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Cemetery Monuments, Headstones, Gravestones and Personalized Memorials

Created by Hand and Installed or Shipped Anywhere in The United Statess

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Creating a memorial can seem like a daunting task. One of the main problems is that most people have no idea where to start. So let me show you a few things that can make the whole process a little bit easier.

Step 1 - Decide to do something. Sometimes the most difficult part of a task is simply deciding to do it. You can't let outside pressures force you to do something before you're ready but, at the same time, you will have to face it sooner or later. Some people fall into the trap of "I'll never be ready". If you think you will never be ready, you never will be. I've seen people wait so long to be "ready" that they never put out a memorial at all. Time goes by faster than we realize, and statistics show that if you don't erect a memorial within a year, the chances become increasingly great that you will never erect a monument at all. Look at the unmarked graves in your cemetery... there may not be a lot of them, but almost every cemetery has some.

Step 2 - Think of it as a project, not as a job. You will be surprised at how satisfying this can be. You may even find yourself enjoyng the process. Try to focus on how much you love someone, not how much you miss them. think of the good times and silly little things that made them unique. This is how you know you're on the right track toward creating a true memorial. Remember, you are creating a tribute to the life of someone you love... not building a monument to your own sadness and loss

Step 3 - Know your cemetery's regulations Look at the other stones in your section. Are the stones all flat? Do they all face the same direction? How many graves do you own? What is the maximum size of stone that is allowed on that number of graves? You can't be expected to know everything, but it's helpful to know the basics. Take pictures of the grave site and the surrounding area. Here is something to beware of... some cemeteries sell monuments and may try to make you think that you are required to buy your stone from them. This is not true. In fact, it's against the law in most cases. If you hear a salesperson tell you this, you should not buy from them. Only work with someone you trust. This is one of the most important things you will ever buy, and you don't need the added headache of a salesperson that puts his or her own interests ahead of yours.

Step 4 - Determine a budget. Most people have no idea what memorial stones cost. I will go into that aspect in the "Pricing And Terms" section. For now you should know that the cheapest is rarely the best. A monument company who's business is based on being the cheapest is constantly putting itself into situations that force them to take shortcuts, use lower quality (cheaper) materials, or skip important steps that are necesary to do a good job. Do you really want shortcuts on something that is supposed to last forever? Take control of the situation by following the simple steps outlined on this page. Ask questions so you can make an informed decision. Don't base your budget on the fact that your aunt Nancy says she bought a stone 25 years ago for 450 dollars. 25 years was a long time ago and, you know, aunt Nancy likes to "embelish" a story sometimes. Determine a realistic amount that you would like to spend. Keep in mind that there is a wide range of options, so give yourself some room to work. Finally, decide how much more you could spend if you find something outstanding that you really want.

Step 5 - Think. Go to the cemetery and look at the stones. You may get some ideas. Draw things on paper, take some pictures, write down sayings and remember to keep an open mind. If your mind is open then things will start to come around. Think about the stone when you're driving, or when you're out in the garden.You might come up with a great idea while watching a movie or making macaroni and cheese.

Step 6 - Look for someone to work with. When you select someone to create the memorial for you, choose someone that actually does the work... not someone that is selling something out of a briefcase. You also need to know that the person or company you choose has the skill to create what you want. You should be able to talk to them and know that they are listening. You don't want someone who will just do what you tell them... at least not at first. You need need imput, so this person should be creative and must be able to put your thoughts into ideas, then put these ideas on paper, and finally cut them into stone. Many companies don't even do their own work, and will just send your drawing to the lowest bidder. Be careful of that. Choose someone who actually has a workshop. Remember, The craftsmanship can only be as good as the craftsman.

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