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If you’ve never experienced a loss close to you before, chances are good that you have endless questions about what to do, where to go and what your options are. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive. If this page doesn’t answer your particular concern, feel free to contact us at Brewer-Bouchey via email or phone. We are here to help in your time of need.

I’ve never had to purchase a monument before. Where do I start?

At Brewer-Bouchey, we want you to make the best possible decision for you and your loved ones. We spend as much time as needed with each family going over their options. Together, we will design a monument that fits your taste and budget. And don’t worry about the monument right away. We often recommend waiting until after the funeral to begin the memorial process.

How much does a typical gravestone or monument cost?

The price of a cemetery memorial depends on the materials used, the craftsmanship or design that went into creating the memorial, and the size and details of the design. A quality memorial can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Let us know your budget, and we will work with you to create just the right memorial at an affordable price. There are many options that will lessen the cost, yet still be beautiful.

What other expenses might be involved?

Once you have met with one of our family members and created a design, we will inform you of the cost, which includes tax and installation. We’ll also discuss the need for a cemetery foundation. The cemetery must install the concrete footer to support your memorial and it has to withstand the extremes of weather and temperature. We can’t set the rates for your cemetery, but we will serve as the go-between to be sure your foundation is properly installed.

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 parents want to be cremated, and I respect their wishes, but I also don’t want them in an urn on my mantle forever. What can I do? Are there other options?

You’d be surprised how many people mistakenly believe that the process of cremation is an end in itself, but it is not. Cremation is preparation for memorialization just like embalming and burial. In fact, there are many varied options for the final disposition of cremated remains. You can purchase a cemetery lot and have their ashes buried, placed in a vault, or interred in a memorial. We’ll work with you to come up with the best choice for you and your family.

My family lives out of town, but we’d rather purchase a memorial from retailer in the where the memorial is needed. Is this possible?

We’ll guide you through the stages of design to completion of your memorial. Then we’ll take care of the installation in any Michigan cemetery.

When will my monument be installed?

It usually takes us eight to twelve weeks from the time of ordering to installation in the cemetery. There are other factors that may alter this, such as cemetery work schedules, weather and ground conditions. In colder climates, winter burials are generally not possible.

If I want to share a stone with my spouse, will you have to remove the stone from the cemetery to put my final date on?

No, we can generally add lettering without disturbing the monument.

We want an unusual design and were told by our cemetery that it wouldn’t be allowed. Is this true?

Most cemeteries have rules and regulations. Not only does this differ from cemetery to cemetery, but also within different sections in the same cemetery. Religious cemeteries in particular can be very selective. Whenever possible, we will work with the cemetery on your behalf.

Can arrangements be made over the phone or should we come to your office?

We will work with you, whatever you need. If you are in the area, you might choose to visit one of our indoor showrooms. When a family visits our showroom and sees the many monuments of all shapes, colors and sizes, they find it 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 locations.

What is a reasonable amount of time to be grieving?

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 a mental anesthetic 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, such as 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, get in touch with a grief counselor, or contact one of the resources listed on this site.

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