Prayers for the Dead
Losing someone close is certainly a loss too big and shocking but sooner or later one has to overcome it. Once the funeral ceremony is over and you have laid your loved one at peace in the eternal home-the grave, your job still stays incomplete. The post funeral step involves placement of a headstone which not only tell the visitors how important the person was to you but also serves as a grave identifier.
What is a Headstone?
A headstone, tombstone, or gravestone is a marker, usually stone, that is placed over a grave. In most cases they have the deceased’s name, date of birth, and date of death inscribed on them, along with a personal message, or prayer.
Simply stated: A headstone is a memorial stone set at the head of a grave.
Deciding What to Write on a Headstone
Deciding what to inscribe on the headstone is a task challenging and emotional at the same time. Here are the basics which make the part and parcel of a headstone.
Name of the Deceased
The full name of the deceased is written on top of a headstone. Nickname can also be written in parentheses followed by the real name which facilitates identification and conveys love and remembrance for the deceased.
Date of Birth and Death
After the name, the date of birth and death must be present on a headstone. It marks how long your loved one lived before moving on to the other side of the veil.
Your Relationship with the deceased
Usually people mention their relationship with the deceased so as to let others feel the depth of love they have for him/her. You can begin with:
The Dearly Loved Husband
The Dearly Loved Wife
With Love We Remember
A Beloved Friend
A Devoted Brother
A Devoted Sister
Our Darling Daughter
Our Darling Son
Mentioning the above doesn’t really say much about the bonding you and your loved one were sharing. You should adorn the headstone with Biblical quotes and sayings as well as other legendary verses which relate to the characteristics of your loved one way or the other. This will suggest the visitors much about how special the deceased is to you.
With the help of family and friends, select verses from Bible that convey messages of peace, love and remembrance.
Sleep on now, and take your rest.
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.
I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…All things work together for good to them that love God.
…Be thou faith unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Personal Quotes and Sayings
You can also adorn the headstone with personal messages and quotes to express your love for the deceased.
“Here lies a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother who always cared.”
“Here lies a son, brother, husband, and father who always put his family first.”
“Life was a journey and now it’s time to rest.”
“I will stop fighting life when life stops fighting me.”
“My last ride will be to Heaven.”
“The Lord is now my caretaker.”
“Lying peacefully for eternity”
“We will cherish you always…”
“We will never forget you.”
“May you rejoice in the arms of the Lord for eternity.”
Shorts poems also add a personal touch to the headstone. You can either create a poem for your loved one yourself or extract verses from poems you like. Here’s one:
A million times we’ve needed you,
A million times we’ve cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
You never would have died.
If all the world was ours to give,
We would give it, yes, and more,
To see you coming up the steps,
And walking through the door.
To hear your voice and see your smile,
To sit and talk a while,
To be with you that same old way,
Would be our fondest day.
A heart of gold stopped beating,
Two smiling eyes closed to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.
You can also make use of general and simple inscriptions on the headstone. Some ideas are:
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal
May the journey on your next adventure be as joy-filled as your time with us. See you soon!
Don’t mourn my loss, whatever you do
My leaving brings you closer to the loved ones
I have left behind and all the joys the future holds
You taught all that knew you what courage meant. And have shown us an example in death as you did in life. God give me strength in my life without you.