Three Simple Ways to Make a Loved One's Headstone Inscription More Personal

Choosing an inscription for a loved one's headstone can be a difficult task, as you try to find something that's appropriate and timeless. This short guide explains three ways you can make your loved one's headstone feel personal, giving an idea of their personality and values to everyone who passes by.

Pick an Epitaph That Sums Up Their Personality

The epitaph, as Cake explains, typically appears on a headstone after a person's full name, date of birth and date of death. They suggest some classic, timeless epitaphs, such as "A Well-Lived Life" or "Gone Too Soon", but if you want your loved one's headstone to be more personal, you might choose something else. For example, if they had a huge, loving family, a fascinating career, or a particular passion in life, you might mention it — for example, mentioning that they served in the military or loved to fish. You could also base the epitaph on one of their values or personality traits, such as their sparkling wit or love of knowledge. Whatever the case, it's important that the epitaph gives an idea of both their personality and how you felt about them.

Include a Small Image

Many headstone makers now allow you to include a small carved image on a headstone, though they may have rules and requirements about what this might be. It's a great way to show off your loved one's personality and interests and can be placed below the epitaph to give extra information. Think about the things your loved one enjoyed, how they spend their time and what they would like. For a devoted Christian, you might choose a cross, while for a person who loved flowers an inscription of their favourite bloom might be both personal and special. A carving of their much-loved dog adds a sentimental touch, while you might choose a bird in flight for a keen bird-watcher.

Choose a Favourite Quotation

Including a favourite quotation can be a great alternative to a traditional epitaph, or can be placed alongside one to provide extra personalisation. There might be an obvious choice if your loved one had a poet, film, Bible verse, or novel that they particularly loved. This will give anyone looking at their headstone an idea of their tastes, as well as their personality. If not, choose something that sums up your feelings about them or says something about their personality. You can search online for quotations that deal with various topics or aspects of life or search through their favourite books for something appropriate.

Whether you choose a funny epitaph to show off their wit, go for a quotation from their favourite novel, or opt for a simple image, you're sure to find a way to make your loved one's headstone feel personal to them.