12 tips for the headstone inscription

12 Headstone Inscription Tips To Get It Just Right

Last Updated on June 10, 2020

Headstones are big, expensive, and permanent, so you want to get it just right. The headstone inscription can be a lengthy description or a short sentence or anything in between, but whatever length or style you want it done well.

To that end, here are 12 tips to help you get the headstone inscription just right. These tips work equally well for inscriptions on cremation urns, niche cover plates, memorial gifts, and more.

These tips are based from the classic three or four line setups:

3 line with top line:

Top Line
Name
Dates

4 line:

Top Line
Name

Dates
Epitaph

3 line with epitaph:

Name
Dates
Epitaph

The top line is often something like “In Loving Memory” or “At Rest”. The epitaph line is typically a brief quote or phrase that sums up the deceased’s life.

12 Headstone Inscription Tips

1. Choose someone to oversee the task

This will be one person in your family who can do the research, figure out what it should say, find (or negotiate!) the best price, and just get it done.

While this person should accept input from other family members, my experience working with families on cremation urn inscriptions tells me that group decisions rarely work out for everyone. If there are too many cooks in the kitchen, things go awry. Especially once revisions and changes start getting made, all bets are off.

Better to have one person in charge who will make a good job of it. As long as the name and dates are on there, it will be just fine.

2. Take your time

A headstone is a big purchase. You should never be pushed into something you don’t want, or rushed and end up forgetting something important. Or, heaven forbid, you should make a mistake on the birth or death date.

Take the time to think through what you want. The wording, the font, the style. Then, once you have everything, double-check the spelling and date from the birth certificate and also the date from the death certificate. It’s surprising how easy it is to get a birth or death date wrong, especially with all the stress surrounding the death, funeral, and burial. Take your time.

3. Keep it simple

Simple minimalism = classy and always in style. You won’t go wrong by keeping it short and sweet.

Headstones can involve so many bells and whistles, add-ons, and personalized options. The choices are really overwhelming. With so many options, it seems like you have so many ways to get it just right. But in the final tally you will find that the opposite is true. With so many options, it is just so many ways to mess it all up.

Instead, go for understated class. Name and dates for sure, and consider a brief inscription or quote. Keep the ornamentation simple; a flower or a cross will often look way better than engraved or sublimated images of dogs and kids and whatnot.

Keep it simple and you will not only keep the costs down but end up with a better and more beautiful headstone.

4. Avoid trends

Choose lettering and styles that are timeless. Serif fonts will always look good on a headstone. You can choose between all-caps and a mix of upper and lowercase (or a combination of both styles) and it will look great.

But avoid script, styled, and sans-serif fonts. These can look cool, and maybe they’ll be in style 30 years from now when the trends loop around again, but in 10, 15, or 50 years you will regret falling prey to the trend of farmhouse fonts or whatever is “in” this year.

5. Avoid humor

Yes, the deceased probably had a wonderful sense of humor. But humor is tricky; something that seems funny today might not seem quite as witty years later.

Cultures and tastes change, and the written word (especially the formal style required on headstones!) is much different than a wisecrack told in person within a given context.

It’s just too difficult to capture a sharp, fun sense humor on a headstone in a timeless way. Our advice? Skip it. Save it for the memorial scrapbooks and photo albums, and let the headstone stay simple, classy, and timeless.

6. Remember that your loved one is already unique

Personalization is the buzz word in the funeral industry right now. People are customizing their funerals more than ever, leading to crazy things like Viking sendoffs, dance parties, fireworks, and more.

That’s all fine and good. You want the memorial to reflect reality, because each person truly is unique.

But sometimes the push towards making everything unique strikes me as a bit of overcompensation. Perhaps it’s a way to work through regrets or come to terms with a difficult situation. In any event, it is perfectly acceptable to decide that the personalization of their name and dates is enough.

Remember that your loved one already is unique. There is no way that any phrase, poem, or image can capture them completely or perfectly. And that’s ok.

7. Choose a good first line

Everyone does “In Loving Memory.” That’s a classic, and it is perfectly fine. But if you are committed to keeping it simple and avoiding trends, you can still allow yourself a bit of constrained creativity.

