Choosing a headstone, gravestone or monument can be a daunting task, whether it’s for yourself, or a loved one, does your family really know what you would like?
Janice Smallwood, who owns Norberg Funeral Home, in Princeton, Illinois, with her husband J.D., offers information that can ease the stress of choosing and help prevent potential problems.
It is possible to purchase your headstone now and have placed on your plot. “You can pay for your headstone and have everything put on it now, with the exception of the date of death, of course, which is added later,” says Smallwood.
Headstones and markers are typically granite or bronze, and today’s technology makes it possible to include a number of applications on a modern headstone. “A headstone can be personalized with just about anything nowadays, including your picture or a picture of your choice,” says Smallwood. Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments partners with several companies to ensure that you get exactly what you want. To include, but not limited to photo etching, porcelain photos and timeless designs as well as multiple granite sizes, styles and colors.
One often overlooked, yet important, step in choosing a headstone is to include a foundation. “If you’ve been to a cemetery where headstones are crooked, leaning or sinking, it’s because they have no foundation,” says Smallwood. Correcting the problem down the road involves removing the headstone, adding a foundation and replacing the stone. “That more than doubles the price, and also jeopardizes the integrity of the original stone” says Smallwood.
Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments uses only licensed, bonded and insured professional headstone installation companies. “Some funeral homes do the work themselves to try to save money, but we partner with several monument companies to ensure correct installation.” adds Smallwood.
It is also critical to check cemetery regulations before buying a headstone. “The average gravesite is 40 inches wide,” says Smallwood. “That leaves room for a 30-inch foundation. That will make your headstone smaller because there needs to be room on each side of the base. Back in the day, they didn’t have regulations like they do now. All these decisions make it a lot easier on the family when the time comes”.