Headstone Decision Making


If your loved one chose a headstone before passing, consider yourself very lucky and loved. This is perhaps one of the most loving and caring things a family member can do before they pass; this way, it is not left up to remaining family members to choose a headstone during what is likely the saddest, most difficult time in their lives.

When the decision is left to the family, they often feel that they must choose a headstone immediately and determine what to have inscribed.  This is really not necessary, and even if you put it off for weeks or months you will be grateful that you waited.  Why?  Because once you begin the healing process, you can think much clearer and you will make better choices, so that you have no regrets later.

Why are headstones so important?  Whether your loved one chooses traditional burial or is cremated and the ashes placed in a burial urn, a marker helps those in the future learn about their family heritage.  Most people choose to display their name, the date of birth and death, and some list their children’s names as well, along with a special prayer, poem or saying that inspires the heart.  Family genealogy is a fast growing trend, and headstones are the way that many family members do part of their research; by looking at a headstone, they can make certain they have the correct name spelling and date of birth or death.

If you are stressing about placing a headstone or memorial urn for a loved one who has recently passed, give it a bit of time.  Most importantly, think of what your loved one would have wanted.  Headstones today can be simple or elaborate, decorated in a delicate manner or stately.  Think first and foremost of your loved one and their passions in life; this will help make your decision easier when the time comes to choose the right memorial.

Read more Funeral Information by In the Light Urns


  1. //

    I like what you say about headstones being a part of the initial family genealogy. Many people forget that they can start their family history by first going to their closest relatives graves and learning about them. Having a clear and personalized headstone helps with that. Thanks for the information.

  2. //

    Thanks for the tips! My mother stated that she would like to be buried in her will, so I need to find a headstone. I’m not sure what she would like, so these tips will help me find the right one to honor her memory. I liked your tip to choose a headstone that’s decorated in a way that represents my mother’s personality. She always appreciated simplicity in life, so she would like to have a headstone with a simple design. That should make it a lot easier to pick one out before her funeral.

  3. //

    I agree that headstones are really important when you bury a loved-one. This is how your kids will remember that person, having never met them. My uncle passed away as a young man when I was very young. My only visual of him that isn’t derived from photos is that ornate slab of stone with this name on it. I appreciate all of your information on choosing the perfect headstone, this truly is an imperative task.

  4. //

    I really liked how you said, “once you begin the healing process, you can think much clearer and you will make better choices, so that you have no regrets later.” That is so true and I never thought about that. We recently had my grandpa passed away and I wasn’t too happy with what we put on the headstone. I felt like we could of put more thought into it. How much does it cost to re-do a headstone lettering or is it cheaper to just buy a new one?

  5. //

    I agree that headstones can help with family genealogy. My grandmother really enjoys researching about her family. She has made several trips to Oklahoma to visit cemeteries and take pictures of her family’s headstones. I think this has really helped her come closer to the family she has now.

  6. //

    Giving it a little bit of time is great advice when choosing a headstone. My grandfather recently passed away and my family and I have been contemplating what to engrave on his headstone. I think it is a good thing that the family all has a say in what is engraved. Hopefully, this will help bring our family closer together.

  7. //

    I never knew that you can actually put off choosing the headstone for a few weeks or months after the passing of your loved one! When my grandma died, we felt like we needed to choose a headstone before her funeral, and ended up messing up a lot in the process. It would be so nice to do it over again and take out time to choose something really special.

  8. //

    Hello Frank,

    Choosing a headstone can take some time. It is a permanent spot representing your loved one’s final resting place. Choosing a cremation urn can also be a difficult task. There are ways to help make the process go smoother like pre-planning a funeral. This way you and certain family members are better prepared when it comes to the death of a loved one. Emotions are all over the place and everyone grieves in their own way. There is no rush in choosing your loved one’s perfect headstone.

    Susan Fraser

  9. //

    Thanks for the cool read about headstones. I actually didn’t know that having a headstone could be so useful to family genealogy, especially to make sure that the spelling or date of birth and death are correct. Knowing this, I’m a bit interested to learn how to take care of these headstones over the years so that information can be used later.

  10. //

    Hello Taylor, glad you found this article useful. Its definitely important to consider taking care of the headstones to help preserve there life and the information on the stone. Always consider the type of stone too because they all differ with what types of cleaning solutions you can use to avoid damage in the long run. One thing you want to steer clear of is power washing the headstones because it will wear down the stone and inscription.

    Susan Fraser

  11. //

    I’m glad you mentioned that it isn’t necessary to inscribe the headstone for a while. I know that my family is stressing about what should go on the headstone for our grandpa. I will have to let them know that we have some time to decide. Thank you for the information!

  12. //

    Glad you found this post helpful Deb. It’s definitely good to take your time when deciding on the inscription since this will be something that will hold a spot of remembrance for decades to come.

    Susan Fraser

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