An important element of the arrangements for a loved-one's funeral is the choice of a suitable memorial for their final resting place. The unveiling of the memorial also provides mourners with many opportunities to give suitable tributes to their departed loved-one. It's helpful if you have a clear idea of what sort of memorial you'd like before you discuss it with your funeral director.
If you're wondering where to start, here are some helpful ideas that may give you inspiration.
What types of memorials are available?
Memorials usually come in the form of headstones, monuments, or plaques. Natural stone, marble and granite are popular materials to choose from, often with bronze or glass elements. The materials used and the size of the memorial will also affect the cost. Granite is usually the cheapest option and is available in a range of colours, including grey, white, pink and even green.
You could choose to have a simple vase included in the memorial design so that flowers can be placed there whenever your visit your loved-one's grave. A more traditional idea is for small statues of angels or doves to be incorporated somewhere in the design.
The words and pictures you have engraved on the memorial are a matter of personal taste, although it's usual for the deceased's name, year of their birth and date they died to be included. In addition, many people choose to include something that was important to the person who has died; for example, a verse from the Bible, a few lines of poetry, or perhaps just a simple epitaph such as, 'beloved husband, friend and father'. Images of flowers, hearts or doves are popular additions used to embellish the memorial, and pictures of the deceased can also be incorporated if desired.
Many funeral homes are able to provide a range of memorials or will be able to recommend a good local supplier. It is possible to purchase memorials online, but the cost and practicalities of shipping and delivery can be prohibitive.
Options for unveiling memorials
Memorials are artisan pieces of work which can take many weeks to complete and consequently are not usually ready to be put in place at the time of a funeral. This provides the deceased's mourners with an opportunity to hold a brief memorial unveiling service at a later date when the memorial is ready to be interred.
This allows the deceased's relatives and friends to hold a celebration of their life subsequent to the more formal grief of the funeral. You may choose to read excerpts of poetry that were particular favourites of the deceased, play some of their favourites music in the background, or have people read out their own personal tributes before the memorial is unveiled. Many people opt to hold a reception back at a family home or nearby restaurant after the unveiling.
Your funeral director will be able to offer guidance as to the format of such memorial unveiling ceremonies and will also preside over the event if you wish.
A memorial is designed to be a permanent tribute to the person who has died, so it's important to make the right choice. Your funeral director will be able to guide you on both the choice and supplier of the memorial, and the format of the unveiling ceremony. So talk with a funeral director and a local funeral home, such as Tony Hollands Funerals, today to begin planning.