By Reshma Jirage
A few words can never truly capture the emotional upheaval one undergoes when a loved one passes away. Headstone inscriptions are, at best, a way of paying tribute to someone who is no longer with us. Choosing these words is a highly personal decision. We give you some ideas and words that we hope will help and inspire.
The death of a loved one can be one of the most distressing moments in one’s life. One of the few things that keep us going is the knowledge that their remembrances are something that no one can take away from us. The headstone that you place at your loved one’s grave reflects these memories and emotions that you shared with them. The inscription on the headstone is a symbol of the life that they lived and your memory of them.
While picking an inscription for a headstone it may help if you took into consideration the likes, passions, interests, and convictions of the person who has passed on. You could also pick a quote that they liked or a song that they related to. Given here are some ideas that may help you pick a sentiment that expresses everything that you would want to.
Sometimes, the simplest of epitaphs have the most impact. Using something simple, short and elegant as the inscription for the headstone can best express the emotions for the person you have lost.
Lying in peace for an eternity
We will cherish and remember you always
Poetry has a soul of its own, and when you are at a loss for words that can describe your emotions, a few lines from a poem that truly touches you can be the answer you are looking for.
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. – Death, Be Not Proud by John Donne
Farewell to thee! but not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
Within my heart they still shall dwell;
And they shall cheer and comfort me. – Farewell by Anne Brontë
In Their Own Words
If your loved one chose to write their epitaph while alive, then use this as an inscription for the headstone. If this wish was not made clear, you may go through the letters and notes that they have left behind to see if you find something that expresses your loved one’s feelings.
If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don’t you ever cry. – Unknown
The best is yet to come. – Frank Sinatra’s grave marker
In the Words of Others
When you are grieving the death of someone close to you, it can be quite difficult to come up with words that tell the world how much you will miss them and how much they mattered to you. Choose quotes by famous people to describe your love.
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Yet in this heart’s most sacred place, thou, alone, shall dwell forever. – Thomas Moore
In God’s Name
Traditionally, headstone verses are religious in tone. If the person who has passed on was devout, then verses from the Bible may be the perfect inscription on their headstone. These verses can also be a great source of comfort.
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live. – John 11:25
They can no longer die; for they are like the angels. – Luke 20:36
In Light Humor
If your loved one was known for his ability to look at the funnier side of things, then it may be a good idea for his headstone to reflect this quality. Of course, with a funny inscription it is important that you tread lightly and do not hurt any sentiments.
Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite. (I told you I was sick) – Headstone of Spike Milligan, English comedian
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake,
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake. – Gravestone near Uniontown, Pennsylvania
These are just some different ideas that you can use to pick a headstone inscription. If you are looking for some words for the headstone, then here are some soul-stirring epitaphs that you can choose from.
For the Headstones of Adults
Earth has one gentle soul less,
Heaven has one special angel more.
In the garden of happy memories,
It is always summer.
You are gone, I remain
Until the day we meet again
Her life a beautiful memory
Her absence a silent grief.
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us everyday.
God took you from our home
But never from our hearts.
So much to live for,
So much to do
So many dreams
Then God chose you.
You taught us many things in life
That we would have to do
But you never taught us
how to cope
with the hurt of losing you.
He shall receive in the world to come, eternal life.
May the journey on your next adventure be as joy-filled as your time with us.
For the Headstones of Children
Ours for a little while.
Sleep, my little one, sleep.
Still loving, still living, still ours.
Tread carefully, here lies our world.
Held for a moment,
Loved for a lifetime.
You touched our lives for the
briefest of moments,
Yet you will stay with us
O blessed little sunbeam,
O child of love and prayer,
We give thee to the keeping,
Of the tender Shepherd’s care.
Those who we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.
Sleep my beautiful angel on your pillow in the sky,
Angels are forever so we’ll never say goodbye.
An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby’s birth, and whispered as she closed the book, too beautiful for earth.
Inscriptions for headstones should always reflect your sentiments, feelings and affection for the deceased. It is your way of honoring a person who has touched your life. Let the memories of your close ones last for eternity with a meaningful epitaph.
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