Do you remember the old Tombstone Pizza commercials and the phrase they coined - what do you want on your tombstone? While you can’t actually get pepperoni and cheese on the type of tombstones we’re talking about, the aged advertisement brings up a good question - what do you want to put on your tombstone or memorial plaque that communicates your story to those who are left behind.
Whether it’s for the pre-planning of your own tombstone or a close loved one, we have put together a list of ideas to help memorialize the one was has passed. From scripture, quotes and imagery, there are many options to inspire you. Even if you do not choose something listed, we hope that this information will encourage you to research and discuss your plans with your family.
Scripture: Listing a short excerpt from the Bible on a tombstone can capture and represent a loved one’s life and memory.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8
“I will fear no evil; for thou art with me, Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalms 23:4
“But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.” – Psalm 49:15
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” - 2 Timothy 4:7
“Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.” - 1 Corinthians 10:24
Imagery and Symbolism: Images on a tombstone can provide reflection and remembrance of one’s life, but also the reason or representation of their passing.
Flying Hourglass- The hourglass indicates the swiftness of time’s passage- sometimes literally flying with wings.
Clasping Hands- Hands are common graves- hands clasped together in a final farewell, especially on the tombs of a married couple, where one person is leaving and the other is left behind.
Dove- Usually found on the graves of women who have died young, the dove represents peace and purity; sometimes it is shown as ascending into heaven.
Wheat- Along with other symbols like oak leaves, wheat symbolizes long life, one that was harvested by the reaper when it was time.
Open Gates- Doors and open gates are symbols for the passage into heaven, the leaving the land of the living for the great beyond.
Quotations and Epitaph: Quotations are a reflection of one's existence highlighting their personality traits or accomplishments in life. Epitaphs are a meaningful way to give respect to the deceased.
“Yet in this heart’s most sacred place, thou, alone, shall dwell forever.” – Thomas Moore
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
“To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell
“Where He leads me I can safely go.” – Millay
“The song is ended but the melody lingers on.” – Irving Berlin
Remember that as you look through all the different options, the most important part is to be true to who you are. At Willwerscheid, we believe that every person has a story to tell and we want to help you tell it. Should you have any questions about what to put on yours or a loved one's tombstone, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments or suggestions.