How do you phrase a headstone to say "We Love You"?
September 26, 2017 3:56 PM   Subscribe

My husband passed away recently and I am trying to coordinate his headstone. Basically question about how you would interpret language or any other ideas for language.

While my husband is/was definitely beloved I find the word "beloved" to be kind of trite on a headstone, like that's what I'm supposed to put there rather than it having actual meaning.

I'd like to put his name, dates, and then below that "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" as all those relationships were very important to him and he was good at all of them. But then I worry that by not putting "beloved" or something like that on it as well that someone may think he wasn't?

I realize that his family and I are really the only people who will really be paying attention so I'm probably over thinking this but since this is basically permanent I want to get it right. I also know I have lots of time, not trying to rush it, just trying to get ideas.

So would you look at that and be like, "wow I guess no one loved him"? Is there another word/phrase that you think would be good that isn't "beloved"?
posted by magnetsphere to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
First, I'm so sorry for your loss.

I would suggest looking at synonyms for cherished or beloved. You could also use much loved or deeply loved.
posted by bilabial at 4:00 PM on September 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I am so sorry for your loss. What about "deeply beloved"?
posted by tristeza at 4:00 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Best answer: If I saw a headstone with "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" I would think lots of people loved him, full stop.

I'm sorry about your husband.
posted by lyssabee at 4:02 PM on September 26, 2017 [78 favorites]


Best answer: I'm sorry for your loss. For me, simply having "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" says enough - it would never occur to me that anything was missing.
posted by btfreek at 4:07 PM on September 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Best answer: "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend"...would you look at that and be like, "wow I guess no one loved him"?

I would assume the exact opposite, that he was very important and special to his spouse, parents, siblings and friends, and that that is why those individual relationships are mentioned.

A couple thoughts: You don't have to decide this right now. You can have a simple temporary marker placed while you decide. It's ok to set this down for a few weeks or months and see how you feel later. You could also ask the company creating the marker for suggestions. I'm sure they will have some.

I'm very sorry for your loss.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 4:15 PM on September 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


Best answer: I think "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" is lovely and full of meaning.
posted by yohko at 4:15 PM on September 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


Best answer: I'm very sorry to hear about your husband.

My mum (who died 12 years ago yesterday) has "Wife, mum, grandma, sister" on her stone and a quote from a poem, so I don't think your approach reads as if he isn't loved - I agree with the comments above that the list represents lots of people who will love and mourn him. What about something like "Much missed" if you wanted to embellish it a bit?
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 4:17 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


Best answer: If you don't like the word "beloved" (as in beloved husband, son, brother, friend) perhaps "cherished"?

It's also ok to put an additional phrase like "we love you so."

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:31 PM on September 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


Best answer: "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" is a very good epitaph. The inclusion of "Friend" makes it clear that he was a lovable man.

Maybe include a second line saying simply "Sorely Missed"?

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by 256 at 4:34 PM on September 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


Best answer: If I saw a headstone with "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" I would think lots of people loved him, full stop.

Likewise. I've spent a lot of time in cemeteries lately and I always love this phrasing. I think "he loved and was loved" when I read it. I am sorry for your loss.
posted by jessamyn at 4:38 PM on September 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


Best answer: I agree that "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" is plenty and I would never assume the person was unloved! But, if you want to include that word, how about "Much Loved Husband, Son, Brother, Friend"
posted by rainbowbrite at 4:53 PM on September 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


My uncle put something like "love you always" on my aunt's stone.

You don't have to be formal and you don't have to follow anyone's rules.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:56 PM on September 26, 2017 [10 favorites]


The most memorable headstone I've ever seen read "happiness was being married to my best friend". Maybe write out a whole sentence - it'll give you more space to express your feelings.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:30 PM on September 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


What about "The Most Loved"?
posted by tafetta, darling! at 5:36 PM on September 26, 2017


I struggled with the same thing and we ended up with "Loving Father, Husband, Son" and I really like it.
posted by cda at 5:47 PM on September 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I am sorry for your loss.

