What Should You Not Put on a Headstone 

21 May 2024

When it comes to commemorating a loved one’s life on a headstone, it’s essential to choose words and symbols that honour their memory respectfully. While the inscription on a headstone is deeply personal and varies based on cultural and religious beliefs, there are certain words and symbols that are generally considered inappropriate or offensive. Understanding what should not be put on a headstone can help ensure that the memorial is a fitting tribute to the deceased. 

Avoiding disrespect 

First and foremost, profanity or derogatory language should never be engraved on a headstone. This includes any words or phrases that may be considered offensive, vulgar or disrespectful. Using such language not only dishonours the memory of the deceased but can also offend other visitors to the gravesite. 

Similarly, any symbols or imagery that are offensive or inappropriate should be avoided. This may include symbols associated with hate groups, violence or controversial political or religious beliefs. It’s essential to consider the sensibilities of all those who may visit the gravesite and choose symbols that promote peace, love and unity. 

Being mindful of others’ feelings 

In addition to avoiding offensive language and symbols, it’s essential to be mindful of the feelings of the deceased’s family and other friends and colleagues. Certain phrases or sentiments may be deeply hurtful to those who are grieving, such as negative or judgmental statements about the deceased. Instead, focus on celebrating their life and legacy with words of love, remembrance and gratitude. 

Choosing timeless and meaningful words 

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the longevity of the inscription on the headstone. While certain trends or phrases may be popular at the time of the memorial, they may lose their meaning or relevance over time. Choosing timeless and meaningful words ensures that the memorial will continue to honour the deceased for generations to come. 

Ultimately, the inscription on a headstone should reflect the personality, beliefs and values of the deceased, as well as the sentiments of their loved ones. It’s a lasting tribute to their life and legacy and careful consideration should be given to every word and symbol that is engraved. 

When deciding what to put on a headstone, it’s important to avoid words and symbols that are inappropriate, offensive, or hurtful. Instead, focus on choosing language and imagery that honours the memory of the deceased with dignity, respect and love. By doing so, the headstone becomes a fitting tribute that brings comfort and solace to all who visit the gravesite.