Chances are, if you've never experienced a loss close to you before, that you are researching how to go about purchasing a memorial. And you probably have many questions about what to do, where to go and what options there are. Hopefully you will find lots of helpful information here at kelloggmemorials.com. Some of the most frequently asked questions that families ask us are below, and if that doesn't answer your particular concern, feel free to contact us via email or phone.
At Kellogg Memorials, we sincerely want you to make an informed decision. We spend time with each family explaining the product and going over the options. We are dedicated to designing a monument to fit your personal taste and budget. But no matter where you go, the dealer should be knowledgeable, professional and willing to take the time to listen to your needs. Anyone who calls you just a few days after the funeral or urges you to make a hasty decision does not have your best interests in mind. We believe that only you know when the time is right.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you should purchase from a full service memorial dealer, someone who only deals with monuments. You might think that a cemetery or funeral director would be a good starting point; however, they are usually handling monuments as a secondary source of income and cannot offer you the same advantages that a full service memorial dealer can. Monument design, manufacture and installation are specialized services that require knowledge and expertise. Let Kellogg Memorials help you with what we do best – memorializing your loved one by telling their story in stone.
We do take walk-ins, but advise making an appointment to be sure we can commit the time you deserve to planning your memorial. See Planning Ahead for more information.
The price of a cemetery memorial depends largely on the quality of material used and where it is quarried from. There are many different grades, colors and sizes of granite available. In addition to that, the craftsmanship or design that went into creating the memorial is a factor. A memorial can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. If you have a budget you need to stay within, let us know and we will work with you to create just the right memorial at an affordable price for you. There are many suggestions we can make to lessen the financial responsibility. Typically, when you feel you are ready to order, we ask for half the amount due and the remainder on completion. Kellogg Memorials also offers payment plans, so ask if that is something your family is interested in. Currently, we do not accept credit cards so we request that you be aware of that when you come in to order.
When you have met with one of our team of professionals and reviewed options and costs, you will have a total amount due. This includes tax and installation of the memorial you have chosen. Also discussed will be the need for a cemetery foundation. This is an additional amount due to the cemetery or caretaker in charge of installing the concrete footer that will support your memorial. This is important, as a foundation must support the weight of the memorial and withstand the extremes of weather and temperature. Kellogg Memorials does not set the foundation rates, as this varies with each cemetery, but we will serve as the go-between to be sure your foundation is properly installed. Payment can be made direct to the cemetery or through one of our offices. We do not add any fee on top of the foundation rate set by the cemetery.
I feel like, since my husband died, people are uneasy talking about him or avoid me altogether. Why is that? And why don’t they know what to say?
Believe it or not, it’s generally not the fault of those well meaning people around you. As a society, we are uncomfortable around grieving people and want them to feel at ease so we mistakenly say inappropriate things, or worse, avoid talking about their loved one at all. Grieving people are entitled to feel however they want – angry, depressed, upset – and we shouldn’t try to take that away from them. It’s part of their healing. Just like it is part of their healing to talk about their loved one and remember good times. If more people understood that, those who are grieving wouldn’t feel so alone. We usually advise people that if you don’t know what to say, say nothing at all. Offer a hug or a pat on the shoulder or just be physically present to let the person know they are not alone.
My father and mother both want to be cremated, and I respect their wishes, but I also don’t want them in an urn on my mantle forever. And what about the rest of the family, many of whom will want a place to remember them? What can I do? Are there other options?
Many people mistakenly believe that the process of cremation is an end in itself, but it is not. Cremation is preparation for memorialization just as is traditional burial. In fact, the options for the final disposition of cremated remains and the subsequent memorials used to honor them are many and varied. You can purchase a cemetery lot and have their ashes interred in a memorial, or scatter them in a favorite vacation spot (be sure to check with local laws and zoning first) with a rock engraved at the location, just to name a couple of options. Check with one of our professionals to see what cremation options are available at Kellogg Memorials.
My family lives out of town and we wish to purchase a memorial from a local retailer in the area in which the memorial is needed. Is this possible?
Not only is it possible, but through today’s technology, this type of purchase is becoming more and more common. One of our team of professionals will lead you through the initial stages of design to completion of your memorial. Most correspondence happens via fax, email and websites. You’ll find this to be an easy, pleasant way to handle your purchase. And because Kellogg Memorials is local to your cemetery, we already know what their requirements are and can easily take care of the installation ourselves.
