If you choose a cemetery for your loved one's final resting place, you also have to decide on a headstone. The headstone marks the grave and serves as a tribute to your loved one, and there are all kinds of ways to make the headstone as unique as your loved one's life. Look at these ideas.
You can show visitors to the cemetery how your loved one looked during life by adding photos to the headstone. You can add a color photo printed on porcelain to a stone headstone, or you can opt to have laser-engraved photos on a granite headstone. In both cases, choose between a traditional headshot or make a collage of the best memories of your loved one.
Did your loved one have anything that they said on a regular basis? If so, you may want to include their signature phrase on their headstone. Alternatively, consider putting a line of poetry or a quote from scripture on the headstone.
If no quotes stick out to you, you may want to add some brief words on what your loved one meant to you. For instance, you could write an epitaph such as "always had a smile" or "kind to everyone" or you could sum up their relationships such as "devoted wife and loving mother."
If you plan to bring flowers to your loved one's resting place, you may want to have vases or planters built into the headstone. This helps to create a tidy look and ensures that you can always leave flowers easily without leaving behind a plastic vase or items that may blow away and become litter.
The traditional headstone is a square or rectangular shape, but you can get creative with this part of the headstone as well. You may want to consider implementing something like a cherry tree blossom or a religious symbol like a cross on one side of the headstone, while the other side maintains its traditional shape.
In other cases, you may want to have the entire headstone be a unique shape, and you can choose from everything from butterflies to hearts to rainbow-shaped arches. You can even get a little whimsical. For instance, if your loved one loved makeup or sports, you could integrate a tube of lipstick or a football into their headstone.
Room for Loved Ones
Headstones don't have to be for a single person. You may want to leave room for loved ones. For instance, if your spouse dies, you may want to get a double headstone and reserve the other side for yourself. If you have lost a baby, you may want their headstone to have space for your final resting place as well.
Funerals can bring forth such a range of emotions: melancholy, grief, regret, relief and nostalgia. As an assistant at a funeral parlour, I am privileged to help people with organising their loved one’s final journey. I have learnt that a good funeral parlour can make the occasion truly commemorative. When I attend funerals for friends, I am saddened to see that so many ceremonies are traditional and joyless. I later find out that the family members simply weren’t aware of options such as a graveside memorial service. I love the fact that one of my tasks involves showing family members various venues and demonstrating what can be done. In this humble little blog, I hope to make it my mission to share some of the ideas – big and small – from the best funerals I have seen. Perhaps it will give you some inspiration at a difficult time. Bless.