The way in which families choose to mark the gravesite of a loved one is an extremely personal decision. In addition to providing basic genealogical information such as name and the dates of birth and death, grave markers can provide important clues about the interests, personality, career and other memorable information about the deceased. While most families are familiar with traditional headstones and monuments, many may have questions about the purpose and potential benefits offered by the use of increasingly popular flat grave markers.
One of the first questions families will need to ask before deciding on a particular type of headstone or marker is whether the cemetery has any rules or specifications on the subject. In some areas, cemeteries may restrict or require the use of a particular type of headstone or marker for reasons that can include maintaining the visual profile of the property or helping to make the cemetery easier to mow and maintain.
Another reason to consider the use of a flat grave marker for a loved one's grave site is when financial constraints apply. In instances where the deceased had no final needs arrangements in place, such as when a younger person dies in a car accident, the surviving family typically bears the cost and may need to make budget-friendly choices when making funeral and burial plans. With less surface area to polish and engrave, flat grave markers can be much less expensive to purchase than many traditional headstones and monuments.
Flat grave markers can also offer benefits when it comes to the installation process. Because the weight of the marker is distributed over an expanse of flat stone, it may be possible to install a flat grave marker with no or very little foundational support. The reduced need for foundational support can also mean that flat grave markers can be transported and installed more easily than other types of headstones and monuments, a benefit that can translate into a savings on installation fees.
Additionally, the distribution of the weight over a larger surface can also be helpful in avoiding common problems that often plague larger, heavier headstones and monuments, such as settling too far into the soil or developing an uneven appearance as the grave site ages.
More information about flat grave markers and the potential benefits they offer can be obtained by meeting with the funeral home director or a reputable gravestone and monument maker in your area.