What Do You Write on a Headstone?

When you lose a loved one, you will likely spend some time wondering what do you write on a headstone. A short message referred to as an epitaph is usually added to a headstone along with a person’s name, birth date, and death date. Typically, the goal of the epitaph is to leave some words of wisdom, share the most important values of the deceased, or summarize the person’s life. It represents a bond between the living and the dead.

Writing the epitaph can be a very difficult job. How do you summarize an entire life in a few short words? If your loved one did not request a specific headstone inscription, it is usually recommended to take some time before you write the epitaph. Right after they are gone, you will be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You may end up regretting the words you choose if you don’t give yourself time to clear your head and think.

Tips for Writing an Epitaph

  • Less is usually better when it comes to epitaphs. Usually you are limited to a few lines on the headstone so you want to make it short and concise.
  • Think about the voice of the person speaking. You could write the epitaph as if it was being spoken by the deceased, a relative, or friend.
  • Do you want the epitaph to be spoken directly to an audience or do you want to just describe the deceased’s life? This is a personal choice and it depends on the deceased. If they were someone that people would go to for advice, you might want the epitaph to convey some final words of wisdom.
  • Make sure what you write is timeless. Remember, these words will be there forever.

Epitaph Examples

Writing an epitaph can be done in a number of different ways. Some people like to reference the life role of the deceased, others have a bible verse written, some a classic quote, and others select to have an image of their loved one laser engraved on the tombstone.

Referencing Life Roles

Some people may want the headstone engraving to reference the different roles they had in life. If the deceased was specifically proud of something they did such as being a parent, nurse, or a school teacher you may want that acknowledged.

Quotes from the Bible

If the deceased was a devout Christian, you may want to consider writing a verse from the bible. We recommend you read through the bible and try to select a verse that speaks to you about your loved one’s life.

Poetry

An excerpt from a poem could make for a great gravestone engraving. This could be something you have written, or the work of someone else. If it is the latter, make sure you credit the author for the words. This is a great option for those who loved poetry or literature.

Laser Engraved Photo

Some people choose to have a photo of their loved one or of a symbol laser engraved on the tombstone. This can replace or be added along with an epitaph. Generally, a polished black granite tombstone is used.

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Writing a Unique Eulogy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn the Meaning of Eulogy

A eulogy is one of the main parts of a funeral or memorial service. This important speech is meant to honor a loved one as you capture and share a lifetime of memories. If you’ve been asked to give a eulogy, it’s natural to feel a mix of emotions.

If you’ve never done it before, writing a eulogy may seem daunting or intimidating. Don’t fret though, in this post we’ll show you how to write a eulogy in a few simple steps.

But before we show you how to start writing a eulogy, let’s answer common questions we frequently receive.

How Long Should a Eulogy Be?

Think about the worst speech you’ve listened to. Was it lengthy? Did it seem never ending? As a rule of thumb, it’s better to keep a eulogy or any speech for that matter, clear and concise. When a speech runs long, you risk losing the audience’s attention. Not only that, but some people can get emotional when delivering the eulogy. The longer it is, the harder it may become to deliver it.

We recommend that you keep the eulogy to around 5 minutes (10 at most). Start by focusing on a few key points about the person and then start discussing what they meant to you and others.

How to Write a Eulogy?

Before you start to write a eulogy, it’s best to gather all the important information you wish to convey. This should include special memories you wish to discuss and any biographica

l information you need like important dates and places. If you need help gathering this information, make sure to reach out to family and friends for help. 

Once you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to start writing. To start a eulogy, try to keep all of your information and stories in chronological order. Remember, you’re trying to capture a lifetime so start by sharing stories of your loved-ones life. Next, discuss what they meant to you and others. Finally, conclude the eulogy by saying goodbye.

How to Add Humor to A Eulogy?

A funeral or memorial service doesn’t always have to be about sadness or loss. Using humor can be a great way to help lighten the mood. Especially if the person who has passed away was known to have a great sense of humor.

To add humor to a eulogy, share a story that everyone can relate to and enjoy. Talk about who a person really was, while making sure not to come off as disrespectful. Adding humor to a eulogy may seem difficult, but when done right, it can make the eulogy much more meaningful and memorable.

