. This will ensure that the design accurately reflects final wishes.
5. Create Your Message
Finally, select a typeface for the memorial inscription for the memorial’s special and unique message.
While most memorials have traditional phrases like “Always In Our Hearts” or “In Loving Memory Of,” talk with your provider about the message. When surviving family and future generations visit your final resting spot, what do you want to convey?
Perhaps there is a quote you live your life by, or a meaningful song you share with your spouse. When able to pick something personal, it can have a much deeper meaning for not only you, but for surviving family.
Beyond your name, birthday and date of your passing, the memorial can make mention of family references. These include:
- Beloved mother
- Devoted husband
- Adored grandmother
Other common inscriptions include song lyrics, bible verses or meaningful quotes unique to you and your values.
Preplan Your Memorial to Reduce Stress for Family Members
While preplanning funeral arrangements is of utmost importance, a memorial is the surviving piece of history for loved ones and future generations to visit after you’ve passed. Preplanning a memorial may feel overwhelming at first, but it’s a true act of love for surviving family members that allows you the time to choose what you want.
If you are interested in learning more about our services, call us at 216-362-1199 or set up an appointment online, today.