A Pre-Need Problem Many Planners Face.
This blog post is not going to tell you the exact epitaph that should be on YOUR headstone. Only you and your loved ones can make that decision. It will, however, get you thinking about the world of possibilities at your feet as you make your pre-need funeral and burial plans. The most important thing about the words on your headstone is that they are personal to you and those who come to visit your grave. Expression, especially regarding death and dying, can be almost insurmountably difficult, but remember that sometimes, less is more. Here are some ideas to help you brainstorm and select your own personal words.
Don’t discount those simple, classic phrases that you may have seen in the past—sometimes an oldie but a goodie is exactly what you’re looking for. Here are a few examples of beautiful, classic epitaphs:
“Peace at last.”
“Too well loved to ever be forgotten.”
“Only a life lived for others is a life worth living.”
“Memories, laughter, love…the treasures we keep forever.”
“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
“The song is ended but the melody lingers on.”
If you don’t think you can form the right words yourself, why not rely on a professional? A famous quote can be powerful and uplifting, and it pays homage to those who came before and impacted the world through art, politics or service. Some examples to get you thinking are:
“’Tis not the whole of life to live, nor all of death to die. (J. Montgomery)”
“Step softly, a dream lies buried here. (Yates)”
“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days. (Keats)”
“Dance, then, wherever you may be. (Sydney Carter)”
“What you seek is seeking you. (Rumi)”
“A life, like any other, completely unlike any other. (Neil Gaiman)”
Short and Sweet
Maybe you’re overcomplicating this decision by thinking you need something stirring and contemplative, when really what you are looking for is a short and sweet statement. Here are a few examples of brief phrases of comfort:
“In God’s care.”
“Great love lives on.”
“A long life well lived.”
Often when a life ends, we feel a closeness to our spirituality, whether that comes in the form of religion or not. Using a scripture or a religious passage on your headstone is a wonderful way to remind your family of what is most important in life:
“The heart of man is restless until he finds rest in Thee. (St. Augustine)”
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)”
“It is He Who gave you life, will cause you to die, and will again give you life. (66 Al-Hajj)”
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)”
Whatever you decide to put on your headstone, remember the purpose is personal and the meaning is memorial. Use a snippet of your wedding vows or give a word of final advice. Your family will appreciate and remember the words engraved above your resting place.
One thought on “What Words Should I Put on my Headstone?”
Wow, I had no idea that it’s possible to personalize your headstone to contain your favorite quote. My colleague talked about how his aging aunt has been thinking about her funeral lately. I think it would be best for him to help her find a memorial service that defines how she lived her life until the very moment.