How to Write a Eulogy In 5 Easy Steps

  • Brainstorm Ideas and Gather Information

To start a eulogy, begin by taking some time to brainstorm what you want to say. Make sure to speak with other family members and friends of the deceased to gain insights and stories you might not know. The more information you can gather the better. You don’t need to use all of it, but having as much information as you can will allow you to craft a eulogy that is all encompassing of your loved-ones life and achievements.

Some of the biographical information you should consider gathering includes: date and place of birth, names of relatives, marriage date, career achievements.

  • Write an Introduction

When writing a eulogy, start by addressing why everyone has gathered together – to say goodbye and celebrate a life well lived. After acknowledging why everyone has gathered, make sure to introduce yourself and explain how you knew the loved-one. Finally, conclude the introduction by thanking everyone for coming.

Your introduction doesn’t need to be long and drawn out. Keep it quick so that you can get into the main part of the eulogy and pay tribute to your loved one.

  • Write A Brief Biography

After the introduction, provide guests with a short summary of the deceased’s life. This can include the loved-ones early years, their family, significant family events, and any other important details. Next it can mention any other friends or family members the departed was close to. Finally, you can talk about the oned-ones spouse, children, and grandchildren.

  • Share Special Life Moments, Memories, And Qualities

In this section of the eulogy, start to talk about special memories the deceased shared with others. This is also when you should acknowledge achievements, talents, hobbies, and passions. Conclude this part of the eulogy by discussing the qualities that made your loved-one special.

  • Conclude the Eulogy with Some Comforting Words

To end the eulogy, offer some words of comfort and say a final goodbye. This is often when the person delivering the eulogy will discuss what they meant to them.

 

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Picking The Right Poems for Funerals and Celebrations of Life

Poem

 

Featuring a poem at a funeral, or a memorial service, can be a meaningful and rich way to honor your person. It can convey the sentiments with which they lead their life, how important they are to you, and anchor your grief. Funeral poems can be read or included if you are struggling to put your own reflections into words; or as an accompaniment to stories and memories.

Poems for funerals or memorial services can vary widely from honoree to honoree. The poem you select can be a way to paint a portrait of their life and soul or it can be what you wish to say to them. There are poems to say goodbye at a funeral that speak to the weight of grief, as well as short funeral poems to bring a smile or laugh! Poems and prose for loved one’s funerals can be a source of comfort, laughter, and love, as well as complex and ambivalent emotions.

In lieu of a poem, another option to read at the memorial service of a loved one, friend, or family member could be

Song lyrics important to the honoree
Sayings or favorite phrases
A quote from a book or movie
There is no correct length for what you want to read, they can be as short as one to four lines, or as long as you would like them to be.

Grief cannot be ‘fixed’ and poems and words for funerals will never change a loss, but these words can be companions for you and your loved ones as you gather to pay your respects. By reading or including a poem at a funeral for a friend, family member, or community member you can honor their legacy and share what they meant to you and who they were.

If you are need of assistance please reach out.

www.FoundandSons.com

5 Myths About Green Burials

 

 

 

 

 

There are three minimal requirements that are commonly used to describe a green burial:

No concrete or polypropylene grave liner was used;
The burial container or shroud is biodegradable; and
The body was not embalmed with toxic chemicals.
In other words, the body is being allowed to “go back to the earth” with as little interference as possible.

The Basics of Green Burial
The Green Burial Council certifies three levels of green burial (hybrid, natural and conservation) according to graduated requirements laid out in standards developed to ensure quality and consistency.

Common Myths

1. Do animals dig up the body?
There is no report of animals digging up a body after a green burial was performed at any cemetery in the US since the first green cemetery in the US was developed in 1998. Green burials require an 18-24 inch soil and smell barrier between the burial container or shroud and the surface of the ground.This depth of soil is more than sufficient to remove any smell that animals, much less humans, can detect.

