Posts Tagged ‘burial service’

How to Scatter Ashes

Many people today are choosing to be cremated. Cremation is less expensive than a traditional funeral and is more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, when you are cremated, you have more options available to you in terms of location to be buried at. You don’t have to spend eternity in a box in the ground. You can be buried at sea or scattered in places, such as on your favorite mountaintop. However, what many people don’t realize is that there are rules and regulations as to where you can be scattered. In this blog post by Dolan Funeral Home, a full-service, family-owned funeral home in Chelmsford, we’ll offer up tips and advice with regards to having your ashes scattered. When a loved one dies, we’d be privileged to help with your funeral arrangements. Contact us today!

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Can You Be Buried With Your Pet?

Your pet is an integral part of your life. They are often your constant companion, accompanying you on errands around town, going for long morning or evening walks, helping you feel better when you’re sick, and being a warm fur ball to cry on. However, the unfortunate part of pet ownership is that they often precede us in death. This is heartbreaking to say the least, but it’s a fact of life that is better than not having a pet.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service, family-owned funeral home that is humbled when you choose us to take care of the remains of your loved one. We do our best to offer our support to you when a loved one dies, from helping plan the entire funeral service to aftercare help. Often, when a pet passes, we have them cremated, and we keep their ashes with us. And many of us want to be buried with our pets. Dolan Funeral Home will explore the option of having your pet buried with you in this blog post. Give us a call today to get started!

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Providing for Your Pet After Death

Pets are an integral part of most of our lives. In fact, the American Pet Products Association estimates that 68 percent of American households have a pet. That’s a lot of us. However, that being said, many of those pets are left without owners to care for them when they die. They can end up in shelters and hopefully adopted by good families. However, to ensure your pet is cared for when you die, it’s important to have a plan in place just like you would if you had young children.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a family-run, full-service funeral home that offers cremation services as well as burial services. Our mission is to help you through all aspects of your loved one’s passing, from embalming to burial, as well as aftercare services to help you sort through everything. In this blog post, we’ll offer up tips on how to provide for your pet after your death. Contact us today!

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Creative Funeral Service Ideas

Life is a celebration.

When a loved one dies, it can be very hard to cope, especially if it was sudden. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford has been helping those coping with the death of a loved one since 1974. In our experience, we’ve found that it helps to remember the wonderful life your loved one lived and the memories you still have of him or her. We offer a wide variety of funeral products to help you do just that. We offer memorial jewelry that you can have engraved with your loved one’s initials or a special date. Doves are a popular remembrance item, as are prayer cards. To help you remember the wonderful like of your loved one, we’ve compiled some creative funeral service ideas. Contact us today for all your funeral planning needs, including pre-arrangement services!

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A Guide to Funeral Home Flowers

Flowers are one of nature’s greatest and most beautiful creations. They brighten our day even when we’re in a somber mood. Hence, flowers are given on all different sorts of occasions, one of them being when someone has died in a family. Funeral home flowers express our sympathy and condolences in a time of grief. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service, family-owned funeral home that offers cremation and burial services. In this blog post, we’ll review a bit about giving flowers when a loved one or friend dies. Contact us today!

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A Look at the Embalming Process for Funeral Homes

Embalming is essential to the burial process after someone passes. It not only preserves the body, but also helps to prevent the spread of bacteria that can harm us. It makes the body presentable for public display during funeral visitations, which helps loved ones in the grieving process. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a family-run funeral home that serves the greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire areas, including Chelmsford, North Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Dracut, Lowell, MA, and Hudson, NH, with funeral, burial, and cremation needs. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at embalming and why it’s essential in the funeral arrangement process. Contact us today!