Consider alternate opening lines, like some of these:

  • In Memoriam
  • In Remembrance
  • Happy Memories Of
  • In Fondest Memory Of
  • In Treasured Memory Of
  • Here Lies
  • In Honored Memory Of
  • In Cherished Memory Of
  • A Life Well Lived
  • At Home
  • At Rest
  • Gone Too Soon

8. Avoid clutter

In harmony with the “keep it simple” tip, it’s a good idea to avoid clutter whenever possible. For instance, rather than writing out the entire birth and death dates, some headstones are adorned with only the years.

9. Aim for emotional resonance

The descriptive line that comes after name and date is another one that can easily become cluttered. Many inscriptions are swamped with adjectives and attributes: “Loving and devoted wife of John and mother of Suzanne, Ellen, Tyler, and Nathan” etc.

Instead, choose a well-composed sentence that sums up what you are trying to say: “Her acts of kindness will be treasured.” This is the sort of thing

10. Be inspired by the classics

If you find it difficult to create your own emotionally resonant inscription, get inspired by the best. Choose a line from a poem, hymn, song, Scripture, or famous author. These are words that have already had a profound impact on many people in your generation or throughout history. Why not go with the greats?

11. Ask the headstone maker their opinion

Sure, some headstone cutters just want to quit and go home, while others will advise you to add all the costly special features. These types will try to sell you on the easiest or the most ornate options. That sort of advice is easy to spot and ignore.

But most dedicated craftsmen take pride in their work and won’t steer you wrong. Try asking them about the classiest headstone, or the most meaningful, or the most interesting. Ask what they will put on their headstone. A few creative questions directed at an expert should yield helpful and fascinating insights.

12. Think about your return visits

Try to think ahead. What headstone inscription, quote, or description of your loved one will you treasure a year from now? Five years from now? After all the fuss and bother, once the stream of frozen lasagna dries up, what will warm your heart? What will stir up the most fond memories?

Keep it simple, think about the character qualities that truly resonate, and go with your heart. Those are the words you will recognize and treasure at each return visit to the grave site.

Check out these beautiful grave markers that can be engraved with a photo of your loved one.

Headstone Inscription Examples

Most headstone inscriptions will include the name and dates.

Names. Use the decedent’s full legal name. This includes middle name(s) and any suffixes such as Jr. or III.

Sarah Marie Ellmore
Jackie James Gleason IV
Arlenis Kahlo Gutiérrez

If the decedent had a nickname, it’s ideal to place it in quotes after the first given name. For example, if Joe Smith was known to everyone as “Pops”, the traditional setup would read:

Joe “Pops” Smith

Dates. Sometimes people choose to write out “born” and “died,” but typically just the dates separated by a dash or on two lines will suffice. The traditional formula for dates includes the month spelled out followed by the date, a comma, and the year.

September 13, 1922 – August 1, 2007

Other variations on the dates:

9/13/1922 – 8/1/2007
13 Sep 1922 – 01 Aug 2007
1922 – 2007

Born: 9/13/22 Died: 8/1/07

Headstone Sentiments. Often families will add a brief quote, saying, verse, or sentiment. This can be as simple as “In Loving Memory” or “Forever Loved” above the name and dates. It can get as lengthy or detailed as you like (or can afford).

Here are a few examples of additional things to say on the headstone inscription:

Always in Our Hearts
Forever Loved, Forever Missed
Rest In Peace
In the Arms of Jesus
Gone Fishin’
Together Forever
Until We Meet Again
Loving Husband and Devoted Father
Beloved Wife, Mother, and Grandmother
Well done, good and faithful servant
The best is yet to come

For more inscription ideas, see here, here, here, here, and here.

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How to get the headstone inscription just right

55 thoughts on “12 Headstone Inscription Tips To Get It Just Right”

  1. I like that you suggest aiming for emotional resonance with a custom engraved headstone. My dad was given only two weeks to live, so we are preparing for the next steps we need to take in this process. I will keep this in mind and discuss it with my siblings while we choose our next steps.

  2. Benjamin Andrews

    I like that you suggest taking your time in the design of the headstone. My brother recently lost his little boy, so I have been trying to pick up the slack, and plan a good celebration of life and burial. I will keep this in mind while I am conferring with them about what they want on the grave marker.

  3. My grandpa recently passed away and I am in charge of picking out his headstone, so I appreciate the tips in this article. You make a great point that I should take my time and keep the message simple. I think this is a great idea because a short and clear message that is memorable matches my grandpa’s personality perfectly.

