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Epitaphs for Headstones & Headstone Inscriptions

What is an Epitaph?

Epitaphs are a short text honoring a deceased person which is usually engraved on a headstone or plaque. Some epitaph wording is specified by the deceased before they passed while others are chosen by family members or close friends. Many headstone inscriptions give a brief description of the deceased family members with an expression of love and respect – for example, “In loving memory of our dearest father” or “A beloved wife of”. Nearly all epitaph words state the deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death and the relationship of the deceased to the family members gone before them with short memorial verses engraved below their inscriptions, near the bottom of the tombstone.

Types of Epitaphs

Some epitaphs are deeply profound and speak directly to the reader to warn them about their own morality, such as biblical quotes, memorial prayers or poems about death. An epitaph can also bring words of comfort to those who grieve their absence and to others they can be quiet amusing, for anyone who had a good sense of humor during their lifetime.

Epitaph examples

Epitaphs from Life Quotes

Epitaphs about Life Quotes

“I have suffered too much in this world not to hope for another” – Jean Jackues Rousseau 1712-1778

Epitaphs from Bible Quotes

Epitaphs with Bible Quotes

“For you have been my help and in the shadow of your wings, I sing for joy. My soul clings to You, Your right hand upholds me.” – Psalm 62:7-8

Epitaphs: Poems about death

Epitaphs with poems about death

“O love that wilt not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee, I give back the gift I owe, that in thine ocean depths its flow, may richer, fuller be.” – George Matheson

Epitaphs from Memorial Verse

Memorial Verse epitaphs for headstones

“Remember friend as you walk by, As you are now so once was I. As I am now you will surely be, prepare thyself to follow me.” – unknown author

Memorial poem for mother epitaphs

“While you dear mother rest and sleep, your loving memory we will always keep.” – unknown author

Epitaphs from Memorial Prayers

Memorial prayer epitaphs

“We pray you, Our Lady, Star of the sea, shine upon us in our distress on the sea of life and lead us to the ineffable joys of eternity, Amen.” – Saint Anthony

Memorial poem for Father epitaphs

“He left us quietly, his thoughts unknown, but left us a memory we are proud to own. So treasure him, Lord, In your garden of rest, for when on earth he was one of the best.”

Funny Epitaph

Funny epitaphs

“Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go! ” – unknown author