Tips for Choosing Headstones
Choosing a headstone is an important job, as it is a statue to the memory of your loved one and will remain in place for many years. The design should be in the personal taste of the deceased and should also reflect how they lived their life. If the decision has not been made ahead of time, it can be a difficult decision to consider – and you may not even know where to begin with regulations and what is permitted. That’s why Joseph A Hey & Son funeral directors have prepared this guide for your information when emotions may be running too high to think.
- Decide on which burial ground you are choosing, if you have more than one nearby.
- Then check that graveyard’s regulations about what is allowed in terms of size, dimension and what headstones will not be permitted. Some cemeteries only allow certain types of headstone for the overall aesthetic. There will be guidelines for size that your funeral directors can advise on.
Once these basics are in place, it’s time to decide on the more meaningful factors and consider what your loved one would have wanted.
Design and material
Consider the durability of the stone or metal that you’d like for the headstone. Granite is the most popular due to the wide range of colours and its availability everywhere. White marble is very elegant, but it should not be placed in damp areas, as it won’t wear as well. Different limestone headstones are also available and bronze is becoming quite sought after, as it requires very little maintenance.
The shape, style and design will all depend upon the wishes of the deceased, if they have left instructions. If not, speak to those closed to the deceased to decide which would best represent their loved one.
You can personalise a tombstone by adding a photo and and/or inscription. The inscription can cause consternation so we’ve provided a few tips:
1. Collectively choose one person who will make the final decision.
2. Avoid using “In Loving Memory of…” This has been the standard inscription for many years and has lost its impact somewhat. Find other ways to express this meaning, such as “Dearly Missed”. A carving can sometimes provide more meaning when words fail us.
3. Choose the wording carefully, and don’t rush. No one should feel guilty about the time it takes to find the right words.
4. Dates should be limited to years so as not to clutter the headstone. The exception to this is for children, when days and months are so few and precious.
5. Avoid lists of attributes on a headstone.
6. Consider lines of poetry that the person liked, or even a song they loved. This will have an emotional impact on all who read it and remind them favourably of the deceased. They also stand the test of time very well.
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Joseph A Hey & Son Ltd provide professional and compassionate funeral planning in Bradford and West Yorkshire. With over 100 years experience, we can arrange everything from prepaid funerals to assistance when making a will.