  4. I like what you said about aiming for emotional resonance on a cemetery memorial. My uncle recently passed away. I would imagine my cousins will have to think hard about what they want and find a company that provides a headstone that they would like best.

  5. Hi Patty,

    Great question! It’s really up to you. Personally, I would go with how they signed or wrote their name. If they preferred “II” or always wrote “Jr.” then go with that. Thanks!

  6. Hi Ken,
    Good question, it’s ultimately up to you. “Gone home” makes sense if they were a Christian who is “at home” with Christ now. For other faith traditions or beliefs, some people prefer the image of their loved one on a journey so they might prefer “going home.” That’s my two cents, at least. Hope this helps!
    Daniel

  7. Thanks for these tips on how to find a good headstone inscription. I agree that you want to take your time with it in order to ensure it is right. My dad passed away recently, so we’ll have to consider their inscription first.

  8. Mom is being buried with Dad. Her married last name is on the front of the stone. Dads first name and dates are on the back. Mom remarried and hyphenated her last name. How would her name go in the back?

  9. Daniel Szczesniak

    Ultimately, it would be up to her (if still living) or the family. Would she (or you) prefer to have her last name be how it was for that first part of her life, with her married name? Or does being buried with Dad honor their relationship, while the newly hyphenated name also honors her relationship with her current husband? These are important considerations to think about. However, note that most married women have their name at the time of death on the headstone (their married name). You could think of it in a similar way… she was born with one name, had a new married name, and when she died it was with her hyphenated name. So with that line of reasoning perhaps the name she had at the time of death would be best. Again, it’s ultimately up to her and/or the family. Best wishes as you think through this!

  10. My grandma passed away last night from cancer, and we’re now trying to plan the memorial. I liked your advice to choose one person in your family to take care of the headstone and to stick with classic, serif fonts. I think my mom is going to take care of it, so I’ll pass on the rest of these tips to help her when she finds a headstone service.

  11. Does a junior always take a comma
    After the name, i.e.
    John Smith, Jr. Or
    John Smith Jr.
    Thanks

  12. I have a question, if I may.
    My brother was a state Supreme Court judge. Would it be proper to inscribe his headstone :
    HON. ROBERT L. ???

  13. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi John,

    Yes, I’ve seen headstones like that for judges. I’m not sure if there is a specific protocol for state Supreme Court judges; you may want to try contacting his office because they would probably know. Hope this helps!

  14. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Ken,

    The classic style is yes, do include the comma. But I have seen inscriptions go both ways, and even without the period (i.e., John Smith Jr). These days, it really seems to be up to the family’s preference. But if you want to go the “traditional” route, then do include the comma. Thanks for asking!

  15. My dad passed away about 6 months ago followed by my mum just recently. My mum is buried on top of her mum but we have also put my dads ashes in with my mum. There is space for one person in the headstone but we would like to redo headstone with all 3 of them on it. Is there any way I can incorporate all 3 into one headstone?

  16. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Rayleen,

    Yes, I think you can. You would just need to discuss it with the headstone maker. I’ve certainly seen many couples together on a headstone along with children, so multiple people on a single headstone is certainly doable. You’d just need to ask about it at the cemetery.

  17. I would like to know is there a proper way to set up the front of a Memorial Stone with 2 last names and 3 first names for my beloved late husband of 17 yrs., myself and my boyfriend/finance (14 years)? No plans to remarry. If this was you what would you suggest? A small subtitle somewhere or none at all? Using 2 last names at top followed by all 3 full names OR 1 last @ top, 2 first names; then1 last name and 1 first? A suggestion made that I should have my maiden name in all capitals. I don’t care for the look of all caps on that. Have you ever seen this to be some lower case letters example (Geneology) when all other lettering on stone is in capitals? Thank you so much for your help.

  18. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Jill, thanks for asking your question! I think this would ultimately come down to a discussion with the headstone manufacturer. Since we don’t know the size of the headstone, or the space allotted for names, etc, it would be difficult for us to say. Ultimately, it will come down to 1) what will fit, and 2) what you want. But, for what it’s worth, here’s my advice.

