Grave Markers

Average Cost of Moving a Grave?

September 16th, 2014

FSN Funeral Homes,

What is the average cost to move a grave from one cemetery to a different cemetery?




Wow, Chaz. That’s quite the question.

Short answer, you would be looking at anywhere from $8,000 – $20,000, possibly more, depending on a variety of factors. Let me go into some detail for you.

Exhumation Costs

  1. Depending on state regulations, you may need to have a funeral director present at the exhumation. $1,000 or more.
  2. You may need state permits. Cost varies state-to-state.
  3. If the body is recently buried in a vault or metal coffin $3,000 – $5,000 for the exhumation itself.
  4. If not in the ideal scenario described above expect to pay more and receive less. The body may already be one with the earth or just bits of a skeleton.
  5. Expect to pay for disposal of the previous casket. It held biological remains, so it is probably considered hazardous.

Re-Interment Costs

  1. Transportation. If it’s close by, the remains could be transported by hearse. That shouldn’t be too expensive. If not, you would most likely transport via container truck and the cost could be considerably higher.
  2. If moving to a new state, regulations apply.
  3. You’ll have to buy a new plot, new headstone and (probably) new casket. The only way to avoid the new casket is if the remains were buried in a vault and the exhumation company was able to extract it in one piece. Then the entire vault could be re-buried at the new location if state regulations allow.
  4. Again, you may need a funeral director present for the burial. Start at $1,000.
  5. Lastly, you may want to hold a service for the deceased. There will probably be a cost for that as well.

All told, it is an expensive process, but if having your loved one’s remains close by is important to you, it is more than worth the cost.



Tomb Stones and Relocating Ashes

June 23rd, 2014

FSNFH Ask the Expert Question:

Hi I recently came from my late husband grave and got pretty upset because 1: I couldn’t find it! : 2 when I left the gravesite family took over! 3:the burial site has no name or nothing to say his name just a flower! How much is a tombstone?

Funeral Expert Reply:

Headstones come in a variety of price ranges depending on where you live and where the cemetery is located. If you can send me the name of the cemetery and the city in which it is located, I can help you find a local monument company who can provide you with a price list and options.

Hold On To Your Memories: Memorializing Your Loved One

August 14th, 2011

Grief can sometimes feel like waves that come and go, rushing you with emotions. The heartache can leave us numb – but memorializing our loved ones can help us get through it. Honoring the life and joy that your loved one brought to you is a great way to start moving forward in your own life.

Everyone copes with grief differently. Grief is something that doesn’t just go away, it takes time, effort and acceptance. Finding a new hobby, or creating a memorial for your loved one can help exponentially during this emotional time. Hold on to memories by memorializing their life.

Ways to create a memorial

Memorial scrap quilt

Create a scrap quilt by turning your loved ones old clothing into a quilt. You can use any fabric or pattern to create a nostalgic quilt that will keep you warm with memories.

Write a song

Music has a calming effect on people. It is a way to express your emotions without having to say a word.
If you play an instrument or enjoy singing – create a song honoring your loved one and it record it on tape, CD or to your computer. It will be something you can hold close for years.

Plant a memorial garden

Planting a garden in honor of your loved one is a great way to memorialize their lives. Include their favorite flower, or their birth-month flower. Once you have created a memorial garden, it will be a place for you to visit and think of your loved one.

Create a scrapbook

Putting together a scrapbook might be difficult at first, but once the initial emotions have set in, you can create a book that will honor your loved one. Including pictures, favorite readings and poems, stories and fond memories.

Memorial Jewelry

Memorial jewelry, also known as mourning jewelry has been around since Victorian times. Mourners would wear jewelry containing ashes, strands of hair or soil from the graveside, over their heart bringing them peace of mind and comfort. It is a way to memorialize and honor your loved one while keeping them close to you always. You can also have diamonds made from your loved one’s carbon signature.

Personalizing their headstone

A personalized headstone is something that will be there for centuries, giving great honor to your loved and a special place for family and friends to visit.

