You will probably only buy one cemetery memorial in your life. The headstone you choose will represent the life of a human being. Their memory, literally set in stone, will last for centuries--- far longer than any of us. It can be a difficult decision to make, especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. Here at Anderson's, we believe it's important that you understand the process of crafting a memorial and what you can expect before you make such a significant purchase.
How it works
First of all, if your loved one has recently passed away, don't feel the need to rush into such an important decision too quickly. This memorial is going to last forever; it can wait a while.
When you feel that you're ready to create a memorial, begin by thinking about the kind of monument you like. Here are a few questions to consider:
What comes to mind when you think of this person? What did they love the most in life?
Was he or she a veteran or member of an organization or church?
Are there any symbols, images, or religious messages that are meaningful to you or your loved one?
Will this be for a single person or a couple?
In what cemetery is the person buried? Do you know what section and lot?
Are there any relatives' memorials nearby?
Would you consider a bronze plaque? A photograph or etching? Are there any other features you would like? Browse through our gallery for ideas if you're not sure.
Brainstorming & Ordering
We want to work personally with you to create a beautiful and unique memorial that will last forever. Visit one of our locations and we'll sit down and brainstorm ideas.
Don't worry if you're not a creative person-- we are! We view granite as our artist's palate. Our consultants understand memorialization and the possibilities it holds. From ancient hammer-and-chisel techniques to modern laser-etching technology, the artisans at Anderson's know it all. Come in and we'll sketch out some options for your meaningful memorial.
Your consultant may show you examples of previous memorials that we've created, let you choose from dozens of available granite colors, advise you on different sizes and shapes of monument based on your budget, and make sketches on paper or on a whiteboard.
When we've come up with the perfect idea, we're ready to send our sketch to the designer. We'll write up an order form and verify that all the names and dates are correct. At this stage, a down payment is required for us to move forward with the professional design.
Designing your Memorial
With the order placed, one of our artists will use special computer software to create an exact drawing of what the final monument will look like with all the names, dates, and design elements included. We'll send the computer "proof" to you to look over and discuss with your family. When you're satisfied with the design, sign the proof and we'll start carving your masterpiece!
Carving your Granite
For most memorials, we use a sandblasting technique to clearly and precisely carve the lettering into each stone. For some memorials, we may hand-tool some of the design elements. Other monuments may be etched with a diamond-tipped tool or with our special laser machine. Our craftsmen have years of experience working with granite and carving equipment.
Every memorial is a unique piece of art. You may have chosen a simple sandblasted design, or an extravagant monument with bronze elements or a ceramic photograph. Whatever design or style you choose our artisans are committed to making it a beautiful work of art that will be enjoyed by generations. Even with our heavy lifting equipment, we promise to treat your memorial with the greatest of care like the important family tribute that it is. All this time and care adds up to a picture-perfect memorial when it's set at the grave site.
Setting your Memorial
We work closely with the cemetery superintendent to place your memorial in exactly the right place. We ensure that the concrete foundation (if your memorial has one) is laid properly. Then we professionally place the stone so that it looks just right. We'll inform you when the memorial is completed.
In the Future
Granite is a very strong stone, but not all granites are created equally. We guarantee all of our stone to last forever. That said, normal weather conditions will eventually necessitate some basic maintenance to keep the stone looking as beautiful as it did on the day it was set. Click here for do-it-yourself instructions or to learn about our professional restoration services.
FINAL DATES - If you ordered a companion memorial while one of the people was still living, we will be there to help you when the day comes to add the final date. In most cases, this can be done on-site with our mobile carving equipment. Please note that final date engraving is not included in the original cost of the stone.