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Alternatives to Traditional Gravestones

We all plan how we would love to live. Although we do not make death wishes, death is inevitable. We may not really be prepared to depart but we can make plans to ensure we have a decent send-off. People do have their preferences and ideas of how best they would love to be laid to rest. Since in most cultures and religions the dearly departed are still held dear and in some cases, visits to the gravesite are done, it is best to have the site marked. Gravestones are commonly used as grave markers. However, it is not cast in stone that you should also use them. If you prefer not to go the usual route of having a gravestone, there are alternatives to traditional gravestones.  

Alternatives to Traditional Gravestones  

A gravestone, also known as a headstone or tombstone, is traditionally used in burials as a marker to indicate where a person has been laid to rest. It is also known as a stele. Christians, Muslims, Jewish, and people from other religions embrace the use of gravestones.  Gravestones have been commonly used over the years but now, most individuals are embracing other options. If you are looking for something unique, here are some  alternatives to traditional gravestones:

Wooden cross

Wooden crosses have been commonly used as grave markers for a long period of time.  Usually, they would bear the name of the departed one, their years of birth and death, and in most cases,  a small message to remember them by. The only disadvantage of using them is that they do not stand the test of time.  

Grave Statue

A grave statue is an alternative to gravestones and it has gained massive popularity. You can choose to have it designed as a praying cherub, sleeping angel, or as the Angel of Grief. These are just a few examples but you can get creative on how best to use a statue as a marker.

Memorial Bench

At any one time, you may have been asked the following question: ‘If you had the chance to sit someone, one who is either long gone or alive, who would you chose?’ A memorial bench is a unique alternative to a gravestone. Although they are now common in parks and cemeteries, you would have to find out if the cemetery you have chosen allows such. A memorial bench can also be placed on your personal property, at a gravesite or in the backyard. A unique addition to such include the plaque, which indicates who you should thank for the rest.


As you do your favorite walks, you may come across beautiful pebbles that you love and collect. These can then be used as a pebble arrangement on a gravesite. The pebbles can even be personalized by having them engraved. If you want people to remember you by something, you can invite them to pick a pebble.

Large Stones

While pebbles are small and thoughtful options, you can think big and go big with a large stone. It will serve as a good marker and although moving it to a gravesite may be quite some work, it will be worth it. The large stones will be able to stand the test of time and weather the elements, unlike pebbles and wooden crosses.


Although you may have reached your sunset at the end of your life,  the sun shall still rise and set. You can use a sundial as an alternative to the traditional grave markers. Sundials can tell the time of day by the position of the sun. In addition to reflecting the passage of time,  they also serve as a symbol of the cycle of life. Sundials are perfect for lovers of the outdoors and astronomy.


You may have finally gained your wings and want to leave a mark on earth. A birdbath is also a unique alternative that you can put on your gravesite. It is a beautiful piece that is a symbol of life, peace, and nature. You also have the option of personalizing it to suit your taste and preferences. 

Natural cover

If you want to consider something natural and eco-friendly, which will serve as a grave marker and be helpful to the environment, you can plant a tree. You can also have a planted bush or flowers as a marker. You may have protected your family over the years and if they sit under a tree planted on your gravesite, they will still be covered by the shade. It will also serve as a peaceful place for them.  

Leave a unique mark 

If you have lived to the fullest and have always aimed to leave a mark, you can also leave a mark on your gravestone. Be unique in all you do, even on choosing a unique alternative to traditional gravestones.  Remember, these are to choose not only as a gravesite marker but also as a celebration of life and something to remember a loved one by.

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