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Forever United: The Family Headstone

Family unity beyond death - that's what the family grave represents. A tradition that has existed for centuries. Even today, many choose an appointed grave and thus a burial site that unites all family members. We explain everything you need to know about family graves.

The Family Grave and Its Significance

Family graves have a long-standing tradition. While entire crypts were used for a family in the past, today's choice most often falls on a family burial plot. It serves to remind us of our roots and the strength that strong family ties provide. The family grave creates a connection between all generations, offering a shared, final resting place for people who deeply loved each other.

When it comes to family graves, a distinction is generally made between single plots and multiple plots.

Three Types of Family Headstones

The Single-Space Family Grave

In this grave, only one burial per resting period (between 20 and 30 years) is allowed. Another person can only be buried after this period. However, the placement of urns is permitted beforehand. Due to the limited space, this option is generally less suited as a family grave.

 

The Multi-Space Family Grave

With a multi-space family grave, deceased individuals can be buried at any time, regardless of when the last burial took place. Due to this flexibility, this option is the most popular for family graves.

 

The Deep Grave

In this type of grave, two persons can be buried per resting space during the resting period. In a single-space deep grave, two people can be buried, while in a double-space deep grave, four persons can be buried. Urns can also be placed at any time.

Why Choose a Family Grave?

Ultimately, the choice of a grave must be a very personal decision. It is as unique as the individual themselves. Nonetheless, there are many reasons in favor of a family grave.

 

Family Unity

A family headstone symbolizes the deep connection and love within a family that endures beyond death. It brings together multiple generations and creates a shared resting place. In addition, the family headstone provides the bereaved with a place to gather and jointly remember their deceased loved ones. This creates a place of peace and comfort, where memories and stories can be shared across generations.

Benefits of Family Grave Headstones

The Benefits of a Family Grave

Cost Savings: A significant advantage of a family grave is the lower overall cost compared to multiple individual graves. Purchasing a single family grave and related gravestone work generally proves more economical than the individual setup and maintenance of multiple single graves for each family member.

Space Efficiency: Due to limited space in many urban cemeteries, space is a valuable commodity. A family grave occupies less space than multiple individual graves and keeps all deceased family members together.

Family Togetherness: Being united as a family even after death is a comforting thought. A family grave makes this a reality, providing a final, shared resting place for loved ones.

Shared Remembrance: A family grave provides a central location for collective remembrance of deceased family members. Survivors can gather in one place to honor and remember their loved ones.

Simplified Maintenance: A family grave generally requires less maintenance effort compared to multiple individual graves, as all relatives are buried in one location. This saves time and resources.

Long-term Planning: A family grave allows for long-term burial plans and early preparation of an appropriate grave site. This relieves family members during times of mourning and farewell.

 

Planning the Family Grave

Selecting the Cemetery

The choice of a suitable cemetery is the first step towards a family gravestone. Conduct thorough research on all potential cemeteries - in case of doubt, consider the existing conditions and applicable regulations. Also, include personal preferences, religious traditions, or individual wishes in your selection process.

 

Number of Grave Sites and Positioning

Not only is it important to find a nice spot for your family grave, but the number of gravestones is crucial as well. Consider the number of family members and future generations - how many relatives should find their final resting place here? The arrangement of gravestones is also significant: Most family graves are laid out either in a row or side by side.

 

Individual Wishes and Needs

Last but not least, individual wishes and preferences also play a role. Discuss possible materials, symbols, and potentially existing design wishes. Additionally, inscriptions and engravings can be personalized - and should therefore be openly discussed with all family members in advance.

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Design Options for Family Headstones

The selection of headstones and design options is vast. Materials, symbols, shapes, and sizes - burial sites can be customized and personalized to a great extent.

 

Materials and Their Properties

Sandstone impresses with yellow, brown, and reddish to blue-black nuances. Being one of the softer stones, it allows for the creation of delicate designs or sculptures with ease. Since it can be quarried in Germany, it is not only particularly sustainable but also cost-effective.

 Limestone comes in colors ranging from yellow to beige and is known for its long lifespan. It also allows for custom engravings with ease. Like sandstone, limestone is also quarried in Germany, making it sustainable and more affordable than other stones.

 Granite stands out with its wide range of colors and unique patterns. It comes in gentle yellow hues as well as green, blue, or black. It is particularly easy to care for and weather-resistant. The prices for granite vary depending on the color; exotic colors are significantly more expensive than the classic ones.

