Why Do Humans Have Monuments?
Headstones and monuments serve as an important piece of history that marks the life and memory of a loved one that has passed. The main purpose of these monuments is to mark where the soul has gone to rest, while bearing the name and lifetime for the deceased so that all can remember. Messages are important, but the material has to remain for a message to remain present. A monument provides you with a place to go and see your loved ones name and remember all of the things they did in their life.
Originally, humans would mark the place of rest with nothing more than a simple field stone. Natural stones such as sandstone, granite, marble, slate and limestone were all used at some point in history. Today, the most popular of all stones is that of granite.
History of Monuments
Back in times where cemeteries weren’t around, people would often have the burial plot near their family home. Most of the time, the grave was marked with rocks, rough stones or wood as a means of preventing the dead from rising. They mostly contained the name of the deceased, their age and what year they passed. Over the course of time, churchyard burials came into play and large, square-shaped monuments were prepared out of a slate material (1650 – 1900) or sandstone material (1650 – 1890). Inscriptions that were carved into the slate tended to be a little shallow, albeit readable.
During the 19th century, the public cemeteries evolved. Eventually, people started to note the importance of headstones as a means of memorializing those who passed on. They began engraving the headstones with a few words about the one who had passed. Often, those words were either written by the person who had passed or someone who was still alive. One of the biggest advantages to this is that when you read the information contained on the monument, it provides you with information about the deceased. It makes it easier to trace the family history for future generations.
In the Victorian era (1837 – 1901), a strong emphasis was placed on practices and customs that were associated with death. It was during this period that the path was paved for elaborate monuments. When you went to the cemetery, it looked more like a park because of how lavish and elegantly decorated all of the monuments were.
Most of the tombstone symbols that arose from the Colonial period were more of a reflection of being fearful of the afterlife. They believed that very few people were going to be allowed into Heaven upon their passing. Their thoughts were that the majority of people were going to be deemed sinners and there was nothing that could be done about it.
Monuments 101: Everything You Need to Know
Many people opt to purchase a monument in advance. They do not want to wait until they are gone and leave the burden on those who are left behind. After all, who is the best person to decide what they want their marker to have on it than the person who passed away. Also, losing a loved one is stressful enough. The grief can be more than some can handle, so having made this difficult choice beforehand makes it easier on those you love.
Today, the majority of monuments and markers are composed of either marble, granite or bronze. Granite is one of the most sought after materials because of how durable the material is. Beyond lasting for years, it also looks beautiful on the site. Granite has been shown to withstand the elements quite well, so it won’t wear out quickly or break down before its time. Marble tends to be more of a sedimentary stone, so it is going to break down far quicker when exposed to the weather. Centuries can pass with no change in a granite stone. You can also choose to purchase a monument in a number of different colors and styles, so the stone can be crafted and designed to reflect the personality of the one who has passed.
Even though you don’t have to get a marker for someone who has been cremated, you might want to think twice about not getting one. The marker provides you with a place where you can go to reflect and find comfort in their passing. Some monuments actually hold the ashes inside. It is also an excellent means for marking the genealogical information of loved ones for any future generations to come.
The cost of the monument is going to vary depending on material, size, carving and etchings and the time spent to create and any extras that you add on to the piece like ceramic photos or a vase. Remember, you are going to get what you pay for. Make sure you are purchasing something that is going to last for years.
What Do You Want People to Remember You For?
You move through life from one day to the next like a well-oiled machine. Day in and day out you are doing one thing after another. Some of those things are quite valuable and exciting, while other tasks are mundane. Regardless of who you are, there are always things that you strive for. You want to do good and please all of those around you. Leaving your mark on the world is just one of those things that you want to do during your time on Earth. Heck, maybe we just want to make ourselves happy and do all of those things that we enjoy in life.
Many people don’t consider the aftermath of their actions. They only think about themselves and what they are going to gain out of it in the here and now. In reality, our actions could have a significant effect on all of those around us and how they might perceive themselves for the future. Truthfully, our existence will live on long after we are gone. In the days, nights, months and years once we have passed, our actions will continue to affect those who we cared about the most.
You are only a baby once. You only have one chance to be a toddler, child, teenager, adult and elder. You don’t get multiple times to go back in and make things right. It’s a one shot deal, so you want to make sure you do it right the first time to prevent any undue repercussions. With your one chance, you want to do everything you can to do things right. When you hit that fork in the road, you only get one chance to make a crucial decision. Regardless of what decision lies before you, there are no do-overs. It’s a one-shot deal, so you want to make sure you make the best decision possible. Don’t worry about the pressure being placed on you.
Take the time to make a decision that is going to be in the best interest of yourself and those you love. No matter how much you pine for the past and regret the decisions you made, you cannot change them. They are what they are. You can only dream, wish and hope for a better future. As time progresses, you quickly learn that all of those things you did are an infinite reminder of who you were and what you became.
As humans, we are social beings. We thrive on being around others and communicating with them. In our everyday lives, we are surrounded by people from all walks of life, regardless of whether we like those people or not. You have to think about the fact that you only have a certain amount of days with those individuals, so don’t you want to make the best of it while you can?
Once you pass on, you are never forgotten. Those who knew who you were and had the chance to interact with you are going to have sentiments and thoughts about you and how you lived your life and acted toward others. Since you only have one chance for every moment, you want to make that chance count. People are going to think about the time they spent with you. The conversations they once had with you are unforgettable. For some, they will mourn your passing and lament on how your life was. On the other hand, there will be those who are happy to see you go.
It doesn’t matter what the case may be, you are in control of whether people are going to have positive thoughts about you or ones that are filled with resentment and hate. Don’t let it be the latter. Have a positive influence on everyone you come in contact with. Life isn’t all about what people believe and say once you are gone. It is really about how you lived your life while you were here. Did you make the most of your life? Did you do everything you could to enjoy it? You are the only one who can determine what journey you are going to take, so make it a good one.
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