3 Different Types Of Headstones And Their Meanings

What Are Headstones For? Read on to find out more about the meaning behind headstones, and also learn the different types of headstones.

Regardless of the numerous changes time has brought to every living organism; death remains a topic that’s always been hard to swallow. After all, that’s one – if not the only – absolute thing in the world. There’s no way of escaping it, whether it happens to you or someone you know.

However, death doesn’t mean the end is absolute. Because despite dying, the people left behind still managed to weave multiple meanings behind it to cope and turn death into a bittersweet idea. Some believed there’s a place somewhere that will welcome those who died and give them endless contentment. On the other hand, some are certain that the deceased will ‘return’ to the world, taking another form.

Considering how universal death is, those are only a couple of ideas that millions of people believe in. However, comforting as those are, wanting something to ‘immortalize’ them in a way could also be a coping mechanism. Although that’s typically a vague yet subjective thought, stepping foot into a cemetery might change your mind.

What Are Headstones For?

If you haven’t been to a cemetery before, the first thing you might see are those oddly shaped rocks stuck to the ground. While those have multiple names, you can simply call them headstones or grave markers, which suit them perfectly. Although they seem like nothing more than a stone slab, these headstones memorialize those who died.

Be it inscription, materials, or design, people often think heavily about what to put on these headstones. After all, every element should reflect on the memory of their loved one, whether it’s a person or a pet. Therefore, you might be stumped on where to start. Fortunately, the best way to kick off your brainstorming is by knowing the different types of headstones.

1. Upright Headstones 

Upright headstones are usually seen in a cemetery: slabs with a base holding them upright. Generally, upright headstones are made of stone, such as granite, limestone, or marble. 

Since it’s practically common at this point, upright headstones consist of different designs to give each one a sense of uniqueness.

  • Monument

To put up a monument for the deceased is not something worth shrugging off. After all, it’s not every day you get to see Italian monuments Sydney or any other grand monuments in a cemetery. Whether or not it’s as big as a small house for the grave, there’s no question how special they must’ve been for you to go the extra mile to memorialize them. 

  • Slant

Although slants are simply stones that are vertical at the back and slanted in front, that doesn’t make them any less than a monument. Using different designs or etchings, you can write anything on that stone slab, so it reflects on the person it’s named after. Furthermore, considering how they have the space for it, you could also write down the names of the deceased at the back who had close ties with them. 

This way, you can imagine the deceased isn’t that lonely anymore now that everyone’s close by.

  • Bench Headstones 

Typically found in public settings, benches are designed to act as a brief reprieve after walking a lot. And considering how vast cemeteries are, there’s no doubt you’ll be walking for a while. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

Because walking is not only great exercise, it also helps to put things into perspective. As long as you know where to look, you can see life everywhere, from the breeze brushing past to the leaves rustling. But in the middle of grief, people tend to overlook all of those. 

Considering how little aesthetics are given to it, choosing to memorialize your loved one through a bench headstone might be unseemly. However, this type of bench headstone is meant for people to rest on and appreciate how everything continues to live around them. 

So, if your loved one is the type to step back and revel in the moment, memorializing them with a bench headstone would suit them perfectly.

2. Flat Headstones

Flat headstones are exactly how you imagine them to be. Although, since they’re leveled to the ground, they might be tricky to find, especially with how long-winded some cemeteries are. But despite how they seem to be much more ‘hidden away’ than the rest, flat headstones could also be eye-catching if designed well. And you can see why from bevel headstones.

Bevel headstones and flat grave markers are practically the same to the untrained eye. However, you’ll notice they have a few-inch difference between them once you get closer. Whereas flat headstones are pressed flat on the ground, bevel headstones are slightly raised at the back, giving them some height over flat grave markers.

Although they’re more ‘lowkey’ compared to upright headstones, flat headstones can still be special in their own way. Considering that they often have plenty of space around the deceased’s name, engravings and symbols can easily be customized to reflect your loved one perfectly. Despite being unimpressive from afar, only those who willfully seek out their loved one’s flat headstone can understand the story behind each symbol carved into the marker. 

3. Double Headstones

Many people can’t help but consider death as ‘the end.’ Nothing else exists after that, which is most likely why humans strive to make the most of their lives while they still can. It might be impossible for those romantic at heart to imagine ever separating from their loved ones, even in death. Or better yet, it’s difficult for those left behind to divide them when they’ve always been together when they’re still alive. 

However, with double headstones, this issue is easily solved. As long as the cemetery allows it, your deceased loved ones can be buried next to each other. And instead of making separate tombstones, double headstones can fit two names with enough room for designs to frame them, regardless of whether they’re upright or flat. This way, you can memorialize their bond even after death.

Commemorate Your Loved One

Death has always been hard to swallow, especially if it’s still fresh in your mind. However, as much as it hurts to accept it, honoring their memory is the least you can do. Also, one way to do that is by selecting a headstone that can reflect a fraction of their personality. Therefore, you need to consider which type suits them best.

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  1. It’s nice that you mentioned how every element of the memorial stone should reflect on the memory of their loved one, whether it’s a person or a pet. I visited the cemetery last weekend and I couldn’t help but notice all the different headstones in that place, which got me a bit curious about how they were made. From what I’ve heard, it seems there are shops that specializes in making headstones too.

  2. Thanks for explaining how purchasing a headstone that showcases your loved one is a good investment. I heard that my friend is looking for ideas regarding his uncle’s future funeral plan. I think finding a funeral home that can help him with purchasing a headstone is a good idea.

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