April 19, 2011
What words would you like carved on your tombstone?
Yesterday I received an email from Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wenstrom. They are a very lovely and artistic couple with a creative blog called In the Hands of Alchemy. In their email they shared pictures of tombstones, including the ones here.
That reminded me of a piece I wrote a few years back about having the last laugh by writing your own epitaph. I suggested that it might be a good idea to write what you want carved on your tombstone before someone writes something unflattering, like this in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies John Timothy Snow,
who died fighting for a lady’s honor.
(She wanted to keep it.)
Then there is a famous pun in Bath Abbey, England, that reads:
Here lies Ann Mann;
She lived an old maid and
She died an Old Mann.
I particularly liked the cleverness of the crossword puzzle since my son loves crossword puzzles. Wonder what he would create for himself if he had the chance. Click on the picture to see the tiles more clearly.
I can’t resist including this picture of a tombstone. The inscription reads Lawrence Yathfson. I can’t tell if that is the name of the sculpture or the person buried there. Is she lying over a man or a woman? I could imagine some men paying for such a sculpture on their own tombstone. In any case, the sculpture was done very well. The hair blends in very well with the marble of which it is a part.
If you could have a personalized sculpture, what would you want carved to remind people centuries from now about something important to you?
Personally, I don’t know what epitaph or symbol I would want carved on my memorial stone (if I even have one because I plan to be cremated). But it would be fun to imagine what I could have if I had unlimited money.
By the way, the tomb of Marilyn Strong and Jerry Wenstrom says, “Worms Rejoice, Spirits Soar.” Below their names is a quote from Keats, “Call the world a vale of soulmaking.”
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