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How are our memorials installed and secured to NAMM standards?

When you buy a memorial for a loved one there is an expectation that it will stand in place as an elegant tribute to their memory for many years to come.

To withstand the test of time, all memorials should be made from the highest quality hardwearing materials and securely fixed to the ground to prevent them from falling or being pushed over.

Here at Buckley Memorials our Memorials are made to last by skilled craftsmen using the highest quality materials.

Members of NAMM and BRAMM

We are members of both the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) and the British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons (BRAMM) and comply with both organisation’s set standards of quality. You can trust that our products will always be both long-lasting and durable.

NAMM-approved ground anchors

The British Standard for memorials, as set out in BS8415, states that for safety reasons, all memorials should be installed using secure ground anchors.

For your peace of mind and safety, here at Buckley Memorials we only use NAMM-approved ground anchorsto secure our memorials.

Headstones are attached to the base of the memorial using stainless steel dowels. We then anchor them to the ground using a two foot stainless steel bar which goes through the entire base and concrete foundation and then into the ground.

According to NAMM, there has been no historical evidence of any injuries occurring from correctly installed NAMM Accredited ground anchors since their first introduction.

We are so confident in the quality of our products that we offer a 100% customer satisfaction assurance and ‘peace of mind’ service. Browse our range of beautiful memorialsand get in touch with our team of experts if you have any questions about designs, materials or fixings.

A quick guide to maintaining a loved one’s grave

A loved one’s grave can be a comforting place for friends and family to visit to pay their respects, remember them, or simply sit and feel close to them again.

Memorial headstones and graves require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking at their best. A well maintained grave can be a peaceful place to go to remember your loved one as well as a beautiful tribute to their memory.

Here is a quick guide to maintaining a headstone and grave.

Cleaning

If the grave has a headstone memorialthis is likely to be the main focal point and should be kept clean and unobstructed. Memorials come in a wide range of elegant designs and beautiful natural stones that should be looked after carefully.

When cleaning the headstone, it’s important to use a soft sponge and a gentle cleaning solution, a simple solution of warm water and washing up liquid should be effective at removing most dirt. Take care to only use mild and gentle cleaning solutions and never use acidic cleaning products as these could damage natural stone.

Brush or wipe way excess dirt before using your sponge and soapy water to gently wash the headstone. For headstones with inscriptions or detail, use a cotton bud to gently clean dirt from any narrow spaces. Finally, use a clean, dry cloth to buff the headstone and remove any streaks.

Weeding

Keep the grave looking neat, tidy, and well cared for with regular weeding and by trimming back any grass or overhanging plants.  You may wish to put down a layer of decorative stones or chippings to help keep weeds at bay.

Decorative items

Adding personal touches and decorative items to a grave can act as a tribute to the person’s character. To avoid disappointment, it’s best to check if the cemetery or burial ground has any rules, regulations or restrictions surrounding decorative items prior to buying anything.

Restoration

If you’ve cleaned and spruced the grave but it’s still looking a little sad, old, or rundown then it may be that the headstone requires professional renovation.

Get in touch with our team at Buckley Memorials by giving us a call for free on 0800 093 6800 to find out more about our memorial renovation service.

Books to help children deal with grief

Books can help you to find the right words to explain death and grief to children.

Talking to children about the loss of a loved one can be extremely hard, especially if you are struggling with your own grief.

Reading books about loss and grief with children can help them with understanding, processing and coping with what has happened. Reading about fictional characters experiencing the exact same thoughts and feelings that they’re having can help to normalise and validate their emotions and begin conversations about how they’re feeling.

Here are four children’s books that handle the topic of loss sensitively and eloquently.

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book offers an honest and sincere look at grief and is beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake. Rosen wrote the book chronicling his own grief at the death of his son when he was just 19 years old. The book acknowledges how grief feels and explains that it’s ok to feel sad and all manner of other feelings. Rosen explains complex feelings in simple ways, normalising how grief feels and letting the reader know that they are not alone.

Goodbye Mog, Judith Kerr

Over the years many children have fallen in love with Kerr’s tales of Mog the cat and the Thomas family. In Goodbye Mog, Kerr tackles the difficult subject of dealing with the death of a much-loved pet. The book expresses Mog’s readiness to leave and her continued love for the family after she’s gone.