 Especially high-quality but also expensive are headstones made of marble. Marble offers a wide color palette and individual marbling. It's important to note that marble is relatively high-maintenance if you wish to retain its characteristic gloss. Additionally, marble is prone to scratches and discoloration, requiring regular upkeep.

Forms and Sizes

For family headstones, you can choose from various options:

  • Wide Stone: Specifically designed for multiple-family graves. Typically, the width of the stone exceeds its height. Provides ample space for inscriptions.
  • Headstone from Various Materials: Allows a variety of design possibilities. Shapes, materials, and symbols are coordinated to create unique headstones.
  • Row Stone: Primarily designed for single graves and thus up to 0.8 m wide.
  • Pillow Stone: A flat variant that can be chosen, for example, in the shape of a book.
  • Flat Stone: Simply placed on the grave and is very low maintenance.

The gravesite of a family grave depends on the specific cemetery regulations. The dimensions vary greatly from cemetery to cemetery. Dimensions can be 180 cm x 180 cm or, for example, 250 cm x 300 cm.

You can customize the exact dimensions of the headstone to fit the specific gravesite. We are happy to advise you on this.

 

Personalization Options

A family headstone offers a wealth of design options to transform the grave into a unique and loving memorial. Individual engravings are one of the most popular choices: Here you can immortalize the names and dates of your loved ones and personal messages that express their unique personality and significance.

Also possible: The integration of photos or grave offerings. A photo of the deceased or a symbol that reflects their passion or interests creates a personal connection and can provide comfort. Flowers, small items or mementos can also be placed at the headstone, creating a special place of connection.

Symbolism on Family Headstones

Symbols on headstones reflect the deep connection to the deceased. They can convey religious or spiritual messages, or immortalize the personal interests or hobbies of the departed in remembrance. The variety of symbols is vast. The most common symbols are:

 The Cross

The cross represents the Christian faith and recalls the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It symbolizes hope, comfort, and salvation. A cross on a headstone may also express the belief in life beyond death.

The Heart

The heart represents deep affection and remembrance for the departed. A heart symbol on a headstone stands for a loving relationship, whether it’s between spouses, parents and children, or friends. It signifies that love and deep bonds endure beyond death.

The Angel

Many faithful individuals see an angel as a guardian, who is meant to protect and guide the deceased. The angel watches over them and stays by their side – the deceased is not alone.

The Flower

Flowers symbolize the beauty of life, as well as its impermanence. These delicate plants are more than mere decoration; they represent the cycle of life in all its bloom.

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Maintenance and Preservation of Family Tombstones

Depending on the material, craftsmanship, and any ornaments, the care of the tombstone varies individually. However, there are a few basic guidelines to follow:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust, dirt, and the elements can affect the tombstone over time. Ensure that you clean the stone regularly with gentle cleaning agents and carefully remove any grime.
  • Gentle Materials: When cleaning the tombstone, only use materials that won’t harm the stone. Avoid abrasive brushes or cleaning agents that are harsh and could damage the surface.
  • Plants and Decorations: If you place plants or decorations at the tombstone, choose them carefully. Make sure they do not compromise the structure of the stone or damage its material.

 

Family Graves: The Costs

The exact costs for a family grave are always individual. Ultimately, the price is composed of various factors:

The Burial Plot: The selection of the cemetery and the number of required burial plots significantly influence the total costs. Different cemeteries have different prices for plots, depending on their location and facilities.

The Tombstones: The type and size of the desired tombstone play a crucial role in the overall cost. Different materials, ornaments, and inscriptions have varied prices.

The Design: Symbols, ornaments, or custom engravings can increase the final cost depending on the amount of work involved. Here too, the material used plays a decisive role.

The Maintenance: Besides initial costs, you should also consider the future maintenance costs. Regular cleaning and upkeep of the tombstone are important to preserve the beauty of the memorial.

Conclusion

A family grave is much more than just a final resting place - it is a place of remembrance that highlights the strong bond of a family. Custom-designed, it becomes a site that honors the personality, love, and memory of the deceased. A shared resting place, eternally united with loved ones - is this something you desire too? Then plan ahead and, most importantly, do it together with your family. This not only simplifies the process, but also provides time to cope in times of mourning. We are here to help. Personal, customized, and without obligation.

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