Tombstones: What Should You Choose?

Posted on: 31 August 2015

In Canada, 256,721 residents died in 2013/2014. Approximately 40%  of that number chose to be buried. As a result, the demand for headstones in Canada is still strong. If you are planning to be buried after your death, you can make things easier for your loved ones and display your personality by choosing your own tombstone. You do need to consider a few basics before you come to a decision. 

Headstone Types

Before you make a choice, you need to check with the administrator of your cemetery to find out what sort of headstones are allowed. They come in a variety of types, including:

  • Upright Headstone: These models have a base at the bottom and a "tablet" at the top. This is the most common type of marker currently used. 
  • Flush or Lawn-level: These markers are simple, even with the ground, and quite economical. 
  • Obelisk: This type of stone is a tall pointed column that is set on a square pedestal. These are modeled after the originals in Egypt and tend to be more elaborate than other types. 


You can also choose from a variety of materials. They include:

  • Granite: One of the most popular materials, granite is attractive, durable, and affordable. 
  • Marble: This material is also lovely and popular. However, it does tend to erode over the years. 
  • Bronze: Some cemeteries now only allow bronze markers because they are so durable and require little maintenance. 
  • Limestone: Carving this substance is easy, but it tends to erode quite quickly.


Planning what you want inscribed on your tombstone is also a good idea. In addition to your name and the dates of your birth and death, you can opt to have an epitaph. Some people choose to have something simple and inspirational such as "Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal." Other people choose Bible verses, poetry, and sometimes humorous sayings. For instance, Merv Griffin, a television host, had "I will not be right back after this message" put on his stone. Choosing your epitaph now will ensure that your headstone reflects your philosophy and personality. 

If you plan to be buried, choosing your own headstone will free your loved ones from this responsibility in a difficult time. You will also be able to help shape how people remember you. A headstone should uniquely reflect you and the life you have led. Choosing your own means having some control over your burial even when you are gone. 

For more information, contact First Call Cemetery Monuments headstones or a similar location.