Your Guide To Choosing A Cemetery Monument

When you're grieving a loved one it can be difficult to process all the decisions you have to make when organising their funeral. Choosing the cemetery monument can be particularly challenging, as you are making a decision about how the graveside will be permanently marked. Popular varieties of monuments include headstones, statues and pillars. When selecting the variety for your loved one's graveside you will need to take the positon of the plot, whether other family members will be buried there in the future and the budget into consideration, but choosing the type of monument is only the first step. Once you've settled on a monument type, you'll have the following to consider:

The Monument Material 

Regardless of whether you choose a headstone, statue or pillar, you'll have several materials to choose from. Graveside monuments are commonly made with bronze, granite or marble, as these materials can withstand harsh weather conditions and are designed to last for several decades. Bronze is an expensive material, but if you want a monument that requires very little maintenance, this material may be the right choice. It only needs a wipe-over with non-ionic soap every year or so to keep it looking clean and polished. If the graveside is in a coastal area, granite can be a great choice. There are greater levels of salt in the air in coastal areas, and this can speed up the corrosion of cemetery monuments. However, granite doesn't succumb to the corrosive effect of salt, so your loved one's monument will stay looking like new for longer. The elegance of marble makes it a popular choice for graveside monuments, but this material can suffer from mildew. For this reason, it may be best suited to gravesides that are somewhat sheltered from the elements. Mildew can easily be removed with a weak ammonium hydroxide solution, so if you live nearby the graveside and intend on visiting regularly, cleaning away the mildew may not be an issue for you.

The Monument Finish

Your loved one's monument will have a finish applied to it, and the main finishing options to choose from are polished, honed and pitched. Monuments with a polished finish will have a reflective surface that will make the monument stand out. A honed finish will give the monument a matt surface, which can make any inscriptions on the monument easier to read. A pitched finish can add some character to the monument, as it creates rough edges all the way around the monument. When choosing the finish, consider how it will impact the overall appearance of the monument and whether or not it's important to you that the monument fits in with the style of the existing monuments in the cemetery.

Choosing a cemetery monument can be a difficult task, but knowing your options and viewing samples of the different materials and finishes can help you select a fitting monument to mark the graveside of your loved one.