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Tombstone to Monument: Part One, Upright Marker

According to Collins English Dictionary, the term tombstone originally referred to the flat stone on top of a grave or the lid of a stone coffin.  The term dates back to 1711 and can also be another term for a gravestone or headstone.  In present day, tombstones are now referred to as “markers”.

In this 4 part blog series I will talk about the four different types of markers: upright, flat, pillow and digital.  This blog will focus on the upright marker.

There are many things to consider when arranging for a memorial marker.

If it is an upright memorial marker or headstone, the first consideration is the cemetery regulations.  Cemetery by-laws regulate the placement of upright markers on graves within their grounds.  Their rules and regulations will also stipulate the size, materials and types of headstone allowed.  Before your finalize your order of an upright marker be sure you are in compliance with the Cemetery regulations, as they can and are known to refuse the placement of a upright marker that does not comply with their by-laws.

Upright marker - no walkerHow soon can a marker be sited on a grave?

Typically this falls into two categories.  Some people install an upright marker prior to their death, while others do this when the first partner dies.  For family, the upright marker serves as a focal point when visiting the grave and setting in stone the memorialization of a loved one.  Typically the date of birth is on the stone and the date of death can be added onsite at a later date.

How much does an Upright Marker cost?

Several factors are involved in the price of an upright monument.  Things to consider are the size, type of material, personalization details, number of letters, the type of engraving or etching on the stone and the number of sides that are polished or left rough on the upright marker.

Included in the pricing of an upright marker will be the foundation that the upright marker is placed on, as well as the installation cost of siting the upright marker.

If you would like to know more about the process please connect with me.

I would love to hear from you and help get the conversation started.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

Kat

Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.

P.S.   Tombstone is also the name of a city in Arizona named by prospector Ed Schieffelin who found silver there in 1877 after being told all he would find was his tombstone.

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Celebration of Life: Committal Service – Part 3

There are several ways to celebrate the life of a deceased loved one.

In part 1 of this blog I mentioned that a funeral service means that the body of the deceased is present at the service. In part 2 I mentioned that at a memorial service the body is not present.  Now, I will explain what a Committal Service is and how it is different from the other two services.

A committal service may be the last step in a funeral or memorial service.  Alternatively a committal service could be a standalone celebration of life.

A committal service can be associated with cremation, burial or entombment.

With cremation the committal service could be at a cemetery or at a private location.  If the committal service for cremation is at a cemetery than the cremated remains can be buried into the ground, scatted in a memorial garden or inurned into a niche in a columbarium.

A committal service may also be held at the crematorium prior to the initiation of the cremation process.  This may also be called witnessing cremation and is especially important to people observing Hindu funeral traditions.

With earth burial the committal service is held at the graveside and the final benediction is observed before the casket is lowered into the grave.  Often people will put flowers on top of the casket to pay their last respects to the deceased.  It is the family’s choice to remain to see the casket lowered into the grave and the grave filled in.  Some families elect to participate in this by added a handful or shovelful of soil into the grave.

With entombment of a casket the committal service is held in the mausoleum.  After the final benediction many families remain to witness the casket being raised into the mausoleum space and sealed.

Whether you would like your life celebrated with a funeral, memorial or committal service, it is important to create the right type of service to say goodbye.  This helps your family and loved one express their grief and comfort each other.

You can take this pressure off of your family and friends by creating your own funeral file.  Things to consider doing now are to write your own obituary.  If you are not sure where to start, read other obituaries in print or online.  What do you like about them?  What don’t you like?  The important part is to start.  Perhaps think of three words that sum up your life contributions and achievements.  By outlining what is important to you and what your life means to you; you are letting others know about you and how you want to be remembered.  Just start, something is better than nothing.

Consider also including pictures, songs, poems, readings, or scriptures that you like. The absolute best way to record your wishes for your celebration of life is to have it written down and prepaid at the funeral home.

If you are unsure how/where to start, I invite you to connect with me.  I work with my clients to make this process easier and to avoid any headaches for the family during an already emotional time after the deceased has passed.  To help start the discussion, I offer a free consultation to see the available options and how to get started preplanning.

I would love to hear from you.  You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter too!

Kat

Katherine Downey is the #1 Funeral Preplanning Professional in Canada for the fourth time. She is a professional educator, author, licensed funeral director and insurance advisor. To set an appointment or have your questions answered, please contact Kat directly.