Memorializing Your Loved One: Choosing a Grave Marker 

When you’re planning a funeral, there are many factors to consider. The visitation, funeral service, casket and many other factors must be carefully considered. The grave marker is one of the more important.  

There are so many memorialization options — from flat markers to statuary — that it may seem overwhelming at first. It might help to understand some of the terminology as you’re beginning to make your selection.  

  • Flat marker: This marker is small, economical and set flush to the ground. It is usually made of bronze or granite and comes in a variety of colors. It can feature different textures and finishes as well as symbols, shapes, images and designs.   
  • Upright headstone: This is the most common marker and is made of a base and a tablet or stone. 
  • Slant marker: Built with a wide base and a 45-degree slant to a tapered top, this marker is also known as a slanted gravestone. It looks somewhat like an upright headstone but is shorter and thicker. 
  • Ledger marker: Often used in conjunction with other markers or monuments, this is a thick slab, usually made of granite, marble or sandstone, that covers the whole grave.  
  • Monument: This is really just another term for a large and somewhat elaborate grave marker. 
  • Memorial: Sometimes used interchangeably with a grave marker, this is often larger and more ornate than a typical marker or headstone.  
  • Obelisk: This is a tall, column-like monument mounted on a four-sided square pedestal and pointed at the top.  
  • Statuary: This is just another word for statues, often made of marble or bronze. They can be made in a wide variety of shapes, including angels, people, a cross and much more. There’s often a wide selection and many companies also do custom work.  

There are many ways to personalize a grave marker. The inscription and materials can make it unique, and choosing a monument in a private estate can be a stately, elegant way to memorialize your loved one. It’s important to educate yourself about your particular cemetery’s regulations and restrictions. There may be specifications as to size and color, and certain styles that aren’t allowed. There will be paperwork required, which your funeral director can help you complete.  

Chapel of the Chimes Hayward is a beautiful final resting place with sweeping views of the Bay Area and stunning pastoral scenery. We’ve been serving families in our community since 1872, and offer a wide range of options for memorialization, whether you choose burial or cremation. Call us at (510) 400-4442 for help planning a funeral or to learn about our property.

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