Cross headstone inscribed with At Rest

A Comprehensive Guide To Writing An Epitaph

When you walk through a peaceful cemetery, the headstones you see are more than markers for those who have passed away. In many cases, they contain heartfelt quotes that touch our souls and leave a lasting effect on everyone who reads them. These epitaphs are another way to honor our loved ones when they pass. If you find yourself in the delicate situation of crafting one for yourself or someone close to you, our simple guide will walk you through the process of creating one.

What Is An Epitaph?

At its core, an epitaph is a brief inscription found on gravestones or memorials. Besides naming the departed, epitaphs celebrate, honor, and immortalize their essence. It serves as a personal sentiment, a poetic tribute, and a personal reflection of how a loved one lived their lives. Since ancient times, epitaphs have been included in funerals, demonstrating the power of a few choice words across cultures and generations.

How To Make The Perfect Epitaph

Writing an epitaph might feel overwhelming. However, following these steps can offer you some direction and help you create a meaningful one for your loved one:

Think Before Writing

Starting the process requires patience and a little bit of reflection. Epitaphs are powerful, and they’re meant to last for generations. That said, think everything through before you start writing. Ponder on the life lived, the memories shared, and the emotions felt. When you’re ready, jot down phrases, quotations, or anything else that encapsulates your loved one’s essence.

Reflect On Your Loved One’s Life

Life is a mix of memories, relationships, achievements, and legacies. Ask yourself what made your loved one stand out. Was it a special quote they’d always say, their generosity, or their positive energy? The more details you can recall, the more information you’ll have to make their epitaph one to remember.

The Shorter, The Better

Most epitaphs are short, strong, and to the point. However, crafting the ideal balance between short and memorable can be frustrating. Given that an average epitaph is between two and four lines long, it’s almost as if you’re forced to boil countless memories down to a small phrase. But remember, keeping it short will help you create a clearer message everyone will understand. For instance, popular epitaphs like “Rest In Peace” or “Gone But Not Forgotten” may encompass how you feel in just a few words.

Ask For Feedback

Your perspective on the departed is unique. However, other close friends and family members may have more insight into their personality and legacy. Consulting with them might help refine the message so it resonates more deeply with everyone affected by your loved one’s death.

Wait Before Submitting Your Final Words

Time offers clarity and healing, especially if the person’s death was recent. After drafting your epitaph, let it sit for a while. Returning to it with fresh emotions and thoughts can either confirm your choice or allow you to edit it until you feel it’s right.

Create An Epitaph That Stands The Test Of Time

Ensuring that an epitaph lasts for generations is crucial to creating a lasting tribute to your loved one. A timeless epitaph goes beyond the immediate moment, serving as a beacon of inspiration to everyone who passes by. With patience and deep reflection about your loved one’s life, you’ll have no problem creating an epitaph that stands out.

At Eternal Memorials, we offer premium monument inscriptions, memorial services, and monuments to grieving families across NYC, Long Island, and beyond. Please contact us or visit our website for more information about our services.