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What Do People Normally Do?

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bednobs | 13:29 Mon 15th Apr 2024 | How it Works
18 Answers

at long last, 3 years after the funeral and 5 years after the death we've saved up enough and ordered  a headstone, due to be ready this month

is it norma/usual to have some sort or service?  or some thing? watch it bei ng erected? or is it something one normally goes to see after?



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Afterwards is what i did. I suppose there are those who will want to see it being placed, but i personally, i don't see the point.

Might be worth asking the people who provided the stone bedknobs. I hope it brings some peace x

I think it's a personal matter. I would discuss it with all those directly involved and see what everyone thinks

I'm pleased you've got the headstone, it must be a comfort to know that you've done all you wanted to.   

It's a very personal thing, you do what is right for you and your family.  

We are about to do the same thing bednobs. I thought we would contact the vicar or undertakers who arranged the funeral.

I hope it gives you comfort

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thanks all

Watching its actual installation could seem a bit naff - but a little ceremony by it (e.g. blessing pehaps) shortly afterwards is fine, your choice really.

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DTC, i dont particularly appreciate your 'funny' on my serious post.

I know the feeling, I had no idea what to do at a funeral at all, not having been to one this century, and the undertakers just said "Oh, anything you want", which was completely useless.

But with the headstone - I guess it is a matter of what you want, it's not one of the rites of passage that has to be marked. I wouldn't have a service myself, that was the funeral, but I think I'd like to see the headstone erected. But that's just me. Go for whatever will being you the greatest peace.


It's really a case of separating the undignified base activity from the dignity of ceremony.  You don't watch the embalming, but you can view the result. You don't watch the grave being dug but you do see the ceremonial lowering of the coffin and the scattering of a handful of soil.  The same goes for the construction/erection of the headstone - it gets done to the stonemason's schedule while you're not around but you can view the results afterwards (I am basing all this on my experience after mother's demise). 

I think it rather depends on where the grave is.  If in a churchyard then the churchwardens will have to apply for a faculty, so obviously need to be involved.  Sometimes there are regulations about size etc.. Usually the stone is installed and then it is up to the family and vicar if anything else is required. It isn't, usually. Very often the family make a private arrangement go come and view  togehter, photos etc. and then off to the pub for a gentler 'wake'.

Usually we've had v. good feedback from those occasions.

I'm sorry, I don't know about L.A. cemeteries, but they will have their own procedures.  Entirely up to the family once rules are obeyed. 


I hope these answers have helped you decide what you want to do bednobs - as you have seen it is largely a personal thing with the choice ultimately being yours (subject, as some have stated, to any local rules). Perhaps in your case it is more a little celebration at achieving the headstone at last, combined with the chance to refresh fond memories. I hope all goes well for you and your family.

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thanks again everyone

Maybe, No, Yes- to your three questions.

A Memorial Service, gaveside and people you are close to, a small gathering. no on watching the headstone being erected. there is a morbid finality that is inherent here. yes, please pay your respects afterwards. I feel when I go to my mothers headstone, that I should bring something to leave, symbolic, in a way. Most important- do what makes you at peace. 

no I think they sort of ring you up and ask for payment and nothing more. ( weep not for me: I am no there etc)

I thought we would contact the vicar or undertakers

undertaker will say - ask the vicar. - 

be prepared for an unhelpful reply of the vicar is anglican - church of england, you bury once and that is it.


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