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Why Headstones are Important

Many placing flowers by a memorial headstone in the cemetery

Many placing flowers by a memorial headstone in the cemetery

When a loved one dies, it may seem as if simple things like a selecting a headstone aren’t important. However, having the right headstone accomplishes many things and can play a role in the grieving process. Below we will explain how the process of selecting a headstone or burial monument for a loved one, can play a positive role in the grieving process.

Headstone design

When you design a headstone, you take into account what was important to your loved one, as well as, what family and friends remember about that individual. Choosing a shape, color and size is a good way to represent the person to family and friends. When deciding on designs for the front, and sometimes the back, of the headstone, such as etched insignias or artwork; you are granted a moment to reflect on the life of your loved one, so that you choose meaningful images. This moment of reflection can bring one great comfort.


The epitaph or inscription that you choose for your loved ones headstone will be read by family and friend for generations to come. You should take your time and choose the words wisely, so that they might best represent the person to everyone who comes to visit the grave site. Whether it’s simply the name and date or a few words that represent that person’s relationships, those words are a focal point for those who pay their respects. And for those who are represented in those words, it’s a beautiful remembrance of their relationships.

If you choose longer passages, such as quotes or words about the life your loved one lived, it’s a great way to represent the person to everyone who sees the marker – not just friends and family members. There may be a number of things that you want remembered about your loved one, and choosing those words can ensure that they are.

Family choices

If you aren’t the only person making the decision, choosing the details of the headstone together is a great way for family members to get together and take action after the death of a loved one. It may take several sessions of decision making, but with everyone’s voice being heard, it’s a positive action that allows everyone to talk about what they loved and remember about the deceased individual. Who knows what stories may be shared, that you can all carry with you forever.

Selecting a headstone to mark a loved ones grave site and pay tribute to their life, can be an important and positive part of the grieving process. For many, the headstone is much more than just a burial marker but, also a way to ensure that a loved one is remembered for generations to come. Memorials carefully selected and crafted to be a reflection of the life of a loved one, create an atmosphere of peace, joy, and lasting memories for all those who visit.

For help designing a headstone for a loved one in the greater Washington D.C. area call Columbia Gardens Memorials at (703) 527-7774, our expert staff will be there to guide you and your loved ones through the process.


2 thoughts on “Why Headstones are Important”

  1. It’s great that this article talks about how you need to consider what is important to your loved one when you are designing a headstone so that the shape, color, and size, can successfully represent them. If you are able, it would probably be a good idea to get a love one’s input before they pass away if you’re able to, such as if they’d like a quote or image engraved on it. Letting them have their own input could help you create a custom grave plaque that is able to represent them in the way that they want to be remembered.

  2. It stood out to me when you said that the epitaph we choose needs to be meaningful because it will create a focal point for those who come to the grave to pay their respects for generations to come. My family and I are trying to plan the funeral and burial for my great aunt who passed away from a heart attack over the weekend. Thanks for helping me realize how important it is to choose a fitting message to have engraved in her monument.

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Thank you for your understanding during this time. – The Columbia Gardens Memorials Staff