Monument Choice Affects More Than Just The Initial Visuals Around A Grave

A monument is a lovely way to mark a grave, whether you choose one that's essentially an upright headstone or one that's more statuesque. The monument not only makes it easier to spot the grave as you approach it, but it allows the family to show more of a tribute to the deceased. When you choose the monument, the visuals are definitely going to be important, but a few other factors will make managing the monument much easier over the years.

Look for Shapes That Can't Be Damaged as Easily

Monuments, as opposed to the generic headstone shapes used in much of the cemetery, can come in many, many shapes, including asymmetrical, with added vases, with figurines, and so on. These look lovely, but all these extra bits sticking up and out can also be more easily damaged should there be a severe storm (e.g., with hail or blowing tree branches) or vandalism. While things like hail and vandalism can certainly affect even plain headstones, the monuments with these extra bits would be harder to restore.

This does not mean you should never choose things like extra vases standing up off to the sides of the headstone or a monument with a figurine. It just means you should be aware of how those features can affect care of the monument over time, and you should be sure you are OK with that.

Choose Fonts That Will Be Easier to Read Even in Dusty Conditions

Weather and time happen so that monument is going to experience being dusty and eventually some wearing down, too. When you choose the font for the monument's headstone portion, look for one that will be easier to read even in adverse conditions. Think of all the old, old stones you've seen in pictures where the writing was difficult to decipher; now choose a font that won't make future visitors so baffled.

Make Sure It's Easy to Clean Off

The monument as a whole should be easy to clean off. Whether you're dusting off the surfaces during a visit or the groundskeepers are doing some general cleaning along the row, you want a monument surface that allows you to quickly wipe away dirt and leaf debris. Some monuments have craggy tops to imitate rough-hewn stone; make sure these surfaces are actually well sealed and smooth enough (even if they have texture) to avoid trapping dirt.

If you're choosing a monument after someone has died, you'll no doubt feel pressure to choose something quickly. But take your time; you won't need that long to see all the features available and make your decision. Reach out to a professional who creates monuments to learn more.