I think if you want it to say "we love you", that's what it should say.
posted by windykites at 6:06 PM on September 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm so sorry for your loss. Some ideas: Loved. Adored. Inspirational. We love you. Always loved. Forever loved. Forever in our hearts.
posted by Vaike at 6:15 PM on September 26, 2017


So would you look at that and be like, "wow I guess no one loved him"?
I would never presume I knew about anybody's private relationships from their headstone, no matter what it said. I don't think you should worry about what other people will think; choose whatever message you think your husband would have wanted or whatever you think will be most meaningful and comforting to you and the other imporant people in his life.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:26 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I am so sorry for your loss.

The only epitaph that ever makes me think this person was unpopular is "will be missed" -- when (and only when) it includes the quotation marks, because they always read sarcastic to me.

I think any similar thing will probably read as deeply sincere without quotation marks...with one exception: a quote that's obviously his, like some loving thing he always said, or some passage from a source (song, literature, etc.) that was dear to his heart.

But if that doesn't suit him, or isn't to your tastes, know that anything you choose will look sober and sincere if it's in a dignified font, without sarcastic-looking quotation marks:

Husband, Son, Brother, Friend.
Beloved
Cherished
Always loving, forever loved


I wish you inspiration and comfort during this sad time, from whatever source best fits.
posted by armeowda at 6:35 PM on September 26, 2017


I think it should start, Son as that was first, then brother, because that was next, Husband, then Friend.
posted by Oyéah at 6:50 PM on September 26, 2017


I agree that Husband, Son, Brother, Friend is a very good epitaph. If you wanted to add a line below that, options might be something like Forever missed, or, Remembered with love.
posted by gudrun at 6:55 PM on September 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I see "much loved x,y,z" on headstones a bit, would that work?
posted by freethefeet at 7:08 PM on September 26, 2017


"Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" is just beautiful. It shows all the meaningful relationships that made your husband who he was. I always like seeing epitaphs like that because it gives the tiniest glimpse into who the person was. "Beloved" or "Cherished" are fine, but those words aren't as personal and unique as all the connections he had. My condolences to you. With so many relationships to list, it's clear he was deeply loved!
posted by missmary6 at 8:00 PM on September 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I concur with all of the above that "Husband, Son, Brother, Friend" is lovely -- about the best anyone can hope for in this life. I don't think you need to add anything to it.

If you're afraid of what might make someone think no one loved him, don't say "Erected by daughter-in-law", which is the sole epitaph on a relative's headstone. Name, birth and death dates, and then that lovely phrase. (I actually happen to know she was beloved by her children and grandchldren, so instead it makes me think daughter-in-law must have been a bitter piece of work, but for the many hours I've spent in cemeteries that's the only one I've ever seen that made me question the relationship between the deceased and the people they left behind.)
posted by katemonster at 10:11 PM on September 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


You don't have to use the word beloved just because it's commonly used. Much Loved Husband, Son, Brother, Friend is good, too. But I agree that Husband, Son, Brother, Friend is perfect on its own.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:09 AM on September 27, 2017


Loved as
Husband, Son, Brother, Friend



The "Loved as" is perhaps not completely necessary, but maybe it adds some of that individuality you were looking for. In any case, maybe this is the direction you were contemplating.
posted by amtho at 3:06 AM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


Husband, Son, Brother, Friend
Dearly Loved and Deeply Missed
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:16 AM on September 27, 2017


You can also just have "We love you" as a line underneath the relationships.
posted by gaspode at 7:51 AM on September 27, 2017


This would be a lot of letters, and I think it's a bit old-fashioned sounding, but this came to me:

Loved as a husband,
Adored as a son,
Respected as a brother,
Cherished as a friend.
posted by amtho at 3:23 PM on September 27, 2017


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