Stones (grave markers, or whatever you want to call them) in and of themselves are interesting. What they are made of, ...their shape ...and size. What is or is not put on them. You can learn alot about a person just by looking at their stone.
You can find symbols or images on them which have all kinds of meaning. Not every stone has one, but a great many do. Have you ever wondered what they mean? With the use of the Internet you can find many sites that explain the meanings of these symbols. Here is just one of them.
You will find icons or trademarks for organizations the deceased belong to, such as fraternity or other societal groups. Some have to do with their profession or occupation, others with their favorite pasttimes, or their faith, or military. Animals are sometimes used as well. They may have symbolic meaning, or specific meaning to the individual, as in the case of a pet, (dog) or life's work (cow for a farmer).
Something that is popular, as a momento of a person's grave is to do a grave stone rubbing. It is also one of the safer methods of reading a stone. Other ways can be harmful to the stone or to the ground or environment. If a stone is hard to read this can sometimes help you figure out what it says. You need just a few things, but you will need to be prepared ahead of time.
Take with you a large sheet of paper, like blank newsprint, a crayon, carpenter's pencil or the like, and some masking tape or painters tape-something that is easily removable and does not damage the stone. Also take along some hairspray or other aerosol fixative.
At the cemetery, cover the face of the stone that you want to copy with the paper and tape the sides to hold it in place for you. Next take the side of the crayon or use a pencil, even charcoal and start covering your paper with it. Have you ever put a penny under a sheet of paper and 'colored' over it? This is the same idea. After you are done, spray it and carefully remove your paper and roll it up. This will help protect the surface, plus keep it from rubbing onto something in your vehicle. Be sure that all pieces of tape are removed from the stone and that you have left no trash behind. Now you should be able to look at your rubbing and be able to 'read' the stone, sometimes better than the stone itself. If You also have something to treasure 'from' your loved one.
Happy Ghost Busting!