Choosing a headstone


Choosing a headstone or monument is often the last port of call in funeral organisation. But once the ceremony is over, these stand as lifetime legacies to loved ones – and certainly aren’t easy to re-do. So, from perfecting your words to picking a permitted material, there’s a lot to consider.


Short but thoughtful

It’s impossible to summarise someone’s life in a few sentences and headstones barely have room for that. So how do you strike a chord as concisely as possible?


How you feel in mourning may not be the case months or even years down the line, so take time to choose your words carefully. By extension, the headstone will be around long after the funeral, so ensure it’s timeless.


A good way to achieve this is highlighting the deceased’s best qualities in life through an epitaph, so even passers-by can appreciate how your loved one lived. Be it through a poem extract, religious passage or even song lyrics, there’s a lot of choice to make one both personal to your loved one and relatable to many.


In position

With ample room for engravings and standing out from a mile off, upright headstones are undoubtedly the most popular. However, don’t write off alternatives.


Being embedded against the ground means flat headstones, for example, aren’t too prone to harsh weather or accidents. They can also often be raised at a slant to stand out.


Another option is kerbed headstones. On the surface these appear like traditional uprights but with a marked perimeter of the grave, where flowers can be planted and sculptures erected to bring greater degrees of personalisation.


What’s it made of?

From marble to limestone, it seems there’s no limit to what headstones can be made of. But make sure your choice is one permitted by the graveyard. Your Chelmsford Star Funeral Director will be able to advise you.


It’s important to know many cemeteries only allow granite, usually to maintain a certain aesthetic. Bronze, on the other hand, although incredibly resilient isn’t often accepted. So do check the resting ground’s rules and regulations.


Despite all this choice, there’s no right answer when it comes to choosing headstones. What matters is your loved one’s legacy is represented just as they would have liked.


Further information

If you have any questions about choosing a headstone, please do not hesitate to speak to one of our Chelmsford Star Funeral Directors.