2. Will the body contaminate the groundwater?
Contamination of groundwater is the single biggest concern that people give when opposing green burial. But it’s been well documented that the rare instances of contamination from cemeteries have been caused by the materials buried with the body, and not the body itself. In order to establish a cemetery in the first place, the area must be deemed suitable for burial by the local authorities and best practices should be followed. For example, most states provide setback parameters for water, buildings and roads for home burial that may give some guidance for best practices in green cemeteries.

3. Is green burial legal?
There are very few actual laws about burial anywhere in the US. However, there are many regulations and requirements imposed by individual cemeteries. Usually, when someone says green burial is illegal, the real issue is that the cemetery itself does not allow it. It’s of paramount importance to understand the difference between law and common practice or policy.

4. Who wants a green burial?
A recent Harris Poll conducted for the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) said that 64 percent of people age 40 and over expressed interest in green burial. When families tap into this possibility, whole realms of meaning blossom within them to be able to connect with the death in a wholesome and healing way.

5. Can I be buried on my own property?
Apparently, other than the glib, “Just bury me and plant a tree!” this is a popular concept; you probably already know that the answer is a qualified yes, one may establish a family cemetery if one lives outside city limits, tests the soil for drainage, obtains a permit from the county health department (officials of which must be educated and encouraged in the process!), consults a lawyer, obtains a deed, and registers with the county registrar. State regulations determine the correct set-backs for water, highways, buildings, and right-of ways.

Green burial has become very popular in the last 10 years, younger generations grew up with recycling and composting and a strong sense of caring for the environment; they readily question conventional practices.

To Learn more check us out

www.FoundandSons.com

Exploring Your Own Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s 6 practices to try and contemplate your own death,

#1: Learn your birth story

One of the stories that is the most important in our life, yet often gets lost, is our birth story. Many times we don’t have the curiosity around our birth story until it’s too late and our parents have passed on, or have forgotten.

Our invitation is to contact both of your parents (if possible) or anyone who was present at your birth (if possible) and ask some questions we offer below.

Some questions to ask around your birth story: 

  • The general story around your conception
  • The life events and general story around your time in gestation in the womb
  • Where you were born
  • Who was present when you were born
  • How you were born (ie. c-section, natural birth, etc.)
  • Were any medications involved in your birth (ie. epidermal)?
  • Were there any complications during your birth?
  • When did you go home?
  • Any significant memories around your birth and first few weeks of life?
  • Who was most present during your first months of life?

#2: Identify the connections between birth and death

It might sound morbid at first, but there are many connections between birth and death. In some ways, the passage of birth and death is very similar.

By exploring the possibility that death can be similar to birth, does it take the fear away for you? What does it do for you? Contemplate on this, and let us know what you come up with. 

#3: Learn the story of your relative’s deaths

Currently, our culture doesn’t discuss death until we have to. But if we discuss it before it’s our time to go, we ready our consciousness more to the idea, and we increase our chances of having a better death. 

You can ask about how your relatives approached their passing, where they passed, how they passed, any lessons or wisdom they shared, or any lessons or wisdom gained from witnessing the passage. 

#4: Read books about death

Mostly, these books have helped me to realize that death is something we can truly practice many times before we actually die. Because we’re always dying, in some ways. We’re always shedding, to become reborn again and again. 

#5: Explore the topic of death with your therapist

The thing is that when we don’t think about our deaths, we end up putting stress on our families by not making important decisions around our death. We also put stress on ourselves because when it comes our time to go, we don’t have our ducks in a row, and it can add restrictions around our ability to let go. 

#6: Venerate the dead

Venerating our dead is something that is truly an honor. It’s important to honor our ancestors, those who came before us, and to pay homage to how we sit on the shoulders of everything they’ve done for us to be where we are today. It not only gives us strength, but it gives us great inspiration as well.

Try it yourself with some of these ideas:

  • Light a candle for your ancestors
  • Print or find photos of your ancestors and passed family members and…
  • Make an altar for your ancestors
  • Hold a ritual of your own on Dia de Las Muertos & borrow some of the traditions and also create some of your own
  • Ask your family about those who have passed
  • Find out any rituals your ancestors practiced, and incorporate them into your life