    My first thought is that you should do each individual’s full name, with (space for) their birth and death dates below their name. Then you can do in smaller, subtitle-type lettering somewhere below (and I’m just guessing on the dates), Husband & Jill, Married 17 Wonderful Years (1987-2004). Then, below that, Boyfriend & Jill, Together X Wonderful Years (2006-XXXX). By providing the amount of time together, you indicate the significance of the relationship. And by including the years you were married/together, it tells the observer that these were separate and distinct relationships that you are honoring each in their own way.

    I hope this helps!

  19. Thank you for this help. A suggestion made that I should have my maiden name added in all capitals for Genealogy. Have you ever seen a maiden name to be some lower case letters ex. MARY A. (Jones) SMITH when all other lettering on stone is in capitals? Any rule of thumb or just personal visual choice?

  20. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Jill,

    I have not personally seen the lowercase maiden name like that. To go with tradition, you’d want it to be all caps or first-letter caps. But of course you are welcome to go with your own personal preference. Hope this helps!

  21. My mother recently died and we intend to inter the ashes at a different location to the rest of her family. We are able to have a headstone and have asked and been told we can include the names of the other deceased relatives but should show that their remains are not at the same site. There are five names in total any advice on how we can word it?

  22. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Jane,

    Great question! “Preceded by” (or some variation on that) followed by the names is the usual way to go.

    – Preceded in Death By
    – Preceded into Glory By
    – Joining Beloved Family in Heaven:
    – Reunited With
    – Rejoicing in Heaven With

    Hopefully that helps get you started! Any of those or similar phrases can work, whatever feels right for your family. Then list the names.

  23. Such a wonderful and helpful article. Thank you. We recently lost our 9 month old and purchased a family plot. My husband is a Jr. and I’m working on the design of the family headstone. We will have our last name across the top and each of our first and middle names below. So, my question is, if we usually write Jr. after my husbands last name, how would we write it in this case?

    Thank you for your help!

  24. Thank you so much for the suggestions, advise and examples you have given here.

    My friend, companion and wife of 32 years recently died and I am still finding it difficult to reduce her life to an 8 minute eulogy I wrote and read at the Church she last attended with one of her brothers. Every attempt to edit it down to the recommended 5 minute maximum “reduced” the eulogy to something longer still! So too, I am finding it difficult to simply state “Rest In Peace” with name and dates for the plaque on her urn and door of her niche where her cremains will be interred.

    Your site gives very useful information and avoids causing undue struggle with battling pop-up ads and other annoyances at a time when I just need to keep everything simple, not just my writing. Sincere thanks to those who contribute and do the editing.

  25. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Robbie,

    I believe the traditional way to do this is:

    Top line: LAST NAME
    Below: First Middle, Jr ~ First Middle

  26. My husband of 10-1/2 years died in January from COVID. This is our second marriage…his wife died 9 years before we married, but I was dear friends with her. When she died, he purchased two plots and had headstones set for each of them. Unfortunately, he didn’t see this article as each headstone says “Tim’s wife, Matt’s mother” then “She never paid retail.” Actually, the humor is quite poignant and I don’t have any issues with that. His says “Debbie’s husband, Matt’s father” then “He died laughing.” He was well known for his humor and the ability to make everything right with laughing.

    He will not be buried here, but I feel that the memorial still should remain. He was cremated and we have plans for distributing his ashes in various places that he loved. And by the way, my stepson calls me Mom and plans to “take him” to baseball games to continue “their tradition.”

    My question is about how to carry on the 20 years since his first wife passed? Should I consider replacing the headstone? Should I talk with the cemetery about adding a second headstone? I also told him during our marriage I was going to add a “snipe” to his headstone that says “He is not here” because I know he is in the loving arms of our Savior.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated as I discuss this with our son.

  27. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Patty,

    This is clearly a unique situation, as it is less common to have the headstones in place ahead of time and even less so when there is a later marriage involved. It sounds like you’re doing your best to honor your husband. Personally, from the little you’ve mentioned, I’d suggest either leaving it in place (since he’s not buried there anyways) or updating/adding text to the headstone as you see fit. If you’d like to include something about your marriage on the headstone, that seems fine if the son is on board. Or if you wanted to go a different direction and do a memorial stone at home in your backyard or garden, that might be another option.

  28. My mom was predeceased by my dad (her husband) and all of her siblings. Do I include “Loving wife, sister.. on her gravestone? Thank you.

  29. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Jill,

    You don’t have to, but if those things were important to her and to the family, then by all means include them!

