Almost 3 million people die in the United States every year. That’s roughly 7% of the population.
While that number might seem trivial to you today, when somebody you love becomes part of that statistic, it hits hard.
You may find yourself asking questions that you never thought you’d be asking yourself. Among the biggest questions that you’ll be fielding is what memorial headstone you’ll buy to commemorate your loved one’s final place of rest.
Headstones come in many varieties, and it can be difficult to select the right one to immortalize the person you love. To help you through the selection process, we recommend considering these 8 simple tips.
1. Give Yourself Some Time to Think
When somebody dies, emotions can quickly spiral out of control. Those emotions can make it difficult to make sensible decisions.
Believe it or not, people in the lucrative funeral business pray on that state and try to push expensive memorial headstones and other keepsakes on affected families when they’re at their most vulnerable.
To do your best to avoid that predatory behavior, try not to jump into making funeral purchases right after dealing with a person’s passing. We understand that time is often of the essence in these situations, but every moment that you can give yourself to be alone and reflect will provide you with a little more strength to manage your issues.
2. Walk Around the Cemetery
When you’re ready to start thinking about what sort of memorial headstone you might like to purchase, we recommend that you start your deliberation by walking around the cemetery where your loved one will be buried.
Inspecting the grounds will not only help you grow comfortable with the piece of land that you will be visiting for years to come, but it will also give you an opportunity to get inspired by other people’s headstones.
While walking around, make note of what kinds of headstones you like and which you don’t. Having an idea of what you’re looking for will make the shopping process more seamless and will reduce the odds of making an impulsive purchase.
3. Always Opt for Concrete Foundation
Many people don’t know this but most headstones are built into a foundation of concrete. That foundation typically goes 4 feet below ground and will keep a headstone standing for hundreds of years.
In order to cut costs, some headstones sold by funeral parlors skimp on concrete foundations. If you’re offered such a product, insist that proper foundation be used to hold the headstone you’re purchasing in place.
4. Shop Around
Your first stop when buying a memorial headstone will likely be your cemetery’s funeral parlor. They’ll have an assortment of headstones, caskets, and other things that they’ll attempt to sell you.
We recommend listening to your cemetery’s pitch and weighing external options as well. Many times, cemetery’s will up-charge for their products given the convenience of doing everything in one place.
If you take the time to weigh all of your options when it comes to purchasing a headstone, you may end up saving thousands of dollars without sacrificing quality.
5. Understand Restrictions Before Buying a Memorial Headstone
If you choose to buy products from your loved one’s cemetery, you won’t have to worry about restrictions given that the cemetery isn’t likely to sell you anything that they don’t allow.
If you’re buying headstones and other funeral paraphernalia from a third party, though, you’ll want to talk to your cemetery about what they allow and what they don’t.
For example, some cemeteries only allow flat, copper headstones. If you go out and purchase an upright one, you may end up spending thousands on a headstone that you can’t use.
6. Check out What’s Popular
No matter how many headstones you look at, landing on the right one can turn into what feels like a hopeless task. Whenever you’re in need of inspiration, try talking to local and online headstone crafters. Ask them what kinds of headstones people buy the most.
Understanding what the top sellers are when it comes to headstones and why people trust that particular product can help move you towards making the right purchase.
7. Plan for Fading
When you purchase a memorial headstone from a reputable memorial stonemason, you can count on craftsmanship that will last a long time. Depending on the climate of the cemetery where your headstone will be placed, though, harsh elements like heavy rain can cause fading over time.
You’ll want to plan for this eventuality and put away some money to have your headstone touched up or replaced over the years if fading is not something that you’re comfortable with.
8. Consider Your Loved One’s Sensibilities
At the end of the day, it’s your loved one that’s going to be laying under the headstone you purchase. Because of that, we always say that buyers should reflect on what kind of headstone their loved one might most appreciate.
Believe us when we say that you’ll be able to sleep well if you can tell yourself that your loved one would have approved of your decision.
Purchasing a memorial headstone can be hard. By leveraging our tips, the process will be made a little easier.
And frankly, every bit of help that you can get as you deal with this difficult time is help worth taking.
If you’re looking for more lifestyle advice that can help you navigate all of this world’s highs and lows, check out more content on “Show Me The Blog” today.