How to Select a Grave Marker

When a loved one dies, you want to choose a grave marker that honors that person. It must be durable enough that it will stand up to the elements and last for many years. It should also be beautiful, creating a touchstone for future generations to appreciate when they visit the grave of your loved one. Finally, it’s important to choose a grave marker that’s reflective of the life that was lived.

Before making this decision, there are some factors you should consider.

  • There may be rules about the type of grave marker you can choose. Check with the cemetery for regulations, which might determine the size and shape of marker you can use. This can also affect your choice of materials. For example, you might be required to buy a headstone made of solid granite or without decorative edges or embellishment. Some cemeteries have a relationship with a memorial company and require that headstones be purchased through that vendor. Double-checking before you make a decision can prevent trouble when the marker is installed.
  • Choose a material that’s long lasting. Typically, the most durable grave markers are made of granite, marble, bronze or some combination of these elements. What you choose has to do with personal preference as well as what you think your loved one would have wanted.
  • Make sure to find a marker that reflects the values of the one it represents. In Ghana, people are buried in fantasy coffins, which reflect what was important to them in life. The idea is that this will remind people who have died what they were supposed to be doing, and help them find comparable pastimes in the afterlife. You may not expect your loved one’s grave marker to do all that, but designing one that shows something of the person’s personality can help future generations to know a little more about him or her. If your loved one was devout, for instance, you might want to have a scripture inscribed.
  • Talk to your funeral director about all available options. Your funeral director will know exactly how to direct you when you’re selecting a grave marker. You may have some ideas about what you want, but it’s good to learn more about what’s available.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we’ve been providing services to families in our community since 1909. We offer above-ground burial as well as cremation and can accommodate you with a private estate or indoor mausoleum space. Let us help you plan a life-honoring service and choose a final resting place that will serve as a focal point of memorialization for generations to come. Call 510.379.5200 for more information.

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