Advice on placing a headstone or permanent marker on a grave or ashes plot.

Marking a grave or ashes plot.

If a person is buried, or their ashes interred, you will probably consider a permanent memorial to be necessary. Many people feel that the funeral is not truly completed until this has been put in place. Freeman Brothers’ sister company, J.Gumbrill Monumental Masons, handles memorial work on our behalf. If a headstone has been removed from a grave for a second burial, J.Gumbrill will write to you to discuss the next steps. In such cases, there are fewer decisions to make, and the first inscription may have been written with a second one in mind, but there may also be restoration work required so carrying this out at the same time may be practical.

A grave needs to be left alone for at least six months after a burial (and individual sites may have rules which do not permit headstones to be installed for at least this duration, if not longer) but a headstone can also take several months to make, so it is sensible to start thinking about your preferences quite quickly after the funeral if your wish is to have the plot permanently marked as soon as is possible. Some people prefer to take time over their decision about a headstone and accept this might mean the grave is unmarked for longer.

Not every memorial will be appropriate for – or allowed in – every place of rest. All churchyards (and most cemeteries and burial grounds) will have rules and regulations about the materials, sizes and lettering allowed. J.Gumbrill will work with you to ensure that the memorial is not only a fitting tribute to the person who has died but is also acceptable to its setting.

When planning a memorial for an ashes plot, the order in which the interment of the ashes and the placing of the stone is carried out is an important consideration. An interment can take place relatively soon after the funeral while, as mentioned previously, a memorial can take some time to produce.

A decision will need to be made as to whether the ashes should be interred promptly, and the plot left unmarked while the memorial work is completed, or whether the ashes should be retained by the funeral director, or someone in the family or circle of friends, until the stone is completed; it can then be installed immediately after the interment, which of course means that the interment is delayed. Either option is equally feasible so this is a matter of personal choice, however it should be noted that there may be rare occasions when a burial place will not allow interments until a marker can be placed, and this cannot be overruled.

For more information on how to plan a funeral, please continue to Supporting A Charity or return to After The Funeral.

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