"If we have been pleased with life, we should not be displeased with death, since it comes from the hand of the same master."
We think there is no greater loss than losing your loved one. The void is so huge that nothing and no one can fill it. But life is like that, whether we like it or not. We are not meant to be with our loved ones forever, thanks to the circle of death and birth. We can keep them alive through memories, that is the only thing we can do.
Another thing we can do is to give that person a tribute through their gravestone or headstone. It is a good way to pay tribute to that person, there is nothing else really which can be done. The good part is that you can make it as personal as you want to bring about fonder memories and reminiscences of that person.
Ideas for Gravestone Inscriptions
Have you watched the movie 'Taking Chances', which is about the death of a young armed forces officer? In the movie, the officer's gravestone or headstone seems to be saying something about the qualities he had and how good an officer he was. Having something like that on your beloved's headstone will give a nice emotional and personal touch. There can be a few lines about how that person was and how was he with his work and people around him on the headstone epitaph. Simple and sweet and a reminder of the plus characteristics of that person. Something like "Life is what you make it', for a lively, enthusiastic and a person with a positive outlook would be perfect.
Poetic and Musical Tribute
Poems sometimes express our feelings and thoughts very accurately. Therefore, put up verses from a poem portraying the attitude of the deceased. If you are not much into poems nor was the deceased, may be you can think of song lyrics as gravestone epitaphs. Songs form strong connection and associations. Hence if you know what kind of songs that person liked, may be you can dig them up, check the lyrics and put them as headstone inscriptions.
Simple and Sweet
A person might not be in a state of mind where he or she can think a lot and have an inscription on the gravestone. In that situation, a simple epitaph saying in 'loving memory of' or 'in the fond memory of' followed by the name of that person is good enough. That is a really simple and gets the message across that he or she is irrevocably missed and nothing can make up for it.
Likes and Dislikes
A person very close to the deceased will obviously know about that persons interests and hobbies. That can be one of the topics. Having an epitaph which talks about the person's passion - be it a sport, a creative skill or anything will be really special.
Laughter, the Best Medicine
This may sound a bit paradoxical, especially when you are talking about someone's death. But a bit of laughter and humor can always help brighten the mood and talk about happy memories of the deceased. You can have a humorous quote on the basis of what the person did his whole life. One of such examples could be on the lines of - this is for some Sir John Strange. "Here lies an honest lawyer. And that is Strange." or you can have something for a Joe Black - "Here is lies a doctor, who wore white and no black".
Finally, you can have religious verses on gravestone. These are perhaps the safest bet when you cannot think of anything else and can be a good way consoling those close to the deceased. Or you can address the relationship to the survivors on the gravestone epitaph.
All this can't help me stop thinking what a great writer has said, "The first step to eternal life, is you have to die."