Things To Consider When Choosing Your Own Memorial
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As memorial masons in Barry, South Wales, we’re aware of how challenging it can be for someone to choose a memorial for a lost loved one.

This is why more and more people are choosing their own memorial in advance – something that we appreciate can be just as difficult to do – but it comes with a key benefit.

Why Should You Choose Your Own Memorial?

One main advantage of planning in advance and choosing your own memorial is that you can afford yourself that peace of mind while easing the burden on your loved ones after you pass away.

When you begin thinking about your memorial options, there are many things to consider.

These considerations include the location of your burial or scattered remains (as this will determine the memorial options available to you), the amount you’re willing to spend, and the way in which you’d like your memorial to reflect your life and help others remember you.

Below, you’ll find a list of 7 things you should consider when planning to choose your own memorial.

1.   What Do You Want People To Remember About Your Life?

A quality memorial will remain in place for many, many years after you have departed.

It’ll memorialise the person you were, the things you stood for, your beliefs, and your personality.

A memorial and what it represents is of course unique to each individual, but people typically want their memorial to reflect their personal values and the things they cared about.

There is evidence of this in cemeteries, with headstones inscribed with meaningful quotes, or sentimental images and symbols etched into the design.

Through cremation, we see people choosing to be scattered in places of significance or buried in an urn and memorialised through a personalised cremation memorial.

Gravestones in a graveyard

2.   What Would You Like Your Memorial To Say?

Many memorials can be personalised in different ways.

Meaningful text or imagery can be engraved or finely etched onto a headstone, memorial vase, cremation memorial, and many other memorials of choice.

It could be a few lines that expresses the way you lived your life, a favourite quote or verse, a symbolic image, or just something personal that you know will strongly connect with your loved ones.

Whatever it is your memorial says about you, you’ll no doubt want it to be something that helps remind people of who you were as a person and evokes memories of the happy times you spent together each time they visit.

3.   Is The Memorial Going To Be A Personal Or Family Memorial?

Some people choose a memorial option that is suitable for the entire family. Cemeteries often allow several people to be buried within one burial plot, and that can apply to both traditional coffin burials and cremation burials, so the memorial style would need to be chosen with this in mind.

Memorials in a book design or double heart style are often popular choices for couples and families.

People choose a family memorial option as being laid to rest together and being reunited in the afterlife can provide comfort for families, whereas others prefer the idea of having their own personal memorial.

Whichever you choose, it is always beneficial to have the discussion with your family and begin your end-of-life plans and decision-making as soon as possible.

Double heart & book style memorials

4.   Do You Want A Place For Family & Friends To Physically Visit Your Memorial?

Many people are keen on the idea of having something physical for family and friends to visit at their place of rest.

This is often central in their decision, as a memorial at a traditional cemetery or graveyard provides somewhere for loved ones to grieve and visit on an ongoing basis, while an urn kept at home keeps you close to the very place you lived your life with those dearest to you at all times.

Some people like the idea of being cremated and having their ashes scattered somewhere significant. This may not afford the option of a traditional memorial, but sometimes things can be done to memorialise your life in an alternative way, such as installing a memorial plaque, bench, or tree, for example.

5.   Where Would You Like Your Memorial Located?

Whether it’s a headstone, cremation memorial, bench, tree, or any other form of memorial, you’ll have to decide where you would like it located.

There may be rules and regulations involved, so you may need to contact a particular cemetery or the council depending on your memorial of choice, just to ensure it is permitted.

This is another benefit to planning your memorial in advance – you can ensure you will be laid to rest or scattered at the place of your choosing and memorialised in the way you best see fit.

This takes away all of the post-death discussions, decisions, and costs that your family would have to otherwise deal with during an already extremely difficult time.

A stone pathway leading into a cemetery through an arch during sunset

6.   What Is Your Memorial Budget?

Funerals and memorials all come at a hugely varied cost that is based on a number of different factors.

Once you’ve decided your memorial option, you can discuss all associated costs with your memorial masons of choice to help you choose your memorial design, inscription, and any additional extras.

You can either purchase your memorial in advance or set the funds aside with clear instructions outlining exactly the type of memorial you would like for your family to use after you pass.

It’s worth remembering that over a period of time costs could potentially rise, so if you choose to set aside money for your family to use in the future, you may want to leave more than the currently required amount so that you can be sure the memorial cost will be covered.

7.   Who Will Be In Control Of Arranging Your Memorial?

Even with all of your memorial plans in place, someone will still need to be in charge of ensuring the arrangements are fulfilled upon your passing.

You can include a letter of instruction in your will that names the person who you would like to fulfil your wishes.

Be sure to outline all important information so that nothing is overlooked or changed when you’re no longer around to advise.

Mother & daughter sat down looking at each other

Choosing The Right Memorial

Finding the perfect memorial to memorialise your life can be difficult, but talking to your family, deciding where you would like to be laid to rest or scattered, and researching the memorial options that are available to you is a great place to start.

What matters is what feels right and most fitting to you so that you can honour your life and help those closest to you find peace and comfort following your passing.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly family advisors here at C.J. Ball & Son memorial masons in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, to learn more about our quality memorials available at an affordable price, and extensive industry experience that stretches back to 1929. Book your meeting with us by calling today on 01446 734 607, e-mailing or completing our online booking form.

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