Usually a family would try to purchase a monument within one year of the date of death. Most families start this process within one month of their loved one’s death. The grieving process is different for each individual and only you know when you are emotionally ready.
The best place to purchase your memorial is from a full-service monument dealer. A full-service monument dealer is a professional memorial artist who only deals with monuments. He or she can help you design a memorial to best remember your loved one. Since their business is only monuments, they are the experts for this very important choice that you and your family have to make. A funeral home or cemetery trying to sell you a stone may contact you. It is in your best interest to visit your full-service monument dealer before making your decision. It really makes no sense to purchase a monument from a “middle man” when you can go directly to the memorial professional. Remember, this is the monument dealer’s only job, and not an “add-on” to boost profits, as it is for many funeral homes or cemeteries. This means that the monument dealer will work in your best interest.
You can find full-service monument dealers in your area who are members of the New England Monument Dealers Association (NEMDA) on our Dealers page. You can call, write or email them directly using the contact information listed. As a member of NEMDA, each monument dealer promises to follow fair and honest business practices, which benefits you, the consumer.
Most people have never bought a monument before. Your local full-service monument company will have all the information you will need to know for this process, including any regulations that your cemetery may have.
Monuments are usually made of granite, marble or bronze. Granite is the most common material, is available in many colors and is the most durable of the choices. Marble monuments are usually white in color but may wear away over time in the outdoor environment. Bronze is a brown man-made metal used most often for flat markers and statues.
With today’s technology, a memorial artist can create a variety of monument styles, shapes and sizes, such as:
- Flush markers- these markers are placed flat, flush with the ground.
- Bevel markers- these markers are not very high above the ground, with the back of the stone being a few inches higher than the front.
- Slant markers- these markers stand typically 16 or so inches above the ground with the back of the stone straight vertical, and the front sloping at 45 degrees.
- Traditional upright monument- these markers typically have either two pieces consisting of the monument and a base that attaches to it, or a one-piece monument (called a monolith), with a portion of the base buried into the ground.
- Ledgers- these markers are flat to the ground memorials that cover the entire grave.
- Garden memorials- these markers can range from benches to urns to sundials and almost anything else you could image.
Today more than any time before, more people are choosing a mausoleum to remember someone in a very special way. Mausoleums can be a building with stained glass windows and a bronze door, called a walk-in. They can also be a smaller above-ground building that has no windows or doors, called a crypt, where your loved one is entombed. You will find that if you choose to explore the option of a mausoleum, you will find that they are relatively affordable in today’s market.
How would you like to remember your loved one in a memorial? Did that person have a hobby, a favorite poem or a favorite place? Today’s technology enables monuments to be shaped into any form. Techniques such as sandblasting, shaped carving, sculpture and etching allow scenes and portraits to be placed directly on the memorial, enabling you to tell the story of your loved one’s life. Your memorial artist is the most experienced in helping you personalize your loved one’s memorial.
You may choose from many products such as vases, candles and photographs, to name a few.
Price depends upon the material and its quality, as well as the shape, size, design, lettering and personalization of the monument. Prices will range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on style and features of the memorial. The memorial artist at your full-service monument dealer will help you choose a memorial that best remembers your loved one and fits your budget.