  1. First and foremost, embalming preserves dead bodies longer. Immediately upon death, all living organisms (including plants and animals) begin to decompose. This is a good thing so our planet is not littered with dead things everywhere we turn. Plus, this is how the earth renews itself, as decomposing organisms provide fodder for the earth and helps living organisms to go on living. A human body’s cells break down and the bacteria in a human body begins to expand, releasing gases that cause the distinctive smell of death. This pressure from the gases in the body eventually builds to the point it needs to be released. This occurs through orifices in the body. Eventually all the soft tissues in the body waste away, leaving only bones, hair, and cartilage behind.
  2. Embalming preserves against health hazards. There is a general misconception that you can catch a disease from a dead body. In general, this is not the case. Only if the person has died from an infectious disease, such as Ebola, cholera, or the plague, is this true. This is why when there is a cholera outbreak or a plague outbreak, the bodies must be buried right away. However, dead bodies can infect our water supply, due to the bacteria that forms during decomposition, but most of the time does not cause any major illness.
  3. Embalmed is done for presentation of the body, mainly for funeral visitations, or for long-term display such as with Lenin and Stalin’s bodies in Russia.


In ancient times, embalming was rudimentary at best. The internal organs were removed and the blood drained. The system wasn’t perfect, but it worked, as demonstrated by the great condition of Egyptian mummies. Many early cultures had embalming or preservation techniques in place for preserving the bodies of important figures, such as leaders. Chinese rulers have been found with embalming done and in remarkable condition, but the methods were lost. Ancient cultures preserved loved ones by taking them to the mountains where the cold air preserved the bodies.

Eventually, embalming became less popular, and bodies were buried as soon as possible. In the 1800s, Europeans began embalming practices again to preserve bodies for medical study. The United States began embalming in force during the Civil War, so the bodies of dead soldiers could be transported home for burial services.

Modern embalming methods commence with a washing of the body, where the body is usually massaged to remove rigor mortis. Rigor mortis occurs within hours of the time of death and is where every muscle in the body contracts and remains contracted for a period of time. This condition is temporary and occurs in all humans. Embalming then involves four steps:

  1. The replacement of body fluids (the blood) with a preservative solution that can be based on formaldehyde or not. The most common embalming method is arterial embalming where these special fluids are injected via the carotid artery in the heart. A special machine is used to remove the blood.
  2. Cavity embalming involves the removal of internal fluids inside the body cavity. A small incision is made just above the navel. The fluids are removed and replaced with another preservative that is usually formaldehyde based.
  3. Hypodermic embalming may be performed on individuals where arterial fluid had not reached during the first stage of embalming. This is directly injecting embalming fluid into the skin and tissue.
  4. Surface embalming is mainly employed during death from accidents or when severe decomposition has already taken place. Again, preservatives are injected directly into these superficial areas to help with appearance of the body.

The entire time it takes to embalm a body varies, but in general is between two and four hours. In the case of autopsy or trauma to the body, this time can be stretched significantly.

Setting the features is unique to mortuary work, where the eyes and mouth are posed, hopefully to resemble the person with the help of a recent photograph. Embalmers are licensed by their states to ensure proper training has been attained in the care and preservation of human remains.

It’s important to understand that embalming does not stop the decomposition process; it merely delays it, so family has time to mourn. Death is a natural process that human intervention cannot stop.


The simple answer is no. In fact, due to the blatant misrepresentation of this by funeral directors, a federal law was passed, stating that funeral homes cannot say it’s the law to embalm loved ones. In fact, funeral directors must say the exact opposite: that embalming is not required. Some states have different laws; however, in general, embalming is not required in the case of immediate burial, direct cremation, and a closed casket funeral if the body had been refrigerated.


Christianity allows embalming. Jews, however, do not embalm or cremate their loved ones as burial is supposed to be done within 24 hours of death. Muslims do not practice embalming either and encourage burial as soon as possible.

Most funeral homes, including Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, honor the family’s wishes. We offer both cremation and embalming services, as well as visitation for those who choose not to embalm or cremate. We offer caskets and urns in many styles for you to choose from. In our aftercare services, we offer help with the legal aspects of death as well as the actual burial itself. We have antique hearses and modern hearses since we are required by Massachusetts law to use a hearse to transport the body of your loved one both to the funeral home and from the funeral home. We have limousines available as well.

