Making the right choice of gravestone or headstone while you are devastated and torn for the passing away of a loved one can be difficult. It is important to choose the right headstone to place on the grave because it shows everyone how important the deceased person is to the family. It is also used to identify the grave, especially in a large gravesite. In choosing a headstone, it will be easier if you know what it is and why it is needed, and what types of headstones are available.
What is A Headstone?
A headstone is a marker placed over the grave with the inscription of the deceased person’s name, date of birth, date of death, and a personal message or a prayer from the family. It is a stone intended as a memorial stone specifically placed at the head of the grave.
What Is Written on a Headstone?
In choosing a headstone, you will need to decide what you want to write on it so that you can choose a size fit for your message. Basically, here is a list of what is written on a headstone:
- Name – You have the option to write the person’s full name or the nickname or both on the stone.
- Date of Birth – The headstone should also have the inscription of the person’s birthdate.
- Date of Death – The date of the person’s death is also important.
- Additional Info or Message – A personal message of love can be an inscription on a headstone. It could also be a verse from the Bible or a quotation or personal saying or poem for a loved one who passed away.
What are the Types of Headstone?
In choosing the right headstone, knowing what types of headstones are available is helpful. Depending on the count of letters or on the image you want to include as design, there is one that will surely match your desired style. Here are the different types of headstones for the grave:
- Upright Style
Traditional and classic, the upright style is the type of headstone that is most commonly used for the grave. An upright headstone is usually 45 inches in height and 30 inches in width. Its concrete base is usually 6 inches in depth over the grave. This type of headstone is usually made from limestone, marble, or granite. It is also available in different colors and shapes.
- Flat Style
A flat headstone is also known as a grave tablet or marker. It is also one of the traditional types and it is usually made from granite or bronze. It can be placed flat on the ground or raised and slanted on the grave. Flat headstones can be designed with various colors, materials, finishes, shapes, and sizes. Some are designed with hearts, angels, and funeral flowers.
- Kerbed Style
The kerbed style is a ledger marker type with a full-length headstone. It lies flat on the ground in 4 inches thick. This ledger marker is big enough to have spaces and rooms for personalized messages, quotations, or poems dedicated to the deceased person. The kerbed style headstone can also be combined with an upright headstone and bevel marker or slanted flat style of the headstone.
What are the Designs?
In choosing the right headstone for the grave, knowing what the available designs are available will make it easier. The headstone will look even more memorable, meaningful, and impressive in a stylish design.
Headstones nowadays are designed with the deceased person’s image or picture. This is the family’s way of remembering a loved one who has gone forever. Most headstones are designed with an image using etching or laser technology. There are also some who still use the traditional way of hand carving images on the stone.
The style and size of fonts for the prints and inscription on the headstone should be carefully selected in order to have a stylish and impressive design. The most common font style selected and used for the headstone is the Roman Style. It is important to take note that the style and size of the font selected may require a deeper cut on a specific material. In choosing a design, always ask for professional recommendations.
Available in a variety of colors, the modern headstones are more than the traditional black, grey, and white. There are headstone providers and sellers who use red, blue, and all kinds of colors. Although the cemetery does not impose specific color for the grave and headstones, assigning the color can be based on the personal preference or on symbolic meaning.
The contour design of the headstone may vary depending on the size of the grave and desired style. It adds attraction to the grave, especially if maximized for the inscription of messages and details. The stonemason can also customize a contour for the grave, in case you cannot find a shape or design that suits your style.
- Headstone for Children
There are headstones designed for children, which feature images of teddy bears, angel, ball, musical note, and other toys or objects.
- Headstone for Military Personnel
Different from the conventional headstones for civilians, those headstones for the military people have specific uniformed design containing not only the name and date of birth and death but also the branch of service. Most of these headstones were made from bronze, marble, and granite.
Most headstones last for a long while, especially when well-maintained. The lifespan of headstones may vary, however, depending on the materials used.