Grave Markers: Different Kinds
A headstone, or grave marker, marks the place where a deceased person is buried. Grave markers are the final impression a person will leave for the rest of time. Whatever is written and how it is made will impact the memory of that life, or how they have been loved by their friends and family.
Usually of a durable stone, grave markers are made out of granite or marble and inscribed with the person’s date of birth and death. Generally, an epitaph (a tribute or message that honors the departed) is added at the base of the headstone. The reason for using these materials is that the headstone will be there for an indefinite amount of time, as long as future generations choose to keep it there. It must be able to stand weathering and time. A headstone made of inferior materials will not be able to stand the time for which it is needed.
Some people choose materials that stand out within a crowd of stone grave markers. Some may choose a wooden headstone for a weathered look. Some will choose gold alloys to connote luxury, bronze for aged patinas. Grave markers are now fully customizable to fit anyone’s needs and wants.
More recently, people are going the unique route by choosing different shapes to stand out from the rows of crosses and rounded rectangles. Some may choose self-portrait sculptures for a headstone, or use something to connote their occupation or passion.
There are plenty of somewhat unusual and famous grave markers: Paul Lind’s uses Scrabble tiles to spell out his name and date of birth and death. Raymond Tse of New Jersey had a car as a headstone. Shakespeare’s shows himself holding a quill for his grave marker.
Honoring one’s life using grave markers is now a truly personal experience. But whatever is chosen, it will present the deceased to the living for all of time, so we suggest making it as accurate and personal as possible.