No Matter What, Debi Gliori

No Matter What sends a comforting message to youngsters about limitless love. This beautifully illustrated book focuses on the love between a fox cub and its mother, and explains that she will always love him forever, even when she’s gone. The warm words can help to quell anxieties and offer comfort to children who have lost someone close to them.

The Goodbye Book, Todd Parr

The Goodbye Book helps children to understand what it’s like to lose someone through the eyes of a goldfish. The message is matter-of-fact, simple to understand, and easy to relate to. The story addresses how losing someone feels, gives simple advice on how to deal with the loss, and reassures that there is “always someone to love”.

Organisations that offer support after a bereavement

No matter what the circumstances, dealing with the death of a loved one can be an excruciatingly painful, difficult, and confusing time.

Nobody should feel alone in their grief, and there are plenty of charities and organisations in the UK dedicated to supporting people after a bereavement.

Just some of the ways that these organisations may be able to help you include:

  • Guidance and support.
  • Telephone helpline.
  • Meet people going through the same thing.

We’ve put together some information about the top organisations.

Cruse Bereavement Care– The UK’s leading bereavement charity. Cruse provides advice and help to anyone in need of support after a bereavement. As well as a national helpline, Cruse also offer local services up and down the country including face-to-face support and groups.

Winston’s Wish– Helping children and young people to deal with the death of a parent or sibling.  Winston’s Wish offers children therapeutic help and support services to help them to deal with their grief. This includes professional support via a freephone helpline, online chat, email service and face-to-face.

Child Bereavement UK– Supports families when a baby or child passes away. As well as providing professional information and support to families, Child Bereavement UK also provide specialist support to bereaved children. Support can be gained via a telephone helpline, peer support groups, counselling, and online support.

Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity– Supporting anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby. Sands offer information, advice and support through their website, app, freephone helpline, and local and online support groups.

Speaking to someone about your bereavement can help you to work through your feelings, get advice about how to cope with your grief, and help with adjusting to life without the person who has died.

What you should know before burying a pet at home

Deciding what to do with a beloved pet’s remains after they have passed away can be a difficult and emotional decision.

There are a few options available including home burial, pet cemetery burial, or cremation.

For some, burying their pet or its ashes at home where they are close by and in familiar surroundings can offer some comfort.

If you do decide to bury your pet at home, there are a few things you should know first.

  • UK law states you can only bury your pet in the garden of the house it lived in if you own the house, not in rented property.
  • You may not be able to bury your pet at home if its remains are deemed to be hazardous to human health. This could be due to medications that it was given if it was unwell prior to passing away.
  • It is best to bury your pet as soon as possible after rigor mortis has set in. But if this is not possible then the body should be either frozen or, if you are going to bury them later that day, stored at a temperature of 4 degrees or below.
  • Whilst waiting to bury your pet, wrap the body in a waterproof material to protect from bodily fluids.
  • Pets should be buried in a hole that is at least three feet deep.
  • Your pet should be wrapped in a biodegradable material like newspaper, cardboard or a towel.

Burying your pet at home can be less stressful and more personal as it allows everyone that loved the animal to have a say in what happens to the remains at each stage of the process.

It can also be comforting to be able to look out your window and see the spot where they are buried.

At Buckley Memorials we offer a range of pet memorials which can be engraved with a special message and placed in the area where your pet rests as a lasting tribute to their memory.

Why Are So Many Celebrities Dying Lately?

When you get to a certain age, you realise just how short life can be particularly when you see many of the celebrities you grew up with passing away. Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael and David Bowie are just a few of the notable famous people who are no longer with us. So, are more famous people dying now that ever or is it just down to a particular generation reaching an age where the risk of death is higher?

The answer to this is likely to be complex but we can identify certain inescapable truths. Many of the celebrities that have passed away in recent years were at the height of their fame in the 1980s. Their generation will have been in their 20s or early 30s at this time and this was the decade when TV, video and the music industry really began to develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry.

TV also saw a big expansion with new channels added such as MTV. This was the decade of the global megastar and there were more celebrities than ever.

