Crafting an epitaph for your loved one is a challenging job. Not only might this feel like a weighty task, but you're probably also dealing with many difficult emotions. To help you find the right epitaph no matter who you want to memorialize, here are five tips for the best results.
1. Take Your Time. The headstone doesn't need to be finished as soon as possible. Many families don't add a headstone until long after their loved one has passed — months or even years later. This not only gives you time to come up with the right words, but it also helps you avoid making decisions when everyone is still grieving. There's no rush.
2. Keep It Simple. Don't try to capture everything that you loved about the person who passed away. No matter how large or small your budget, the headstone or other memorial has limited space. Filling it with images, words, symbols, scriptures, and more often reduces the impact of what's there. Instead, focus on just one or two key elements to personalize.
3. Start With Inspiration. The family tasked with designing an epitaph can start by looking for ideas from others. You'll find many examples of epitaph choices online, by talking with the headstone carvers, and even by observing other headstones. It's okay to find a good starting point by looking at what others have done. You can customize it from that base.
4. Avoid Most Humor. The use of humor on memorials is tricky. It can be misunderstood. Not all family or friends will find it appropriate. And some humor may simply fall flat or out of style. It's usually best to avoid trying to be funny. However, you can make an exception if the person was well-known for a particular funny aspect, such as a catchphrase or nickname. But don't overdo it.
5. Don't Overthink It. Yes, the inscription carved on a concrete headstone will endure. But don't let that cause you to try too hard and end up overthinking the wording. It's okay to use something classic or to personalize just a short phrase. Nothing will truly capture all your loved one's good qualities and personality, so don't try to do so. There are other opportunities to memorialize them as well.
Where to Start
Ready to start learning more about epitaphs and other carvings or choices for headstones? Visit with a custom headstone service in your area today. With their expertise and these tips, you'll find the right words to help everyone look back fondly and move forward with joy.
Contact a company like Koch Monument for more info.