Question of the Week!

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Mike’s Laser Etching has decided to do a weekly post for our readers. Each week, the staff here at Mike’s Laser Etching will be choosing a frequently asked question to answer for you. This week, our question is:

“Is it okay to pick out, design and purchase your own monument?”

This is a question that we get a lot. Up until recently, even speaking about a monument, (aka tombstone, memorial, gravestone, grave marker, etc) was taboo. Anything to do with death was never really discussed because it was such an uncomfortable topic. Thankfully, the newer generations have come to realize that even if you never discuss death, it is inevitable for everyone. Not only does this mean that people are purchasing life insurance and creating wills, it has also caused an increase in the number of people who are pre-purchasing their burial plots as well as their monuments. If you were to ask anyone who works in the funeral and monument business if they have pre-planned all of their arrangements, they will more than likely tell you that they have. There are several reasons for this.

If you have ever lost a loved one, and then had a large family, of which each individual had their own opinions about how things should happen, then you will understand the first major reason why we prefer to arrange everything ourselves. If every family member believes that things should be done their way, this can cause huge falling outs during a time when the family should be coming together to support each other and grieve for their lost loved one. I have seen families become so angry with one another, that they have ended up going to court to decide what should be done. After witnessing this, I recommend that everyone make it known exactly what you want when you pass. If possible, purchase and design your own monument. So long as your burial plot has been purchased, the monument you design can be placed on the plot long before you pass away. If you can save your family from the inevitable arguing designing a monument causes, why not just take care of it yourself?

Have you ever gone to visit a burial site of a close friend or loved one and when you saw the monument the family chose and designed, you knew that your friend or loved one would NEVER have chosen it themselves? This is something that I have seen more often then you might think. In one case, a 42 year old woman passed away and her parents designed her monument. Although her children hated it and insisted that their mother would have hated the design, since they were underage, there was nothing they could do about it. The children waited until their grandparents passed away, removed the original monument and replaced it with one they had designed to reflect the person their mother really was. Had their mother purchased and designed the monument herself, it would have not only prevented the tension between her children and parents, but it would have saved them from essentially paying double by purchasing two monuments.

If you have ever purchased a monument, you will know that it is not like picking out what to have for lunch. Instead, it is more like purchasing a car. Purchasing a monument on top of paying for a funeral can cause severe financial strain on family members. Even if you have life insurance, the amount they receive may only be enough to cover the funeral expenses. For many people, purchasing and installing a monument at the burial site is urgent because they not only feel it is disrespectful for visitors to be unable to find the person they love, but the thought of their loved one being in an “unmarked grave” is extremely unnerving. In the rush to get a monument installed, they can end up regretting the monument they chose because they did not think about it long enough, rather than taking the time to save the money to purchase the monument, they may wipe out their savings, not knowing if there will be an emergency before they can replenish the funds or they could even end up paying much more then a monument is worth by purchasing a monument off of the first dealer they find without researching the prices of other dealers. By pre-purchasing and designing your own monument, you are relieving your family of the extra stress that would be put on them if you had not. Rather than passing on the added stress of making these decisions, you are ensuring that they will be able to grieve for you long before anything ever happens.

When I tell people that, at 27, I have already designed my own monument, more often then not, they look at me like I am crazy. However, after I have explained why I have done so, most of them tell me that they are going to go home and begin researching so that they can do the same. There is nothing wrong with planning for death. There is not a single person alive who can avoid eventually passing away. So, why not plan for it to ensure that everything goes the way you would like it?

Please keep in mind that the date of passing CAN be added to the monument AFTER it has been installed. So, it is not necessary to wait for the person or people the monument is for to have passed in order to design the monument!

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To browse through a large variety of monuments, visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/index.html. In addition to the monuments shown, we can also order custom monuments. To view some of our custom monuments, visit the Custom Monuments page at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/custom_orders.html. We can design a monument off of any image or design you provide. If you have an idea of what you would like for your custom monument, but do not have a drawing, please let us know as we have an artist who can create a custom design for your review.

Once you have chosen the monument you would like, forward your information (including your name as you would like it to appear on the monument, your date of birth, any images or designs you would like included, the shape and size of any porcelain portraits you would like included in the design along with the image to be used and any designs or information you would like included on the back of the monument) to us and we will create a free preview for your review. The preview will allow you to see what the exact layout will be on the finished monument.

We look forward to working with you soon!

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