The time leading up to and following the funeral will bring on many challenges, both emotionally and physically. Responsibilities of arranging the funeral, obtaining the death certificate, reaching out to all those that knew your loved one and all whilst mourning your own loss. One of the final arrangements you will need to make, will be arranging the headstone to place at your loved one’s final resting place.
Whilst this may seem straight forward, knowing the perfect message to have engraved on the headstone may leave you ‘lost for words’. That is why we have created this article on what to write on a headstone, to help you find the right words, under such unfortunate circumstances.
Headstones (also known as gravestones and tombstones) serve as memorial markers for the remains of the deceased. Their sole purpose is to mark out the final resting place of the departed. Although their purpose can seem heavy and solemn, headstones can bring a great level of comfort and closure to the bereaved families.
Typically, you will include the full name of the deceased, their date of birth and their date of death. However, in this day and age, it is more common to see a short epitaph (a phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died) included on the headstone.
Consider using words or phrases in which they had always referred to in their day to day life. Maybe they had passed down words of wisdom in which might make a fitting tribute to have added to the headstone. Using their own words, or words you have heard them use many times, will truly honour their memory.
Something a little lighter, a line from a favourite or popular movie, might make the perfect addition to a headstone. Especially if they were a movie buff, like many of us are nowadays. This type of message can hold many different meanings and sentiments. People use funny lines, favourite tag lines, words of great meaning and inspiring quotes, you can get rather creative with your choices. Here are some suggestions…
This is perfect if your loved one was an avid reader, particularly if the quote reminds you of them in some ways, or feels as though it would be something they would say.
If your loved-one had a passion for music, why not take a line or verse from their favourite song. You may even choose to include the lyrics from a song played at the funeral service itself.
If your loved one had a favourite recipe that everyone used to enjoy, why not share it with the world or at least with anyone passing through the cemetery? In a way, it’s a nice tribute too and keeps part of them alive, even if you will never know who sees it and tries the recipes for themselves.
Although best suited to a poetry lover, this works almost as well for a thoughtful poem, with an added message spelt out using the first letter of each line.
An extract from a religious scripture would always be welcomed if the bereaved held faith during their lifetime. This is also something to avoid if they were not religious during their lifetime.
This can be a controversial opinion, but also can hold great meaning to the close relatives when choosing what to write on the headstone. Especially if the bereaved held a great sense of humour during their life-time. Including a joke or a witty one-liner might make for the perfect tribute in their memory.
If you find yourself responsible for arranging the headstone of a loved-one, make sure to include the closest family members with the decision of you final words. Especially if they might be seen as controversial. However, the most important thing to consider, is would the bereaved appreciate your choice of words. That is how you will truly know if they are the perfect choice for the headstone.