Donate to a favorite charity

If your loved one was passionate about a certain cause or charity, you can make a donation in their honor. You might also consider creating your own charity in honor of your loved one.

Create a scholarship

Creating  a scholarship in your loved ones name is a great way to keep their memory alive. Others will benefit from your generosity and your loved ones name will live on.

Create a memory book

  • Start a book with your loved one’s picture, name and any special information about them. Write your favorite memories about their life and the time you shared. After you finish, put your book into a shipping box.
  • Write out a list of close friends and family members with their addresses. Include your name and address at the end of the list.
  • Include a pre-paid credit card for postage.
  • Include a note to your friends and family. Ask them to write their favorite memories of your loved one and any pictures they would like to share. Ask them to then send it on to the next person on the list.
  • Send it to the first person on the list.
  • Once you get your memory book you will have pages full of uplifting stories and joyful memories to hold close and honor your loved one.

Whatever way you choose to memorialize your loved one’s life will be special and be cherished forever. You can’t go wrong when speaking from your heart.

Special thank you to boobook48 and Rickydaivd for the beautiful pictures via Flickr

Placing Pebbles on Gravestones: A Jewish Tradition Explained

August 5th, 2011

Example of Jewish Headstones with PebblesIt is unlikely that you will see flower arrangements laid upon headstones in traditional Jewish cemeteries. Instead, you might notice heaps or mounds of pebbles atop of the grave sites. Large and small in no particular pattern or shape. This is an age-old Jewish tradition that takes roots from Biblical stories. It’s hard to tell exactly where the tradition originated, however, it is thought to go back to ancient times.

Evidence in Scripture

  • In the book of Exodus Moses spent 40 years traveling from Egypt to Israel. Instead of burying their dead, they would cover the body with a sheet and then cover with rocks and pebbles to hold the sheet down.
  • In the book of Exodus God manifested the 10 Commandments on a stone tablet in the presence of Moses.
  • In the book of Exodus Moses is told by God to strike the rock at Horeb to bring forth water from the rock; this was done in front of the elders of Israel in God’s name.
  • In the book of Genesis Abraham was told to build an altar (a mound of rocks) to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, as a test from God.

Adorning gravestones with pebbles

In Judaism it is customary for Stones of Remembrance to be placed on gravestones by family and friends visiting the departed.

Continue reading “Placing Pebbles on Gravestones: A Jewish Tradition Explained” »

Eight Cemetery Monument Materials

November 4th, 2010

Cemetery monuments have been used for thousands of years.  Typically people would use whatever natural material happened to be available locally.  Often this was whatever local rock was available or wood which was not very durable since it would rot very quickly.  People today have more options than ever.

It is no longer necessary to pick the cemetery monument material based solely on proximity to your town.  Today, people can pick the best and most durable material available.  For many the choice is bronze and granite.

Throughout  the years, several different types of materials have been used to create monuments. Despite their obvious deficiencies, some of these materials are still used today.  Sandstone, limestone, granite, marble, and others have been used for generations. Several of these gravestone materials lack durability or accessibility.

This article will highlight the various types of materials used in cemetery memorials and will explain the advantages of each material.


Granite is by far the most popular headstone material type today.  Granite comes in a multitude of colors including grays and pinks. It also has a wide variety of textures.  Granite is one of the strongest natural materials with a durability that lasts for generations. In fact granite is so hard that it is difficult to carve by hand.  Granite is very popular today because of its sturdiness.


Marble is another type of monument material that is still popular today.  There are several types of marble.  Marble comes in a wide range of qualities which means that some materials are quite permanent while others are not.  White marble, for example, is  a beautiful material but may eventually develop a black film over its surface.

Cast and Wrought Iron

Cast iron grave markers were popular during the Victorian era and have survived for generations.  Their not so lucky counterparts, wrought iron grave markers still stand but many have succumbed to rust or live in an eroded state.
Continue reading “Eight Cemetery Monument Materials” »