Guide to Gravestone Inscriptions

Posted on November 18, 2019 by Conner-Bowman Funeral Home under funeral home
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After a funeral at funeral homes in Roanoke, VA, the final step of the funeral process will be to create a gravestone for your loved one. Gravestones, in the last few years, have become highly customizable to reflect the life of the person who is in the grave beneath it. There are some basic guidelines to help you create the perfect gravestone to pay tribute to someone who is died.

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Most gravestones have one of the following formats. The first format consists of three lines of biographical information. The first line has the person’s surname; the second line has their first name and middle name or initial; and, the third line has their date of birth and date of death.

The second format consists of three lines that include biographical information and an epithet. The first line has the person’s full name; the second line has their date of birth and date of death; and, the third line has their epithet.

The third format consists of four lines of biographical information and an epithet. The first line has the person’s surname; the second line has their first name and middle name or initial; the third line has their date of birth and date of death; and, the fourth line has their epithet.

Spouses often get double gravestones, with the family name at the top, then each spouse’s first name and middle name or initial, followed by each spouse’s date of birth and date of death (if applicable, because only one spouse may be dead, so the surviving spouse’s date of death will be etched in later after they die). Double gravestones have more space in the middle at the bottom, so additional information, such as a marriage date, can be added.

In deciding what kind of inscription to put on a loved one’s gravestone, there are some tips that will make it easier.

Let one person in the family take care of making this happen. It should be the person who can do research, have a way with words, find the right monument maker, and get it done. This doesn’t mean that other family members can have input into what goes on the gravestone. However, once this family member has been tasked with this responsibility, they make the final decision about what will be put on the gravestone.

Another tip is to take some time to decide what kind of font you want to use, what the background of the gravestone should look like (some people have paintings or even portraits included on their gravestones), and what words and dates should be on there. Double-check everything, including spelling, date of birth, and date of death.

Although current trends have gravestones that are very busy, it’s best to go for more simple approach that will honor the memory of your loved one. Unless your loved one was the Tasmanian devil in terms of speed of their life and all the activities or things that were involved in, a busy gravestone doesn’t do justice to someone simply live their life as best they could and loved those around them without condition.

A final tip is to include something in the gravestone that strikes an emotional chord. This can be as simple, for example, is putting the words “Daddy” and “Mama” above each of your parents’ names on a double gravestone.

For more information on gravestones after funerals at funeral homes in Roanoke, VA, our compassionate and experienced staff at Conner-Bowman Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. You can come by our funeral home at 62 Virginia Market Place Dr., Rocky Mount, VA, 24151 or you can contact us today at (540) 334-5151.

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