When planning final arrangements, some families are hesitant to choose cremation because they’re unsure how their loved one will be physically memorialized.
Many families associate memorialization only with traditional burials at a cemetery. However, you can also memorialize, honor and celebrate one’s life if cremated, in the same way as if they were buried. A cremation memorial creates a central location for surviving family and future generations to visit together.
Below we discuss seven of the most common cremation memorial options available for personally and thoughtfully honoring a loved one.
1. Monument or Headstone
Monuments and headstones are most commonly associated with traditional burials. However, this memorialization option is not solely reserved for this type of final arrangement.
In fact, most cemeteries permit cremated remains to be buried with any of the headstones we are accustomed to seeing.
There are dozens of memorial design decisions, and we created the Headstone Design Guide and Memorial Cost Guide to overview what’s possible. Both guides apply to cemetery memorials of all types, whether your loved one is buried in a casket or in a cremation urn.
Personalization options include:
- Multiple material options, including bronze and many different granite colors and varieties.
- Various memorial shapes and sizes, including lawn-level, bevel, slant and upright monuments.
- Lettering and designs, including customized inscriptions, portraits and other designs.
A columbarium is a public or private building that houses cremated remains. Columbaria are composed of small niches, which each house a single urn.
Many cemeteries have columbarium niches in the wall of a mausoleum or standalone garden columbarium, but you can also have a small one created for just the use of your family.
Each individual columbarium can be created in any size to hold as many urns as necessary. When complete, a personalized plaque is placed outside of each niche, identifying whose remains are kept there.
3. Lawn Crypts
A lawn crypt is a vault or chamber used for housing the remains of lost loved ones, such as in a mausoleum or church. Although once believed to only be used for caskets, crypt burials are possible for cremated remains as well.
Cremated remains are first entombed and then placed in a single niche, similar to a columbarium.
Crypts are most often found in cemeteries but can also be found on certain personal estates.
4. Personalized Memorial Rock, Stone or Boulder
PFor those who want something smaller and closer to home, personalized stones and rocks are another option. This is one of the oldest forms of memorialization. Nature has formed these memorials over thousands and thousands of years—ours aren’t manufactured.
To hold the cremated remains, we simply cut a hole in the stone, place the urn inside and seal the hole.
To personalize the stone with the person’s name and other information, there are two options:
- The stone is cut flat to allow engraved lettering or artwork (the first image above).
- A plaque, often made of bronze, is placed and personalized with lettering, designs and portraits (the second image above).
Many people put the rock or boulder in a garden and dedicate it to the deceased, creating a unique and meaningful place for surviving family to visit.
5. Memorial Bench
Memorial benches with recessed urns offer another option for memorializing your loved one’s cremated remains. Choosing this route allows for a lot of creativity.
Memorial benches are made of granite and come in a variety of colors, sizes and finishes. You can choose to have them personalized with standard lettering and dates, as well as with unique artwork. You can even choose to add a beautifully etched plaque with photographs or a portrait of your loved one.
Like recessed boulders, a memorial bench can be placed in a cemetery, on your property in a garden, in a park or at another meaningful location. You might consider placing the bench on a lot where other family members are buried.
Make sure to contact us about different cemetery rules and regulations beforehand.
When someone chooses to have their remains scattered or kept in an urn in a home, a plaque is another option for creating a meaningful memorial.
Memorial plaques are often personalized bronze or granite plaques that have lettering, inscriptions, dates and even one-of-a-kind designs. The plaque is then placed on a natural stone, memorial bench or tree, or is set on its own in a garden or other meaningful location.
7. Memorial Jewelry
Losing a loved one is never easy. Memorial jewelry offers a way to keep a loved one close to you wherever you go.
Memorial jewelry is designed to hold a loved one’s cremated remains. They could also hold something else significant to the person, such as a thread from their favorite shirt or scarf.
Memorial jewelry exists in many different types, such as:
Designers can make custom pieces that include engraved dates, initials, designs and inscriptions. The possibilities are endless when it comes to personalized memorial jewelry.
Honor Your Loved One with a Personalized Cremation Memorial
There are many choices concerning final arrangements, even after you have made the decision of cremation. Visit our cremation guide to understand all you need know on how to memorialize your loved one following cremation.
- Cremation vs. Burial: What You Need to Know Before You Decide
- How to Make a Memorial Urn Special and Unique
- 3 Common Cremation Myths Debunked
- Headstone Design Guide
- Memorial Cost Guide