Are you worried that your memories of a person will fade? That your own loved ones will need something tangible to remember the best of you? We explore some really creative ways to trigger good memories, from traditional memorials to mark the place of burial, to benches or tree-planting in a favourite space, and even personal keepsake items such as jewellery.
There is a vast range available, from traditional stone memorial plinths, sculptures and plaques to practical items such as a bench to provide a moment of rest. Many people plant a tree or shrub in memory of a loved one, or donate money to a local cause.
In any case you will need to consider gaining approval for your memorial, both in terms of its size and materials and often the wording of any inscription. If it is to be on private land then of course the owners must agree, but you will also need to consider what will happen to the memorial if the property should change hands, and how accessible it may be to those left behind.
Monumental masons will be able to show you samples of their work and ensure that you comply with any rules relating to your chosen graveyard. Granite is suitable for the damp British climate, unlike marble which is porous and is not permitted in many locations. Stonemasons may also offer paler coloured stone like nabresina or Portland stone, which discolours fast for an aged look.
You will have a choice of rough or polished finishes and an often wide choice of style for your chosen lettering.
Memorials of Distinction (Nationwide)
Fergus Wessel Bespoke Stone carvings (Oxfordshire)
Always in our Thoughts with sample inscription ideas (Bolton)
For a more individual look, consider using an artist to create a special design: see a good directory Memorials by Artists
Other Memorial Items
We now see many examples of Memorial Benches, donated to local councils or beauty spots in memory of people who have enjoyed those surroundings during their lives. Clearly you would need to check that the venue can accommodate (and would appreciate) the gift. Both plants and benches would be equally at home in a family garden, providing a special place to remember a loved one.
Benches available with plaques from
Memorial Benches UK (Nationwide)
Bench Memorials Handcrafted in Shropshire
Similarly, the planting of a special tree may be a perfect memorial (and in woodland and other natural burial grounds you may be restricted to this type of natural memorial).
Life for a Life offers plantings across the UK in 30 locations
Tree Tributes offer memorial tree packs by mail order.
Do let us know if you have an interesting idea for a memorial, we are always looking for fresh ways to commemorate loved ones.