Our guest blogger today talks about monuments aka tombstones or memorial markers. Memorialization is one way that families celebrate the life of their loved one and the setting of a marker on the grave can give closure to them which leads to healing. Grief affects people differently. There are families who don’t put a marker on the grave because they can’t bear to think their loved one is gone and don’t want the proof of it in the form of a marker. Or they think if they don’t have a marker that somehow the person isn’t really gone. Many other families find strength in acknowledging their loved one’s life. Either way, memorialization plays a key role in the grief process. ~ Charity Gallardo, Blog Coordinator.
When someone close to you dies, you’re consumed with grief and can’t imagine living life without that special someone, whether a spouse, sibling, child or other relative. Although you’ll always remember them, it’s often nice to commemorate their life with a memorial of some kind. In this article, we take a look at just some of the options that are available.
One of the most common ways to commemorate a loved one is with a headstone on their grave. These days, headstones are typically made of granite or other durable, hard wearing stone. They come in a range of shapes from more traditional rectangular or arched headstones to more elaborate designs such as hearts, plaques and other shapes. Headstones usually feature personalised engraving which states the name of your loved one and their date of birth and death. Sometimes other elements can be engraved too such as a poem or who the loved one has left behind. Headstones are a great way to commemorate loved ones.
Over recent years, the range of embellishments that headstones can feature has increased significantly. You can now add personal photographs, pictures or icons that have significant meaning to you, your loved one or your family.
Kerbed memorials usually feature a headstone but are a little more elaborate in design. Instead of just placing a gravestone on the grave, they feature little walls that go around the whole site of the grave. They are a great way to keep people at a distance, making them aware that the area is a grave and should be respected as such. Kerbed memorials are also often made of granite whilst in the centre of them paving or gravel in various designs gives them a great look.
For those who want to do something a little more to commemorate a loved one, you might choose to place a bench in their favourite location. These are often placed in a local park, forest or along the coast to commemorate a place that was of significant importance to your loved one or to yourself. Benches are usually made of wood although stone ones are available too. Commemorative benches will typically feature a plaque which gives the names, dates and possibly a line or two or dedication to your loved one.
A dedicated bench can be placed in a local spot in celebration of a loved one’s life
Giving back to the earth has become a popular way of commemorating the life of loved ones in recent years. One of the most common practices is to plant a young tree in celebration of your loved one’s life. You can choose any type of tree from an oak through to a fruit tree and watch it blossom over the years in commemoration of the human life lost. Plaques can be placed under or next to the tree with wording of your choice. Tree planting can be done in your garden or in a location which holds fond memories for you.
Many families are now also setting up websites to commemorate the lives of loved ones. These feature pictures and stories about the loved one and often allow others to take part in the commemoration by adding their own pictures, comments or tributes. They are especially poignant in commemorating the lives of young people.
Although all of the above options can be used exclusively to commemorate the life of a loved one, many people choose to use a combination of the above so a headstone for the graveyard as well as a bench in a local spot too for example. Everyone grieves in their own way, and to have something created in honour of a loved one is a touching way to remember them.
Tom Reynolds is one of the co-owners of Memorials of Distinction – a long established, family owned stonemasons and sculptors serving the public and memorial trade in the UK.
Note: Fairhaven Memorial Park has areas for upright and flat monuments and also offers benches and tree plaques throughout our spacious, beautiful park. Many of our families have expressed their gratitude for the many memorialization options available to them at Fairhaven.