Grave Headstones and Monuments
Grave headstones or monuments for graves remain today the world’s most popular way to permanently memorialize the passed loved-ones. All across the globe people alive today can expect to be remembered through the ages by grave headstones personalized to include their names, dates of birth and death, special designs, and other relevant information. Even people whose bodies have been cremated are often memorialized with grave headstones installed in their family cemetery plots.
For many years most grave headstones were large, up-right pieces of sculpted stone that contained written information about the people whose grave they marked. While this "up-right" grave headstones still used today, they now usually mark a group of graves (such as an entire family), and they often also take the form of elaborately designed statues that celebrate a specific theme. Meanwhile, smaller grave headstones are now most commonly used to mark individual graves. These smaller plaque-like pieces made of bronze, granite, or a combination of the two, are displayed directly on the ground at the head of a grave. These grave headstones are designed to memorialize just one person, but specially designed "companion" grave headstones are also quite commonly used to memorialize couples who spent large portions of their lives together.
Today’s grave headstones usually come in two varieties: bronze and granite. Bronze grave headstones typically include bronze plates with special memorial designs and lettering that names the deceased as well as the dates of birth and death. These plates are then attached to granite bases and then installed in cemeteries as beautiful grave headstones. Granite grave headstones, meanwhile, are formed from one of the worlds oldest and strongest natural materials, which has been shaped, polished and chiseled into grave headstones that will certainly last for ages.
By having grave headstone always available to view in a specific location, families are practicing the sound advice that psychologists typically give to those going through the grieving process. But, besides their emotional value, grave headstones are also important for historians who want to assure that lives can be documented decades, or even centuries, after death. The sturdy construction of grave headstones assures that people will be remembered long after the elements have destroyed paper records or technology has made electronic records obsolete.
While many grave headstones are purchased after a person has died, there are some advantages to "pre-need" purchasing of grave headstones. These memorial headstones have the name (or, in the case of companion memorial headstones, names) inscribed at the time of purchase, and then the death dates are added later. Many people choose the latter option because they want the peace of mind that comes from choosing the design and style of their own grave headstones. Buying grave headstones pre-need assures that prices will never increase.
Different Headstone Options Available in the Market:
The most common headstone option is the ground level headstone known as a ‘flat marker’. Such headstones are thinner in size as compared to other types of headstone and lie flat along the ground. A flat headstone can be set into a base or stand by itself. On a flat headstone, there is space for a very simple inscription such as name, years of birth and death and an epitaph of three to four words. In the market you can find simple flat markers as well as fairly elaborate flat markers. Such headstones are usually made from granite or metal slabs.
These headstones, also known as block headstones are usually in the shape of a thick rectangular block with rounded tops. Upright headstones are usually made of marble or granite and their size is normally two feet high and two feet across. These headstones can come in a wide variety of shapes and designs. Upright headstones are popular since the Ancient Greece and Roman time period.
These are the oldest types of headstones that one can still find in cemeteries. Here flat or rectangular stones with rounded, triangular or domed tops are set into a slot in a stone or concrete base. Due to the wide base, these headstones do not tip over and fall. A wide variety of materials are used for this type of headstones, ranging from wood to stone.
Similar to an obelisk, these headstones resembles a pillar. Divided into three parts, these headstones are designed with a base, a shaft, and a capital, or top. On the top, a ball or urn is usually there. These headstones usually feature Roman, Greek or Egyptian design. Column monuments are often used to designate family burial sites. These headstones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the types of column headstones are Gateway, Broken, Classical Greek, Standard, Pilaster and Stele.
These headstones are larger in shape and are designed with four faces where inscriptions can be done. The sides are flat vertical in shape with a flat capital or pediment. On the four faces there are designs enriched with inscriptions, motifs and ornamental styling. Some of these headstones are also designed with an urn. These headstones are made of granite or marble.
The cross headstones come in different forms and the symbolic meanings and history associated with each type is different. The four most common types of cross headstones are Latin cross, Calvary cross, Celtic cross and Rustic cross. Cross headstones are usually made of granite or marble.