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Monuments For the Cemetery - How to Create a Personalized Memorial
By Roy Dixon

How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to remember the ones you've loved and lost? A memorial stone in the cemetery is the physical representation of a life. It shouldn't simply be something to mark a grave. My job, as a monument artist, is to help people design a tribute to the ones they love.

So, how do we go about creating a personalized monument? The first step is simply to make the decision to do it. You may think I'm stating the obvious, but believe me it can be really tough to take that first step. It is the easiest thing in the world to wait until tomorrow... or next week... or next spring. Now, I'm not saying to get right out there and buy a monument. You have to be ready. Don't be let yourself be pressured by family members or pushy salespeople. You will know when it's time, but you can't let yourself get into the mindset of "I'll never be ready" because if you think like that, you can talk yourself into believing it. The fact is, if you wait a year to put a memorial stone in the cemetery, the chances are about fifty fifty that you will NEVER place a monument. Every month after that increases the odds that you will have an unmarked grave until someone else decides to do it for you.

The next step is to get some ideas. Look around in the cemetery. Don't copy someone else's stone, but you will be surprised how quickly ideas start to come. Let your mind wander a bit. Some ideas might come to you as you're falling asleep. You could be taking a shower, watching a movie or cooking dinner. Sooner or later, if you keep your mind open, things will fall into place. Now, this is the tricky part, keep your mind open to suggestion. I have had people come to my studio who have had every aspect of the stone designed to the letter. The problem is, some of the ideas won't work and they are disappointed. Leave some room in your mind for the artist's ideas. All you are looking for is a starting point.

Finally, you must choose an artist to do the work. This can be tricky. Remember one thing when choosing the person to do the work... the artwork will only be as good as the artist. Also, make sure that the person you choose actually does the work on the stone. Many monument companies will just take your ideas and farm them out to the lowest bidder. In fact, many monument companies don't do ANY of their own work.

If you have any questions you can visit my website or call me directly. All the contact information is there. Whether you want me to do the work or not, I am here to help.


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