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Top 3 Tips For Choosing an Epitaph

By: Adam Reeson

As the calendar moves toward March, we hope that Spring is on the way along with relief from this historically horrific winter in Saskatchewan.

For families who have recently lost a loved one, part of preparing for Spring is ordering a cemetery memorial. This involves meeting with a monument dealer and deciding on the size, shape and colour of the stone as well as the design and lettering to be engraved. Choosing the lettering obviously involves the names and dates of the deceased, but most monuments also feature an epitaph – which is a phrase in memory of the deceased.

For many families (including my own) this isn’t an easy choice. I mean, how do you summarize a life in a couple of words? It can feel overwhelming and I get asked all the time to provide some guidance on this topic. To help families choose the right words for their loved one’s headstone, here are my top 3 tips for choosing an epitaph:

1. Reflect on your loved one

Think about what was important in their life, such as their career, hobbies, faith, family, achievements and civic engagement. Sitting down to talk about their life with family and friends can help you recall special memories and positive traits to help narrow down which themes are most important.

Personality is another factor to consider here. For example, if your loved one had a sense of humour, choosing something light-hearted may be appropriate as long as it is in good taste. Legendary entertainer Merv Griffin’s monument in California is a great example of this type of an epitaph.



2. Do some quick research

Although most folks are familiar with a few common epitaphs, like “Rest in Peace” or “Together Forever”, there are literally hundreds of other ideas which are worth exploring. Many websites feature epitaph examples which are sortable by category to help you sift through loving expressions, Bible verses, famous quotes and more. Follow the links below or search “sayings for headstones” on Google to get started:

3. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box

A lot of families I serve ask what other people normally do for an epitaph. There is nothing wrong with choosing an epitaph you’ve seen elsewhere in the cemetery or found online, but my advice to families is to put some thought into it before going down that route.

Coming up with something unique to that person or even a favourite expression of theirs can make it more personal. Each time you visit the cemetery, seeing something that reminds you of that person can make you smile and remember their life as opposed to being reminded of their death. That’s what we did with my Dad’s memorial (image on left) and I’m glad we did. “A businessman of integrity. A family man of love” wasn’t completely original or unique – but it was Dad and that’s all that matters.


I hope that these quick tips are helpful as you explore your options for a memorial epitaph for your loved one. For additional support, please don’t hesitate to contact me at no obligation.


For Frontier Monuments, I’m Adam Reeson.

Posted by Frontier Monuments in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on February 20, 2019

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  • "We are all so pleased with the marker. It turned out exactly how we wanted and the install looks great. Thanks again for working with us. I know it has been a bit challenging given the distance between us but the end product was spot on."
    British Columbia
  • "Adam professionally presented the products and options available. His samples were very helpful in picturing the final pillow style monument. He provided several practical suggestions with lots of detail showing his great product knowledge. He impressed me by taking our unique request and perfectly capturing it in Granite. Adam provided exceptional service and was very patient with all of my questions, thanks Adam! I highly recommend Frontier Monuments, the service and value he delivers honours the life of your loved one."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Hi Adam, Thank you for all you did for our family. We had the burial on Sunday and the stone looks amazing. It is more than I could have asked for."
  • "Adam was recommended to me by a Regina funeral home. Adam was professional, sensitive and very prompt in his communications with me. As winter settled in he needed to delay the completion of the cleaning and refused my payment offer until the job was completed. Sadly, I lost my Mother in Regina over Christmas and again I reached out to Adam for a marker for her. He was so compassionate and understanding, taking care to listen and hear what my sister and myself wanted and lead us through this process. Even though I am not in Saskatchewan and due to the present situation have no ability to be there anytime soon Adam ensured the marker was created and laid the week before Mother's Day. He then sent pictures to me. So very thoughtful. "
    British Columbia
  • "Hey Adam. Thanks for everything you did to get everything done and finished for us. Impressive job. Thanks very much."
    Nokomis, Saskatchewan
  • "My family and I went to see the marker today, it looks perfect! My family said to thank you for your fine service."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Professional, very personable. Extremely knowledgeable. Great prices and service. The marker I wanted was done to perfection. I highly recommend this company."
    Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
  • "Beautiful work... thank-you so much. Glad to have this done now. We appreciate your hard work and dedication."
    Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan
  • "I wanted a unique headstone for a unique person. I created a custom design with the guidance from Adam Reeson. This was all done via the Internet since I do not live in the province in which it was to be installed. Adam cheerfully assisted me through the process with numerous suggestions of ways to improve the appearance and to cut costs. All of my numerous questions were very quickly responded to without my feeling like I was imposing on him. The result is a unique, beautiful, and everlasting tribute of which I am very proud. Thank you Adam."
    British Columbia
  • "Thank you so much for the beautiful monument, everyone who has seen it is very impressed, as we are. Our Daughter was very impressed with you and your crew and the job you did. Thank you"
    Norquay, Saskatchewan
  • "Our experience with Frontier Monuments and Adam was exceptional in a difficult time for the family. Adam was prompt and professional and communicated with me every step of the way. We asked for a bit of a customized monument and Adam worked with me without hesitation to get the look we wanted. The end result is exactly what we hoped for. I recommend Adam and his company without hesitation."
    Emerald Park, Saskatchewan
  • "A pleasure to deal with, quote was very well priced and the job was done to perfection and on time. A fitting memorial to my Canadian relatives. Adam made time to meet with us when we were in Regina so we could personally thank him for a job well done. We would gladly endorse this business. "
  • "I was able to stop by the cemetery and see the monument. It looks great! I am very happy with it and I'm sure the rest of the family members will be too. Thank you for all you're assistance in helping with this step. I will be sure to recommend you to others."
    Estevan, Saskatchewan
  • "Adam was excellent during this process, lots of communication so we always knew where things were at. He did a beautiful job for our family"
    Broadview, Saskatchewan
  • "Adam at Frontier Monuments was very good to deal with. He met with us to discuss possibilities and he made knowledgeable and helpful suggestions. He was sensitive to our needs and all information given was clearly explained. The memorial plaque was prepared and installed on time and met all of our expectations--it was beautifully done."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "You were a pleasure to work with Adam and we thank you for everything you did for us, especially being a province away and doing everything via phone and email, much appreciated!"
    Red Deer, Alberta
  • "Thank you very much for the great work and service that you provided for our family. I will certainly recommend you to anybody I know that needs your services."
    Regina, Saskatchewan
  • "Through this tough process, Adam was nothing but kind and caring. This stuff is not easy but Adam and his team took care of everything and made life a little easier for my family. I definitely recommend Frontier Monuments."
    Raymore, Saskatchewan

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