When a loved one passes away, in addition to arranging the funeral service a headstone or memorial plaque may also be arranged. At Beckford’s, we provide the complete package, giving families a wide range of choices. We feel by offering these services, we can take as much of the stress and anxiety away from people who, often at short notice, find themselves having to arrange a funeral. For many, this will be their first time and we aim to look after the whole process.
With memorials, each cemetery has its own rules and regulations. For example, some cemeteries will allow a more elaborate memorial with kerb sets and onset cover slab which covers the whole of the grave, where others will not. Others will only allow certain sized memorials, with all memorials, no matter which cemetery, having to be approved by a cemetery committee.
We also renovate existing memorials. Some are nearly 100 years old and many older memorials were quite elaborate – over time they have aged and weathered. Once renovated, the transformation is amazing.
Choosing a memorial is highly personal, with everyone having their own taste. We therefore stock a range of coloured granites and designs and give ideas on suggested wording. Interestingly, over the years, we have supplied memorials and keepsakes for family pets too; after all a pet becomes part of the family.
A memorial marks the grave and gives family and friends a place to visit, lay flowers and spend time feeling a sense of connection with the loved one who has passed away. It shows someone had a physical existence and is a lasting tribute, becoming part of history. It’s also a way of finding your family tree, speaking to generation after generation from beyond the grave.
Over the years, memorials have been erected throughout the world. The 9/11 memorial in New York where 2,977 people died, has been visited by 10 million people from all over the world in the last three years. The Princess Diana memorial fountain again, is a lasting tribute where people can pay their respects.
Some choose to have a garden memorial at home and we provide garden ornaments which allow for the ashes to be placed in a pedestal of either a sundial, bird bath or sculpture for example. A memorial seat with an engraved sentiment is a lovely way of remembering. And if there is a desire to keep the ashes inside someone’s home, we offer a range of keepsakes such as jewellery trinkets, miniature urns and clocks where a loved one’s ashes can be stored.
Those who have chosen to be cremated sometimes want their ashes scattered at sea which is not always the easiest thing to do, especially on a windy day. Increasing in popularity are scattering pillows; a loved one’s ashes are placed into the pillow, which is made of biodegradable material. The pillow is then placed into the water where it dissolves, dispersing the ashes into the water.
There is also the option to have ashes interred in an ashes plot or existing grave and some cemeteries have the provision of a niche where the ashes are placed into the wall and are covered by a plaque giving the details of that person.
Whatever is chosen is an important decision and should not be rushed into. We are there to offer guidance and support.