I wanted to start a blog on our site for a few reasons. I want it to be a place where information can be shared on a variety of topics from a variety of sources. These topics won't just be about monuments, memorials, custom and landscape pieces, but also topics that have to do with living life, living well, living long, enjoying life - you get the theme.
There will be contributions from other business owners and a link to their website and contact info will be provided at the bottom of the blog- if you enjoyed their blog content, please let them and Gateway Monuments know!
If there is a particular area of interest that you would like to hear more of, please let us know and we will do our best to get the information up about that particular topic.
For many people, the thought about the end of their life can be stressful and they would rather not think about it or deal with it at all. It can bring up very deep emotions when we start to really think about our time ending.
However, I would put the idea out to you that if you take the time to think about things now and plan for the end, the end result will be like a weight off your shoulders.
Last items to reflect upon can include wills, directions for your executor, funeral arrangements, insurance, distribution of wealth or items, where you want to be buried, if you are cremated deciding where would you like to have your ashes kept, letters to loved ones, and your monument. This may seem like a lot, but if you tackle one thing at a time, you will get through it all and feel a sense of accomplishment, and then you never have to worry about it again.
I will go over one of these items, which is designing your monument.
When deciding on what kind of a monument you would like, there are many things to consider: what size of monument can you have on the plot that you have purchased? What colour of stone do you want? What are the costs of the monument? What are the cemetery fees (separate from monument costs and funeral costs, cemeteries charge different fees for staking the plot, care maintenance fees & cement fees)? How do you want your life to be reflected - is there a saying or an image that you have an affiliation for? Do you want a porcelain picture? A laser etching of a favourite place or a photo? Do you want a granite vase attached to the base so that people can leave flowers?
If you plan ahead, you can design and decide what will go on the monument. Many people have their monuments put up well ahead of their passing away, and then when they do pass away the date is simply added. This helps to also alleviate stress and disagreements with family members on what should go on your monument as it is you that has decided.
Payment plans may also be available for those who would rather make payments on their monument instead of paying for it all at once. Designs and text that will be on the monument can be decided ahead of time, and when the monument is finished being paid for then your monument will be made and installed.
If you start by deciding on the colour and shape of your monument, the process can start. The images, style of font for the text, and epitaphs that will go on the monument will be a work in progress. Decide on what you would really like on your monument that will reflect you, your beliefs, your life. Discuss with the person that is helping you design your monument what ideas you have and how you would like it displayed.
They will in turn design or send out the information to have a proof made up of what you want. This enables you to look at it on paper and visualize it on the stone and decide if it is exactly what you want or if there are changes that need to be made. The more clear you are on what info you want and how you visualize the monument when it is done, the faster the right proof will come back to you for your approval. Excessive changes might result in design fees being added.
Engraving won't start until you have approved a final proof - be very careful to look over all the information to make sure that it is exactly how you want it. Pay attention to spelling and dates.
After you have signed off on the proof, the stencil will be ordered and the engraving will start. This process from initial visit to the monument being completed can vary from as little as a few weeks to as long as 4 months depending on a few factors: how long does it take for you to approve the design, is the stone that you want in stock or does it need to be ordered, is the shape and stone a custom order, what time of the year it is... During busy spring and summer seasons, a proof can take up to a few weeks to come back. IF there is a deadline for a monument to be done, be sure to let the person you are working with know - there could be an extra fee for moving the process along faster.
At the end of the day, it is Your Monument. Do you want to let the design be up to someone else, or would you rather take care of it yourself? You can choose a classic theme or have fun with it and make it unique. For inspiration, go visit some of your local cemeteries and see what others have done or take a look online. Make it yours. After it is written in stone, it will last forever.