Dolan Funeral Home takes the best care of your loved one after death and of you during the grieving process. We understand the emotions of death of those left behind; that’s why our mission is to make your funeral planning process as easy as possible, so you can focus on your family. We’re there for you. Contact us today!

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Paperwork in the Funeral Process

Dealing with the death of a loved one is emotionally trying, usually devastating, and an extremely sorrowful time in your life. In the immediate afterwards, you’re busy with funeral arrangements, such as arranging funeral visitation, burial service, picking out caskets, planning a caterer for the celebration of life ceremony, and the actual day of burial. You’re also still in the first stages of grief and dealing with denial and anger. However, soon the details of your loved one’s death takes root: obtaining a death certificate, contacting all of your banks and financial institutions, including debt obligations your loved one had, and trying to negotiate the legalities of death. It can be overwhelming.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford can help. We offer aftercare support services to help you with the legalities and paperwork when your loved one dies. Below, we’ll examine some of the immediate affairs of death you’ll have to process once your loved one has been buried. Contact us today for the best funeral home services in the greater Lowell area!


  • A legal pronouncement of death. Unfortunately, in today’s society known for scams, you’ll need to prove that your loved one is dead. This usually entails obtaining a death certificate signed by a medical professional that will state the date, time, location, and manner of death. This legal death certificate issued by the government is necessary for accessing pension benefits, claiming life insurance, settling estates, and getting remarried. This is usually issued straight away after the death of the loved one because a death certificate is needed in order for the remains to be either buried or cremated. Most crematories and cemeteries require a legal death certificate in order to render services.
  • Begin the probate process. Probate is the legal process all estates must pass through (with a last will and testament or without) when a loved one passes, unless your loved one had a revocable living trust. Hopefully, your loved one left behind a will, stating his or her desires on what to be done with property left behind. Depending on the size of the estate and how likely the will may be contested, you may need to contact a probate lawyer in order to help manage the process.
  • Notify Social Security. Most funeral homes do contact the Social Security Administration on your behalf; however, if not, you’ll have to contact them to apply for survivor benefits. The Social Security Administration requires a variety of documents, depending on how your loved was related to you, including birth certificate, death certificate, and marriage certificate. Visit their website for the specifics in your case.
    Visit and/or send paperwork to all banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, mortgage broker accounts, credit card companies, and any other form of debt or asset allocation your loved one may have had. You will be required to provide a copy of your loved one’s death certificate, but this will allow you to change the ownership on all of the accounts to yourself.
  • Contact your accountant. You will have to file a tax return (both federal and state) for both your loved one and the estate. This can be complicated so it’s best to have a professional do this on your behalf. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford maintains a list of professional accountants and estate lawyers we recommend.
  • Notify/cancel insurance policies. You’ll have to notify the life insurance company of your loved one’s passing so you can receive the benefits. In addition, you’ll have to cancel car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and health insurance, so you’re not paying premiums when your loved one is dead. Do note that if your loved one was on Medicare, the Social Security office will inform them of the death, but if your loved one had Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), a Medicare Advantage plan and/or a Medigap policy, you will need to call each one individually to cancel coverage.
  • Contact your loved one’s employer. If your loved one was working, chances are he or she had a small life insurance policy that the company sponsored that will need to be paid out. Again, you’ll need a copy of the death certificate to get this process rolling.
  • Check all the bills. Any bills that was in your loved one’s name, such as utility bills, trash bills, internet, cable, or even a prescription music service, will need to be either cancelled or put into your name if you are continuing the service.
  • Close credit card accounts. This is a very important step to prevent fraud. Since your loved one is no longer around to monitor his or her credit card activity, closing all accounts and settling all monies owed is the best way to prevent any identity theft and unauthorized use of your loved one’s credit cards. A death certificate will usually be required to close each account, which you’ll have to contact individually and find out about their process for deceased persons.
  • Notify the three major credit reporting agencies. Transunion, Equifax, and Experian will all need to be notified of your loved one’s passing. This will not only prevent identity theft of your loved one’s credit but will also help clean up your credit since his or her name will be removed from any joint accounts you may have held.
  • Cancel your loved one’s driver’s license. Those looking to steal other’s identities troll obituaries as those who have passed are great candidates for identity theft since the deceased is not monitoring his or her credit (these criminals look at obituaries in their areas for victims). You’ll need a copy of your loved one’s birth certificate to take to the DMV. Cancelling your loved one’s voter registration is also a good idea to prevent voter fraud (someone voting on behalf of your deceased loved one).
  • Notify your loved one’s social media. If your loved one was active on social media or had a blog, notify them of your loss. Oftentimes, social media becomes a great way to memorialize your loved one as condolences pour in from followers and those who cared about your loved one from afar.
  • Close online accounts. Email is another target of online predators who can use a loved one’s email account to perpetrate fraud activities, such as soliciting for funds from acquaintances. Any other accounts your loved one might have used, such as online music streaming accounts, ongoing services such as massage therapy, or monthly donations to nonprofits or churches, should be stopped as well.
  • Tie up loose ends. For months, things will crop up that you’ll have to deal with, such as unexpected accounts you didn’t know your loved one had. When these occur, just deal with them as they arise without undue stress on your part.

