Note: From our experience, the use of headstone accessories is very short-lived.
At the time of our loved one's passing, we may have all the intentions of visiting the grave every day (week or month).
But often, after a while, we get so caught up in the business of living that these intentions fade.
We, at Monuments of Distinction, have seen unscrupulous sales people in this field push these headstone accessories
on people during the time when they are the most vulnerable. Just so you know, you can buy accessories any time, now or in
the future. Don't allow yourself to be pressured by unscrupulous sales people. See this related article: Headstone Decorations. See also this website: Headstone Accessories.
A flower vase is can be an excellent complement to your loved one's memorial. Depending
upon the look of the memorial, an antique copper or antique silver vase could be just the perfect addition. Attractively finished
holders enhance the beauty of the memorials. But, keep in mind, vases are not always allowed in cemeteries.
Flower vases are also used to keep memorial flowers safely off the ground so cemetery caretakers
need not remove them when doing their regular maintenance. Try to get flower vases that are durable and maintain their appearance
for many years. There are two basic styles, side mount and base mount. Be sure to get a flower vase that is adaptable to your
loved one's headstone.
Recently, it has become common for thieves to
steal flower vases if they are made of bronze - unbelievable but true. Many people have opted to buy the non-bronze (plastic)
vases for that reason.
Another one of the more commonly used headstone accessories is a monument portrait. A monument portrait is a photograph
of your loved one which is reproduced on ceramic for your memorial monument.
an original photo as opposed to a copy, if possible, for a sharper picture. Try to avoid photos with writing on the back.
A mark left on a photo from a paperclip, a staple, or scotch tape could cost you extra money to get removed. Do not alter
the photo you would like to use in any way. If you need to write directions do yourself a favor and write them on a copy of
the photo not the photo itself. Larger photos contribute to more clarity in your monument portrait. Small photos must be "blown
up" and can cause an unclear portrait. Ask your headstone services company for details.
When looking for a monument portrait be sure that it will not fade from ultra-violet rays, is resistant to acid rain,
and that the surface and support materials are frost resistant. Some companies will colorize black and white photos if needed.
An eternal light can come
in many shapes and sizes. Glow-in-the-dark crosses, angels and even bibles can be seen at night in a cemetery. Some eternal
lights are actual candles that burn slowly for 4-5 days.
One type of eternal
light is powered by solar (from the sun) energy. The energy is stored in a battery during the day and lights up the eternal
light at night. Most are maintenance free and durable.
Flag holders come in many varieties. They are made for policemen, firemen, EMS people, those
in the military etc. Flag holders are one of the more commonly used headstone accessories and are an especially nice touch
for your memorial on Independence Day, Memorial Day, Presidents Day and the like.
A Cremation Urn is a container that holds cremated
remains. There urns that are best suited for outdoor use and there are urns that are best for burial. There are many types
of urns (See Modern Urns for a website that specializes in urns). A metal urn will do well outdoors. A more eco-friendly
approach may be to use a biodegradable urn. Ask your headstone services person for the urn that will best suit your needs.
Headstone accessories are a very nice addition to our loved one's place of rest.
By the way, here's a good resource of creative ideas for funeral and memorial planning,
including poems, song, programs, eulogies, and readings: Creative Funeral Ideas.
You can buy accessories any time,
now or in the future. Be sure to check with your cemetery or your local headstone services company to see if a particular
accessory is permitted. If you live in the greater Philadelphia area you may contact us.
For more information see our article
on cremation urns