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Creating A Lasting Memorial

Erecting a stone memorial to a loved one – whether at the cemetery, churchyard or crematorium – is a tradition whose roots go back thousands of years.

In simple terms, the memorial clearly indicates where a person or their ashes are buried so that family and friends can visit to remember and honour the memory of the person who has died.

They are however much more personal and meaningful than that so the responsibility of organising a memorial after losing a loved one can seem like a daunting prospect and yet another thing to organise when you are already facing the difficult emotions of bereavement.

Creating the right lasting memorial to a loved one is just as important as the funeral service and with the right support, can be another healing step in your grief journey.

Rather than being a time-consuming process with potential to become a source of conflict between family members, this should be regarded as a positive and healing experience.

However, it should not be rushed.

Some families feel that they should get on with installing a memorial as soon as possible – concerned that others might think they are neglecting the grave. 

However, in reality and for practical reasons, choosing and erecting a stone memorial often cannot be completed straight away.

This is particularly the case following a burial if the churchyard or cemetery does not have pre-installed concrete beams as the ground needs time to settle. In fact, many cemeteries and churchyards recommend waiting 12 months before the headstone is erected.

Ordering a cremation stone can be much faster and simpler process, but it is still important to make considered decisions as these memorials equally stand the test of time and will also be around for future generations to discover.

Talking to colleagues at our sister company Art Stone Memorials, I have been amazed at the complexities of this process and the importance of their in-depth knowledge of all the permissions required under strict rules and regulations relating to the size, style and inscriptions permitted on memorials. So it really is worth obtaining the advice of those in the know.

Whilst it is tempting to forge ahead with these big decisions to create a sense of closure and to tick off your ‘to do’s’, my advice would be to take a breath after the funeral to process all that has happened.

Once you are ready, and sure of what you want, then gently start the process with a company such as Art Stone Memorials who will guide you through the whole process.

Please visit their website or call them on Burton: 01283 539 531;

Derby: 01332 949 374.

This blog is written by Fay Bloor, bereavement support coordinator and counsellor at Wathall’s.