Usually a family purchase a headstone a few months after their loved one's death, but what should you consider before purchasing something so permanent.
Having those months to decide is helpful in allowing you choose a headstone you really like and that adequately marks the final resting place of your loved one.
There are many different shapes, sizes and materials to consider, but the first thing to do is contact a renowned supplier of headstones in your area. It is advisable to contact a business that has already erected headstones in your local cemetery.
These are the things to consider before making a purchase:
What size is the grave and what size headstone is appropriate?
Have a look around and have a style that you like
Consider any rules that may apply in the graveyard. Are there restrictions on height, is there a fee involved in erecting a headstone, or is it a lawn cemetery where stones are not permitted.
Contact the local authority or the parish to fully understand and answer questions like this before buying a headstone
Time - it may take up to a month for work to commence on the headstone from the time you approach the subject, so if you want it completed for an anniversary or specific date, it's best to plan at least six or eight weeks in advance.
What would you like written on the stone? You may want the name printed in a certain style or perhaps you'd like an appropriate quote or verse that captures the essence of your loved one.
Colour and style - Do you like wide or narrow, plain or ornate? Decide things like this in advance, and also select what colour and material you like. They include marble, limestone, granite, paradiso, etc. You will also need to select the fond colour to make sure it is legible.
Would you like a photograph? This can be a nice memorial to a loved one but can also be a harsh reminder of a loss so it is certainly a personal choice. You can discuss these decisions with your supplier.
Stones and surround - You will also have to keep an eye out for the types of grave surrounds and inserts you like. Do you want a paved slab that can hold pots, chipping, bark or stones. These options can again be discussed with your supplier.
Maintenance - Discuss with your supplier what maintenance is neccessary on the grave site. Consider how labour intensive it might be for relatives, especially elderly ones.