Creating a Lasting Tribute: Tips for Writing a Memorable Headstone Epitaph


Hey there, friend. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re going through a tough time, having lost someone special. I’m truly sorry for your loss. As an expert in headstones and headstone inscriptions, I’ve seen many people in your shoes, looking to find the perfect words to eternally honour their loved one. It’s a big responsibility, and I’m here to help you navigate it with care and compassion, especially when it comes to selecting the right headstone and inscription.

The Heart of an Epitaph

What’s an Epitaph Anyway?

An epitaph is more than just words on stone; it’s a final tribute, a public declaration of what someone meant to this world. It’s an integral part of headstone design, offering a lasting message on memorial stones. Think of it as a small window into their soul for generations to come. I remember this one epitaph on a granite headstone that simply read, “Loved and Remembered.” So few words, yet it said everything about the person’s impact.

Finding Your Starting Point

Reflect and Consult

Start by reflecting on the person’s life. Consider the type of headstone or memorial stone that might best reflect their personality. What made them unique? Were they known for their humour, wisdom, or kindness? Gathering thoughts from family and friends can also be incredibly insightful. When choosing the text for a headstone inscription, one family I worked with created a beautiful epitaph by combining each member’s favourite memory of their grandmother.

Tone Matters

Deciding on the tone can be tricky. Should it be solemn or a bit lighthearted? Remember, there’s no right or wrong here. The tone of the headstone inscription is about what feels true to the person you’re honouring. I’ve seen epitaphs ranging from deeply poetic to surprisingly witty.

Crafting Your Message

Simplicity is Key

When it comes to word choice, simplicity often speaks volumes. In the context of headstone engravings, you’ve got limited space, so make every word count. I’ve always admired epitaphs that manage to capture a whole life philosophy in just a line or two.

Personalised Touches

Don’t hesitate to get personal. Was there a line from a song they loved, or a quote they lived by? Such personal touches make a headstone's epitaph deeply meaningful. A client once used a line from her father’s favourite Bob Dylan song, and it was incredibly touching.

Symbols and Imagery

In addition to the text, consider adding symbols or imagery to the headstone to reflect a person’s passions or beliefs. I remember engraving a small sailboat for a man who had spent his life at sea. It was a simple image, but it told a story of adventure and freedom.

Navigating the Practicalities

Regulations and Traditions

Be sure to check any cemetery regulations or cultural considerations that might influence your choice of headstone and epitaph. It’s important to honour these traditions while still making it personal.

Making It Perfect Collaborate and Revise Once you’ve drafted the epitaph, consider how it will look on the chosen headstone. Share it with close family or friends. Getting their

input can be incredibly valuable. And remember, it’s okay to take your time with this. When inscribing a headstone, it’s not something you want to rush.


Creating an epitaph is a deeply personal and emotional journey. It’s about finding the essence of a loved one and crystallising it into a few precious words. In my years of specializing in headstone inscriptions, I’ve learned that the best epitaphs are those that come from the heart. They don’t have to be fancy or elaborate – just true to the person they’re honouring. Take your time, reflect on the beauty of the life lived, and know that whatever you choose, it will be a fitting tribute on their headstone, a lasting symbol of a life well-loved.

Remember, I’m here to help guide you through this process. Together, we’ll create a lasting tribute with the right headstone and inscription that truly honours the memory of your loved one. 

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