Popular epitaphs for memorial headstones

Sometimes it isn’t easy to find the words to say what it is you want to express, and that is especially true when it comes to an epitaph. It can be hard to say in just in a few short words or sentences something which sums up the person you are remembering, will stand the test of time and offer comfort to those who visit for years to come.

It’s a difficult task, made even more challenging by the swell of emotions you will no doubt be feeling at the time. To help, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular epitaphs to give you some suggestions you may wish to consider.

Traditional epitaph

Some things to remember

From the outset, it’s important to remember that with regards to an epitaph less is often more. Memorial headstones vary in size so the amount of words you can include will be dependent on the size of stone you have chosen. You may also choose to have an epitaph that reflects the setting in which the person you are remembering has been laid to rest.

Consider who it is you wish to address with the epitaph – is the person you are remembering or is it the person who is visiting the headstone?

Above all else, the epitaph should reflect the person being memorialised and that’s why lyrics from a favourite song or a phrase they used to say are very popular choices.

The most popular epitaph

For many years ‘Rest in Peace’ has been the most popular epitaph and it is easy to see why. In a very short and simple phrase it sums up what we all hope for the deceased, that they will rest, wherever that may be, in peace.


Here are some of the most popular quotes that have been used as epitaphs:

  • Irving Berlin: “The song is ended but the melody lingers on…”
  • Yates: “Step softly, a dream lies buried here.”
  • Bruce Springsteen: “Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees, I’ll wait for you. And should I fall behind, wait for me.”
  • Edvard Munch: “From my body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.”
  • Rudyard Kipling: “Till the master of all good workmen shall set us to work anew.”
  • 23rd Psalm: “Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
  • Matthew 26:45: “Sleep on now, and take your rest.”
  • 1st Epistale of John II: “This is the promise… the life everlasting.”

Remembering children

Writing an epitaph for a child is no doubt one of the hardest things that a person can do. There are lots of lovely words and phrases which can be included. These are some popular ones:

  • “She who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten.”
  • “A painter of rainbows.”
  • From Winnie the Pooh: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Help available to you

Selecting the right headstone and working out what you want to say on it can be a really difficult challenge, but here at County Stone, we are always available to help you.

Sometimes you might have an idea of what you want but can’t quite work out how to make it happen – if that’s the case then give us a call today. Our team of friendly experts will be able to assist you every step of the way.