  30. Hi
    We are burying our Mother with our Father….Mother chose the wording on the memorial after Father passed, not a lot of room left for her memorial…please could you give some suggestions what we could write, plus how to include her on the memorial….I do not like the word ‘also’ so how can we word she is buried there too?
    Thank you

  31. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Belle,

    Most frequently, the couple’s names are listed either joined by “and” or simply listed one after the other.

    Hope this helps!

  32. I’m sorry that this is somewhat off-subject. Can you help me with the type of engraving to use on Georgia grey granite? I’ve read that the V-cut lasts longest and should be pretty deep. The company we plan to hire wants to use sandblast in a panel with dark grey lithochrome. I want to make sure the lettering will last as long as possible. Should I insist on a V-cut? We are having a round upright in the shape of a full moon (not spherical, just round), 36″ high with at least 6 shape-carved roses climbing the sides. Your advice on wording was very helpful. Thank you.

  33. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Anna,

    I’m not an expert in granite, so I would point you to those who are. Ask the company you are planning to hire, and as a sounding board call around and ask 1-2 other companies (local or not, doesn’t matter) what they think. I hope this helps!

  34. I’m preparing a marker for my mother’s cremains and unsure how/whether to include her given name at birth, and three husbands, 4 children.
    Her birth name: Mary Betty Robinson
    First husband, 3 children: Mary Betty Challenger; divorced
    Second husband, 1 child: Mary Betty Williamson; divorced
    Third husband, no children: Mary Betty Johnson (at her death.)
    Mr. Johnson died before mother died.
    We never discussed her wishes for this piece.
    Thank you for your advice.

  35. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Teri,

    Great question. Ask your funeral director and/or the headstone engraver for their opinions, for sure. My suggestions would be something like:
    Mary Betty Johnson
    née Robinson
    Formerly: Challenger; Williamson

    You could also skip the “extra” last names (though they are important parts of her story!) and do either only her name at the time of death, or only her maiden name.

    You might also consider writing out her story in a few words:
    Mary Betty Johnson
    Born to Mr & Mrs Robinson, married to Mr Challenger with whom she had three children, then to Mr Williamson with whom she had one child, and finally to Mr Johnson.

    Of course you’ll want to use your own voice or what you think is best when describing it, but those are some options. Personally, I’d probably go with her final name, then say “Beloved mother of…” and list the children with THEIR last names. That would cover the Challenger and Williamson parts of her life, without getting into the divorce details.

    Hope this helps!

  36. I am adding a quote to my mom’s headstone. Do I need to add it in quotes and add the author’s name?

  37. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi PB,

    Yes, I would certainly provide correct attribution for the quote. To save on space, you can sometimes use the author’s initials or just the last name. The quotation marks are optional – most people will realize it’s a quote with the “-Author Name” attribution at the end.

  38. My husband’s first wife died and I am divorced. We feel we never truly loved our first spouses, as we love one another. We are soulmates and one another’s first true love. We were so young and naive when we first married and although we cared deeply for our first spouses at one point in time, there simply is no comparison to the love and devotion that we share for one another in our marriage.

    Is it okay to keep his first wife’s headstone minimalistic, yet tasteful, and not acknowledge the married name at all and just keep her birth name? And just mention the two children?

    My husband agrees with this, but we understand that some family will wonder why the omission of married name.

    We wish to be buried together/side-by-side at a different cemetery – we’re both of the same religion and have the rest of our lives to live out – hopefully! Our headstones will only acknowledge our marriage and the children/grandchildren.

  39. Hello,
    I am in the process of selecting wording for my dad’s gravestone. Should I be using punctuation? The cemetery came back with:
    WITH KINDESS AND LOVE HE DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO HIS FAMILY.
    ALWAYS LOVED NEVER FORGOTTEN.
    It’s in all caps and includes periods, but no commas, I feel it should either include both commas and periods, or no punctuation at all. Is no punctuation proper? What are you thoughts?

  40. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hey Anon,

    That sounds acceptable. You may want to ask those closest to her about it (if possible) – children, siblings, or parents. But since it sounds like her ex-husband is in charge of her arrangements, ultimately it will be what he or the two of you decide. It sounds like you are trying to honor her.

    However, her married life and married name were a part of her story. If she kept her married name, you may want to consider putting “First Married Maiden” name or “First Middle Married, nee Maiden”, which would recognize her name at the time of death. If she went back to her maiden name, then it seems like you should go with that, no need to mention her married name.

