Whether you like it or not, we all get there sooner or later. Out time here is limited, despite out forgetting this all the time. Nevertheless, here are some memorably funny or deep or sad epitaphs found on gravestones all around the world. This is all that’s left of them, eventually, apart from memories or photos for the 20th century’s deceased. So here they are: 22 famous epitaphs that will make you fall in love with their authors. This one is for your followers to see and remember.
For those of you who don’t know it, according to good young Wikipedia, an epitaph is “a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial.”
Old historical epitaphs
Man has always had his humour at hand. And it’s just so admirable to see a grave message from the 18th – 19th century containing so much wit.
Here lies Ann Mann/ Who lived an old maid/But died an old Mann. (1767) Here lies my wife/ Here lies she/Hallelujah! Hallelujee! (In a Leeds graveyard, 1861)
Here lies my wife/ I bid her goodbye/ She rests in peace/ and now so do I. (Unknown source)
Sacred to the memory of my husband John Barnes who died January 3, 1803/ His comely young widow, aged 23, has many qualifications of a good wife, and yearns to be comforted. (A cemetery in Vermont)
Reader if cash thou art/ In want of any/ Dig four feet deep/ And thou wilt find a Penny. (John Penny’s epitaph in Wimborne, England)
I told you I was sick! (A cemetery somewhere in Georgia)
Here lies one Wood/ Enclosed in wood/ One Wood / Within another. / The outer wood / Is very good: We cannot praise / The other. (Winslow, Maine)
Come blooming youths, as you pass by, / And on these lines do cast an eye. / As you are now, so once was I; / As I am now, so must you be; / Prepare for death and follow me. (Effie Jean Robinson, Waynesville, North Carolina) – This one is cynical indeed. That’s one someone felt free to add the following: To follow you / I am not content, / How do I know / Which way you went.
Hooray my brave boys / Lets rejoice at his fall. / For if he had lived / He would have buried us all. (On a gravedigger’s stone)
Here lies / Johnny Yeast. / Pardon me / For not rising. (John Yeast, Ruidoso, New Mexico)
Here lies an Atheist / All dressed up / And no place to go. (In Thurmont, Maryland)
Epitaphs of famous people:
For one who would not be buried in Westminster Abbey: / Heroes and Kings! / your distance keep; / In peace let one poor Poet sleep, / Who never flatter’d Folks like you: / Let Horace blush, and Virgil too. (Alexander Pope (1688-1744)).
My Jesus, mercy (Al Capone)
The best is yet to come. (Frank Sinatra)
That’s all, folks! (Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Porky Pig)
I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. (Winston Churchill)
She did it the hard way (Bette Davis)
Hey Ram (Meaning Oh, God, Mahatma Ghandi)
Truth to your own spirit (Jim Morrison)
Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Never born, / Never died: visited the planet earth between December 11, 1931 and, January 19, 1990. (Osho)
I told you so, you damned fools (H. G. Wells)
All these people did leave something behind. They reflect a somewhat interesting and positive attitude towards death, turning it into something less scary, at least from my point of view.