Death, as much as a part of life it is, is never easy to deal with nor anticipate. The antithesis of birth, death is characterized by sorrow and grief, which, while normal, is still not pleasant to go through.


As you can see, there is a lot to be done once your loved one passes — many things that you would just not think of to do. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford understands the hardships of death. We serve hundreds of families in the greater Boston area, including communities such as Lowell, southern New Hampshire, Chelmsford, N. Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Tewksbury, and Dracut with funeral, burial, and cremation needs every year. We understand the grieving process and that everyone walks through grief a bit differently.

A family-owned business since 1974, we saw the need for an aftercare program, which we’ve developed, to help families navigate the seemingly endless amount of paperwork and activities associated with the death of a loved one. For the first year after the death of your loved one, we’re available to offer guidance and point you in the right direction when it comes to all your paperwork needs. We work with very reputable lawyers, counselors, and other services to ensure you get the help you need during this very difficult transition time in your life.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service funeral home that offers care for your deceased loved one from the moment he or she is released by the medical examiner until the burial service. We offer pre-arrangement funeral planning services as well, which is utilized while your loved one is still alive. This eases the grieving process as the major decisions about burial service is already made. We are proud to partner with local businesses to offer catering for your funeral reception, which provides funeral food and a chance to remember your loved one comfortably.

Furthermore, having been in business for over forty-five years, the staff at Dolan Funeral Home is a resource for you, whether you just need advice on which casket or urn to choose or just need an ear to listen to your remembrances. Dolan Funeral Home not only meticulously cares for your loved one, but we also care for those left behind. We are grateful and humbled that you have chosen us for this very important task. Visit us today!

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Cremation Versus Burial: Which is Best?

A Brief History of Cremation

Cremation has been around probably since the birth of mankind. Scientists know for sure it dates back at least 20,000 from the discovery of a partially-cremated cadaver in Australia. Ancient Viking Lords were cremated at sea along with the ships they commanded. Joan of Arc? She was burned at the stake, a form of cremation and torture.

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How to Write a Eulogy

The death of someone you know, especially a loved one, can be devastating, depending on the relationship you had with that person. You run the gamut on emotions: shock, anger, and grief. On top of all that, you have a funeral to plan. You have to choose a funeral home, a day for the burial service, what kind of burial service, visitation, a casket, what outfit to bury your loved one in, and the list goes on and on.

Probably the most important part is the burial service. Again, a myriad of decisions must be made — and on a time frame. When will the burial service be? Who will speak at the burial service? Will there be a priest? Do we accept flowers or should we ask for donations in lieu? And the list goes on once again.