    Hope this helps!

  41. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Giulia,

    I completely agree – that looks like it needs one comma, or at least a dash. The first line is fine. The second line should be…

    Correct punctuation:
    ALWAYS LOVED, NEVER FORGOTTEN.

    or no punctuation:
    ALWAYS LOVED ~ NEVER FORGOTTEN

  42. What are punctuation rules for headstones? Is it the same as general grammar rules? Are periods typically used if the statement is all on one line? I’ve seen it both ways and not sure how it should be applied.
    Such as: Line 1-Faithful servant and a friend of God
    Line 2-Loving son, husband, father, and grandfather
    Should each line end with a period?
    Thanks for your help.

  43. Daniel Szczesniak

    Yes, I’ve seen it both ways too. My view is that it depends on whether you are treating the phrase as a title or as a sentence. Using your example, as a sentence it would be just like you did it, but with a period at the end:

    Line 1-Faithful servant and a friend of God.
    Line 2-Loving son, husband, father, and grandfather.

    If you were to do it as a title, you would follow title capitalization rules and not use a period:

    Line 1-Faithful Servant and a Friend of God
    Line 2-Loving Son, Husband, Father, and Grandfather

    However, I’ve seen the first example with no periods and it’s fine (especially when using italics or all-caps), because ultimately it’s up to you and your choice. But those are the tips I recommend when a customer is ordering an urn over the phone with me at our cremation urn store.

  44. My father’s name is on the gravestone as devoted husband and dearly loved father. My sister has now passed and is survived by my mother. Should names always be put in chronological order or should we leave a space for my mother’s name to be inserted. Many thanks.

  45. Daniel Szczesniak

    Great question, Tracy. I would leave a space for your mother’s name so that it is listed in order of relationship rather than by death date. So: Father, Mother, 1st Child, 2nd Child, etc. Hope this helps!

  46. I was adopted and recently meet my biological father. I am certain I want my first/birth surname mentioned on my marker. Are there rules of etiquette concerning adoption?

  47. Daniel Szczesniak

    Hi Robert,

    Great question. It comes down to what you want to say on the headstone, how you want to say it, and how much you want to spend. Typically the more words you add, the more expensive it will be, so that can be an important consideration in all this too.

    The simplest way is to treat the birth name like a maiden name. Often this looks like:
    1) First Middle Last (Birth Name)
    2) First Middle (Birth) Last
    3) First Birth Last

    Examples, in order:
    1) John Robert Smith (Jones)
    2) John Robert (Jones) Smith
    3) John Jones Smith

    Or you could go into a longer explanation below. In this case, you’d do your full name, then below write something like “Born [your birth name] to [parents] and adopted by [adoptive parents] at age…”

    This tells a bit of your life story, and (I can say from personal experience, because I like to visit cemeteries) it is always interesting to read the things people put on headstones, especially highlights from their lives.

  48. My parents organised a double grave and my father past away first over 20 years ago. My mother decided she wanted to be cremated and her ashes spread in various locations. We would like to put a memorial plaque on her her husband’s grave. Do we reference she was cremated, so people are aware she is not buried with her husband. I feel like we should? If so how do we say it?
    Regards
    Mary

  49. Hi,
    I was wondering if you had any advice or nice quotes to put on my grandmothers plaque (quite small) she is being interned with her parents as she wished.

  50. Hi Mary,

    You can if you would like to, but in my experience most people don’t. I’d suggest burying or scattering a small amount of ashes in her part of the plot, that way it would accurately portray that her remains are there. Otherwise, you could do something that hints at it, like “Though scattered far and wide, their souls are together in heaven,” or a similar sentiment.

  51. Hi there,
    Mum has now been buried with dad (who died 20 years ago) and the existing headstone (set out by mum) offers a gap for her died….aged…..to be completed. Both were grandparents but dad died before he was a great grandfather. We would like to add a plaque to acknowledge grandchildren and a great grandchild. Should the plaque say “dearly loved grandparents and great grandparents” or “dearly loved grandparents and great grandmother”? Although the later may be politically correct, posthumously both are still great grandparents right?
    Kind regards

  52. Hi Siobhan,

    Yes, I would definitely say of both “great grandparents”. Both are truly great grandparents, even if they didn’t live to see it. Hope this helps!

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