Getting the right memorial headstone for your loved one

When a loved one sadly passes away, having a tangible reminder of them that you can visit is a great help during the grieving process and beyond. Memorial headstones are the easiest way to do this and with so many styles available today it is relatively easy to select one that is an epitome of the person who you are placing the stone in remembrance of. Better still, you some can even choose to buy their own headstones to save stress on their family.  Young or old, male or female, there is a style of headstone to suit everyone, and here are just a few tips when it comes to choosing one.

First of all you should check with the cemetery or graveyard where you intend placing the headstone whether they have any special rules or restrictions. As these are tailor made in terms of embellishments, photos, engraving etc, if you pay out a lot of money for a stone then find that it is too big for the plot, you can wave goodbye to that money, so make sure you know the rules before ordering the stone.

When it comes to materials used in the creation of headstones for graves, the two big ones are granite and marble and for very good reason; both of these are tough, long lasting and retain their appearance for many years longer than other materials. Granite is becoming increasingly popular as many view marble as cold and soulless, yet there are marble headstones in place in graveyards that have been there at least a century or much longer, and are still in one piece.

Granite can be sourced from all over the world and comes in a variety of colours, the most popular for headstones being red, black, blue and grey. Highly polished granite creates a bright and colourful headstone, while one with a matt finish has an altogether more subtle and traditional style. Granite headstones require very little maintenance and will weather very slowly over a long period of time.

Classic marble is white or bluish white with darker blue or grey veins. The advantage marble has over granite is that it is easier to carve into shapes or designs that you have specifically requested, however intricate. Engravings on marble are usually painted in to stand out, or if you prefer, you can add lead lettering instead of engraving. As we mentioned earlier, marble weathers very well but occasional cleaning will keep it looking pristine.

When it comes to style then there really are no boundaries, apart from any laid down by the cemetery. It is normal to see stones in unusual shapes to suit the hobbies or interests of the person they are paying homage too, and in the sad case of a stone being chosen to mark the grave of a child, there are many pictures and embellishments you can add to make them a unique reminder of the child and also create something that will be a lasting legacy to them.

Whether you go for marble or granite, or even choose a vase as the memorial as opposed to a headstone, you will have little trouble finding a fitting tribute, which makes a difficult time that bit easier.