You’ve been asked to speak at the ceremony. But what to say? How can you capture a life in a few minutes? Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, MA, recognizes the challenges involved in such a task. We’re here to help, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you recognize and remember your loved one.

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The History of Tombstones

After the passing of your loved one and the initial grief and emotions have subsided, now the “business” aspect of the death takes center stage. Death certificate, bank accounts, bills, debt, assets, will, trust, and the list goes on and on. And probably there’s something you forgot as well that will crop up down the road.


One of the first things you must do after the burial service of your loved one is decide on a tombstone. But how did this tradition begin?

Since the beginning of time, humans have an innate need to remember the deceased after the burial service. A tombstone, otherwise known as a gravestone, headstone, or markers, first appeared as rough stones, rocks, or wood laid on the deceased as a way to keep the dead from rising. Tombstones as we think of them were first thought to have been used in 3000 BC by the Romans and Celts. When few people could read or write, tombstones were simply marked: with the deceased person’s name, age, and birth date and/or year of death.

When important figures in a culture died, royalty or leaders for example, tombstones became larger and square-shaped and able to hold more writings. Simple plots on family farms evolved into churchyard burials and the haphazard rocks chosen for tombstones became made out of slate or sandstone, soft stones which are easy to carve.

As the population of the planet grew, bigger areas to hold the dead were needed, thus the advent of public cemeteries in the 1800s. People wanted to remember their loved ones well beyond death after the burial service, so the idea to turn tombstones into memorials was born. More and more information was added to the stone and the stones became bigger and more elaborate in nature. Symbols, designs, and artwork were added to personalize the tombstone with popular choices being religious symbols (crosses, saints, stars, and angels), occupational designs (sword, saw, ax, and horse), and nature symbols (trees, flowers, and mountains).

In the 1860s stronger materials were desired for tombstones as the soft stones broke easily, suffered erosion, and thus, the lettering gradually faded away, obscuring the person below. Igneous rock began to be used, and today granite, marble, and slate are popular choices.


Tombstones today continue to evolve. Bible sayings are popular as are quotes and sayings of hope and inspiration. Actual photographs adorn tombstones, memorializing the image of the deceased forever. Placing flowers, another tradition we can thank the Greeks for, is still popular today, and many tombstones have built-in flower pots.

Blooming flowers on the grave of a warrior was a sign he had found happiness in the afterlife in ancient times. The ancient Romans, borrowing from their Greek brethren, were the first to unilaterally lay flowers on graves after the burial services. Grief-stricken Americans chose flowers to represent their grief upon the shock of Abraham Lincoln’s death. And Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day, which was a day Americans laid flowers on graves of soldiers.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, MA, aims to make the funeral planning process efficient, simple, and worry-free. We are proud to offer up food options for the visitation and funeral and an amazing aftercare program to help you with the overwhelming tasks ahead. In part two of this series, Dolan Funeral Home will offer up tips for choosing tombstones. Contact us today!

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Funeral and Kids: How to Explain Death to Your Child

It’s a fact that kids’ brains have stages of learning. When you’re a baby on up through age ten or so, your brain is programmed for absorbing as much information as possible. In upper elementary school and throughout middle school, kids’ brains begin to be able to question ideas and form opinions for themselves. In high school, kids’ brains are finally able to argue and process information on par with adults.

Thus, when something complicated in life happens like the death of a loved one (especially if it’s a parent), kids can have a hard time processing death due to the fact they just don’t understand it like we do. And the fact of the matter is they won’t truly understand death until they are old enough.

Dealing with death is especially hard when kids are involved. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, MA, is a full service, family-run funeral home that has served the needs of the greater Boston communities since 1974. We offer cremation services, traditional burial services, celebration of life services, and pre-arrangement and aftercare services. We understand the impact the death of a loved one can have. Contact us today for the best funeral services in the greater Lowell area.


