One of the great advantages of pre-needs funeral planning is that it presents you with the chance to leave behind remembrances of yourself that mean something to you. One of the greatest examples of this is the selection of the epitaph. Picking your own epitaph is an important chance to leave behind a message of love, inspiration or comfort. If you're struggling to pick the right epitaph, the suggestions below can help.
List your Priorities
The message you choose for your epitaph should speak of something deep within you, something that points to your core priorities in life. Before you begin searching for the right message on your headstone, answer these simple questions:
- What have you valued most in this life?
- Who were your most influential and important people?
- What (or who) brought you the greatest joy?
- What was your most profound moment?
- Where is your favorite place?
- What would you like people to remember most about you?
Sometimes, choosing your epitaph could be as simple as answering one of these questions. For example, small sentiments like, "She went sailing where the wind would take her" speaks both of a love of a specific activity, but also indicates love of spontaneity and adventure. This kind of epitaph leaves behind a small, enduring reminder of the life and priorities to be left behind.
Choosing from the Right Source
If answering the above questions didn't lead you to inspiration, you may have better luck choosing from another source. Make a list of your favorite books and poems, then identify which of these literature sources are the most meaningful on a personal level. Pick your favorite quotes from these sources and ask yourself if any of them belong on your headstone.
The message on your tombstone will stay behind long after your own feelings of sadness and sorrow have ended. Avoid choosing negative or scornful messages for your epitaph. If you can think of nothing positive to say, it may be better to keep your headstone simple and direct, without a specific message at all.
It Doesn't Have to Be Poetic
The phrases "Loving Husband and Father" and "Loving Wife and Mother" are extremely common choices for a reason. These simple words speak to the most important stations the deceased people held in life. The way in which you identify yourself on your headstone doesn't have to be flowery or poetic. In fact, many epitaphs read like condensed biographies. Boiled down to just a few words, these are the most important things that could be said about the people being buried.
For more tips and advice, consult with a maker of memorial grave markers or a place like An Thiel Monuments. He or she will be able to point you to sources of inspiration as you make this important decision.