No, they definitely are not! A memorial retailer who attempts to convince you that all granite is created equal or that it all comes from the same place obviously knows nothing about geology or the granite industry. Claiming that all granite is the same, is like saying all diamonds are the same. Worldwide, Rock of Ages granite has always been heralded as the very best. Out of all the granite quarried by Rock of Ages, only a very small percentage meets the stringent quality standards necessary to produce a Rock of Ages memorial. If it doesn’t have a Rock of Ages seal, it’s not a Rock of Ages memorial.
The same size and color of memorial does not mean the same quality. Granite and other stone materials come out of the earth in varying quality grades. These grades are determined by the stone’s overall appearance, color, pattern consistency, mineral content, and density. Because we have direct buying relationships with our suppliers, we at Kellogg Memorials know who quarried the stone and we know its quality. Lastly, whether your monument is carved directly by the manufacturer in Vermont, or carved locally, you can rest assured that we will have only the most skilled craftsmen with many years of experience creating your monument.
Other companies I’ve visited also offer a warranty. What’s the difference between theirs and Rock of Ages full perpetual warranty?
The Rock of Ages full perpetual warranty is the only warranty in the granite industry that covers cracking, chipping, fading, discoloration and craftsmanship. The warranty is not only valid to the purchaser but also to the purchaser’s heirs and the cemetery where the memorial had been erected. The other major difference is that the Rock of Ages warranty is the only one in the granite industry that is protected by a perpetual trust established at the Willington Trust Company of Delaware. In the unlikely event the Rock of Ages Corporation ceases to exist, the warranties would continue indefinitely. No other company can make that claim. Anyone in this area who purchased a monument with warranty from the Crooks Memorial Company out of Carthage, NY knows the validity of that statement. Those purchasers were just holding a piece of paper when the company went out of business.
Most monuments are completed in eight to twelve weeks, from the time of ordering to installation in the cemetery. The timeline depends upon the color and cut of the granite you select, as well as your timely approval of the drawing or blueprint of your memorial. Cemetery work schedules, weather and ground conditions may also be a deciding factor for completion.
Will I receive a sketch of my gravestone design before anything is engraved? And when my time comes, will you have to remove the stone from the cemetery to put my final date on?
Yes, in roughly 2-3 weeks after you place an order for your monument, we will call you to come in and review a drawing of it. This serves as a blueprint for your individual memorial – nothing will be engraved on the granite itself until you approve this drawing. This is our checks and balances system for assuring your monument will be just as you imagined… And no, in most cases final dates are added at the cemetery without moving the monument. See Cemetery Lettering for more information.
We want kind of an unusual design on our memorial and were told by the Catholic Cemetery where our lots are that it wouldn’t be allowed. Is this true?
Most cemeteries have rules and regulations, especially the Catholic Cemeteries where they are trying to uphold a certain standard. Not only does this differ from cemetery to cemetery, but also within different sections in the same cemetery. While they do have final say on any memorials installed in their cemetery, you should contact Kellogg Memorials to talk to one of our trusted professionals who will help work with the cemetery on your behalf.
Most arrangements are made at one of our offices, but some are made over the phone or via email. When a family visits our office, having many monuments of all shapes, colors and sizes is very helpful in making a decision. Simple markers, duplication of an existing memorial, and lettering can usually be handled over the phone. We also offer home appointments for those who find it difficult to visit one of our offices.
What is a reasonable amount of time to be grieving? I’m worried about my aunt – she lost her husband six months ago and she doesn’t seem to be moving forward. How can I help?
First of all, there is no rule about how long the grief process may take. It is as individual as each of us. When someone you love first dies, your brain finds coping mechanisms to deal with the pain. You’ll hear people describe this phase as “feeling numb” or “in shock.” It’s kind of a novocain to allow you to go on and can last up to six months from the time of death. Studies have shown that an expected death, like when someone has cancer, may take up to two years to reach healthy grief resolution. And a sudden, unexpected death – like from a car accident, for instance – may take up to five years to reach resolution. To learn more about grieving, or to get in touch with a grief counselor, contact one of the resources listed here on the site.