  • Be forthright. In this traumatic time, the last thing you want is your child to question what you are saying if you lie to him or her. The best way to explain death is openly and honestly. Tell your child what happened (in age-appropriate language especially if it was an accidental death with a lot of blood involved). Answer all of your child’s questions honestly. Try to convey the fact death is permanent — at least in a bodily form. If you practice a religion, explain your religious beliefs about death to your child, again, in age-appropriate language.
  • Don’t overwhelm your child. Too much information can only confuse your child. Answer your child’s questions simply. Don’t add too much detail unless prompted.
  • Don’t pressure your child. Children will process emotions differently. Some will internalize death and not want to talk about it. Others won’t stop asking questions. Allow your child to deal with the emotions of death in his or her own way. Don’t pepper him or her with questions. Respect where your child is right now.
  • Allow your child to attend the funeral. Your child will need to see your loved one at the funeral. For some, this is when it becomes real to them. Being able to see your loved one and touch him or her and say good-bye is crucial to healing.
  • Reassure your child at every turn. Tell your child he or she will be alright. That you are still there for him or her. That life will continue — just differently. Be specific about what will change. For instance, if grandma used to pick your child up from school, tell him or her who will be filling that role instead. It’s crucial your child is reassured that he or she will be okay.
  • Remember the person. One of the best ways to process death is to remember the good times you had with that person. When you feel your child is ready, review old photos and discuss the good times you had. Make a scrapbook dedicated to your loved one. Visit the gravesite if a traditional burial was chosen. Bring flowers. Celebrate the person and the impact her or she had.
  • Be prepared for a gamut of emotions to come and go (like they do with you). Let your child know it’s okay to cry, to be angry, and to not understand. These feelings are natural and are part of the grieving process. Be there for your child through these ups and downs.

These same tips apply to the death of pets as well. In fact, the death of a pet is the most likely occasion your child will first experience death. Expect the same emotional rollercoaster, even if it’s just a goldfish. In fact, the death of a pet can often be more meaningful and more impactful since the pet lived in your home 24/7 with your child as opposed to grandma who only visited.

Death is a part of life — albeit unpleasant — that we all have to deal with. Children, however, have a much different perspective than we adults do. Their worlds are so much smaller than ours and only entail sometimes a few people when they are little and then expanding to school. Still, the world for them is small. Death for them is unimaginable. And for older kids, hubris and the idea nothing can happen to them interfere with the concept.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, MA, understands the hole that is left when a loved one dies. Our mission is to make the funeral planning process as smooth as possible, so you can grieve. We offer pre-planning or pre-arrangement services, which is planning your funeral in advance, in order to settle a lot of the details ahead of time. We have an amazing aftercare program, which offers guidance on the logistics of dealing with a loved one’s death. And of course we offer both traditional burial services as well as cremation services for the immediate needs death brings.

As the best funeral home in Chelmsford, MA, servicing greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire, including Chelmsford, N. Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Dracut, Lowell, MA, and Hudson, NH, Dolan Funeral Home cares for your loved one in death like you cared for your loved one in life. Contact us today!

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford, MA, is a state-of-the-art funeral home. One of the largest funeral homes near Lowell, MA, Dolan Funeral home offers traditional funeral services, cremation services, embalming services, catered food and drink services, and aftercare support. We are dedicated to celebrating and honoring your loved one’s life from the moment they pass till the transportation to the cemetery for burial and after. Dolan Funeral Home caters to all funeral service needs.

That’s a lot Dolan Funeral Home offers. But funeral homes didn’t always exist, and it was a slow process to build up such a repertoire of services. In fact, it wasn’t until the 20th century that funeral homes as we know them today came into existence.

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Choosing a Type of Tombstone

One caveat: some cemeteries have restrictions on tombstones. Some restrict the size or the type or the material. If you’re looking to bury your loved one in a cemetery for those of a certain faith such as Christianity or Judaism, then there are probably stipulations on what you can engrave on the tombstone as well.

Dolan Funeral Homes in Chelmsford, MA, offers pre-arrangement planning of funerals, including helping plan which cemetery to choose and which tombstone to choose. Contact us today for more information!