As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, many of these celebrities will be in their mid to late 60s and some will be in their 70s. According to one scale the annual risk of dying increases from 1 in 1000 between the ages of 45-64 to 1 in 100 between the ages of 65 and 84.

This to some extent explains why we are now losing so many celebrity icons of the 80s.

3 Reasons To Choose Your Own Headstone

Choosing our own headstone is not something most of us think about or even care about but there are lots of advantages to choosing how you would like to be remembered after death rather than leave it up to relatives. With this in mind here are three of the main reasons why you should consider choosing your own headstone.

Leaving it up to relatives can place an additional burden
Relatives and loved ones will often be so caught up in the funeral arrangements they will sometimes forget about details such as headstones. Even when they do remember, they may not provide the kind of memorial you would have chosen to be remembered by. It’s far better to ease their burden and take away some of the hard work of coming up with fitting verses, choosing designs and so on.

There can be disagreements over what the deceased would have wanted
Like anything else in life, people will tend to choose things based on their own taste so there can be family disagreements over what’s best. Choosing your own grave stone or memorial will ensure this doesn’t happen.

You can ease the financial burden
Saving up for your own funeral much like choosing your own gravestone is not something you are likely to be thinking about now. However, funerals are expensive and the cost is rising well above inflation. At least when you choose your gravestone, you will be able to gain an idea of what it will cost and prepare accordingly for when the end comes. Most of us would like to have at least some kind of memorial for people to remember us by.

Funeral Cost Controversy

The funeral industry is being put under the microscope due to the rising cost of even a basic funeral according to reports this month.

The cost of a funeral according to analysts has risen 3 times more than the rate of inflation in the last decade putting many families on low incomes under pressure to pay for all the aspects of laying loved ones to rest.

Sadly, there are cases where the deceased are held in mortuaries for months at a time while family members try to get enough money together to pay for a funeral. This leaves an unacceptable number of people in limbo at a time when grieving for a lost loved one is hard enough.

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is between £3000 and £5000 which is a substantial sum of money for someone on a low wage with little in the way of money put by.

Funeral directors have blamed local councils for increasing the cost while competition watchdogs are looking to see if lack of coemption in the industry is responsible for pushing up prices.

As with any other service, it is important to look around for the best price if possible, to ensure value for money and you are not paying more than you should be to give your loved on the send-off they deserve.

Advice on Choosing the Right Words for A Headstone

Along with grief death places a huge burden of responsibility on those left behind who have to deal with all the emotions and funeral arrangements. Choosing words for a headstone may be the last thing on the mind when death is recent. How can you sum up the life of a loved one in just a few lines?

While professional writers and poets may be able to put their feelings into words easily, for most people it will be a challenge. This often means resorting to standard phrases such as ‘rest in peace’ or ‘forever in our hearts’.

While you will find these inscriptions on many grave stones but you may be left with the feeling that you could have said more to sum up the person’s existence and what they meant to you and others in life.

For famous people who have achieved much in life, this process is easy. You can simply sum up their great achievements and their legacy. For most ordinary people their greatest achievement will be the family they helped to raise or a long and successful career.

To raise the inscription beyond the ordinary, however, you can do what no-one else can do and sum up what that person meant to you, perhaps reflect back on a good memory which sums up the kind of person they were.

Should Funerals Need To Be Sombre Occasions Or A Celebration Of Life?

Death is an inevitability we all have to deal with and for those left behind it is always difficult to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. But in recent years we have seen funerals that celebrate the life of a person rather than make them a traditionally sombre occasion. So which approach is the right one?

Celebrating the life of a person at a funeral is not a new idea, in Ghana for example, the deceased have a special coffin made to celebrate a person’s interests or passions. Funerals are thus more light hearted than the traditional funerals we have here in the UK where people wear black and coffins are build to a standardised design.

The celebration funeral is perhaps a reaction to this type of funeral. Increasingly nowadays people want to express their individuality rather than end their days like everyone else with everyone surrounding a coffin dressed in black.

Then there are people who prefer the traditions such as TV presenter Colin Brazier, who asked for people to wear black at his wife’s funeral.

It is easy to empathise with both sides of the debate. Those with strong religious beliefs will naturally prefer that traditions are maintained and that fun funerals miss the point about the finality of death and the passage to the afterlife.

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