After you’ve chosen which cemetery you’d like your loved one buried in and checked all of their rules and regulations, then you need to choose which type of tombstone (otherwise known as a headstone) you’d like.

  • Upright tombstones. The most traditional choice in tombstones, the upright tombstone is usually made from granite, marble, or limestone. Most of these are affixed to a base for supportive purposes.
  • Flat tombstones. Usually chiseled out of bronze or granite, these tombstones lie on the ground. Some are angled.
  • Kerbed tombstones. These are tombstones in combination with a ledger marker that usually outlines the coffin. These are great for personalizing your loved one’s gravesite.
  • Cremation memorials. These can be simple or elaborate and are usually the size of your typical urn for the person’s remains. Options include benches, memorials, or pedestals.


Presumably, you want your tombstone to last for a long time. Material choice is important as well as the weather your loved one’s stone will endure.

  • Granite. The most popular choice of tombstone material, granite is both durable and easily customizable in terms of engraving, color choices, and other aesthetic properties.
  • White Marble. Stunning in its beauty, white marble definitely stands out in a graveyard. However, marble is easily eroded by the rain and is prohibited by some cemeteries, especially churchyards.
  • Limestone. The most affordable choice in tombstones, limestone is not as durable as marble or granite.

Bronze. Increasing in popularity due to its minimal maintenance requirement, bronze naturally darkens over time but is very durable.


  • Do you want a glossy look or a soft look? Do you want it to look smooth or do you like the rough look?
    Many tombstone makers are utilizing technology to speed up the production of your personalized tombstone. Lasers are used to engrave and make life-like images.
  • Do you want a photograph on the tombstone? Or perhaps an engraving of a favorite place? Decide if you want a major image on the tombstone, which will narrow down the placement of the text.
    Color, contours, and dimensions. What color tombstone would you like? Do you want the tombstone to be rounded or pointed or have flat edges or be jagged? How big do you want the tombstone to be? What shape do you want it in?


The biggest challenge is how to capture a lifetime in a dozen or so words. You can utilize common phrases such as “in loving memory,” “forever in our hearts,” or “rest in peace.” Popular sayings and scripture are words to consider as well. Beautiful poems, memorializations of loved ones, and Bible passages are popular. Want to be original? Write your loved one’s epitaph. This is a great way to forever keep him or her in your heart.


The cost of a tombstone is difficult to put a finger on. With so many customizations available, the cost of your tombstone will depend on how elaborate or how simple it is. No doubt the cost of tombstones can be expensive. Most tombstone makers offer payment plans for your convenience.


Weather will definitely take a toll on the tombstone, and it will naturally fade over time. However, some simple things you can do to prolong the life of your loved one’s tombstone include applying sealant to it and repairing cracks immediately when they occur. There are special cleaning products made specifically for tombstone care that are available on the internet as well as green cleaners made with tombstones in mind. With a little care, your loved one’s tombstone will last for a long time (well beyond when you’re gone).


With Dolan Funeral Home, the little details matter. A tombstone can be overlooked or picked out in a rush and then regretted in the midst of your grief. If possible, tombstone planning should take place ahead of time. Dolan Funeral Home, serving the greater Lowell and Southern New Hampshire, including Chelmsford, N. Chelmsford, Tyngsboro, Westford, Dunstable, Dracut, Lowell, MA, and Hudson, NH, is here to help you pre-arrange your loved one’s funeral and your loved one’s affairs.

Choosing a tombstone may not be on your radar when a loved one dies. However, a tombstone will last for life, and you want to remember your loved one after death with a tombstone that is reflective of the person. Dolan Funeral Home is here for all of your funeral service needs, including memorial services, cremation services, burial services and transportation of the body services, and visitation services. At Dolan Funeral Home, a family-owned full-service funeral service company, we value you. Let us take care of the details, so you can care for yourself and your family during this trying time. Contact us today for all your funeral service needs!

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