Here Lies

You’ve got mortgage insurance and life insurance; you’ve made a living will and a regular will; you’ve signed your organ donor card and you’ve even arranged and pre-paid your funeral. You’ve done all these things because you’re a good, organized person and want to do all you can to ease the burden from your grieving nearest and dearest when the time comes.

You are so kind and thoughtful. Always thinking of others. I’ll bet you haven’t even given a moment’s thought, however, about what words of wisdom you would like to leave behind for posterity. Have you?

Yes, I’m talking about your epitaph. Those few, memorable words that will be carved onto your headstone. Those words, that along with your name and dates of birth and death, will be all that will speak for you decades from now when strangers sneak into your final resting place in the middle of the night to make-out on your grave.

Because if you leave this to others, your headstone will forever say something sappy like, “beloved wife and mother” or “swept into the arms of Jesus” or “heaven rejoices in a new angel.”  Seriously, is this how you want to be remembered?

Or would you rather be remembered like these people?

  •  Attorney John E. Goembel: The defence rests
  • Johnny Yeast: Pardon me for not rising
  • Mary Aster: Should have jay-walked a little faster
  • Spike Milligan: I told you I was sick
  • Jack Williams: He done his damnedest
  • Bonnie Anderson: I don’t want to talk about it right now

Me, I’m going to be cremated, but maybe they could write something in nice black marker, on the cardboard box that will hold my ashes. Some ideas I’m toying with:

Obviously, I need to work on them a little more. What’s your tombstone going to say?


23 responses to “Here Lies

  1. I’m giving my body to a medical school to be sliced and diced by future surgeons – so it’s moot.

    However, I’ve always liked:

    “Here lies an Atheist.
    All dressed up And no place to go.”

  2. I like “green bin acceptable” a lot. I am more concerned with what people will say at the funeral/party (lots more room to manoeuver) and have been thinking about writing my own eulogy, so no one says anything about god. I have thought that I would like someone to give everyone who shows up for the funeral/thingy, a basil leaf so they can rub it and smell it, because I think that’s what it would smell like, if you died and went to heaven. Knowing there is no heaven but still.

  3. “She died peacefully…not screaming and yelling like her passengers.” that never gets old.

    You know they say after you die your nails and hair continue to grow….but your phone calls taper off.

    My Epitaph:

    She had nothing original to say about death.

  4. “Better here than Philadelphia.” Classic. Thank you, WC Fields. 🙂

    There’s also this one: “Here lies (name), buried upside down… so the world can kiss his ass.”

    I might use that one. Depending how I’m feeling that day.

  5. Guillermo – Gone to the big BBQ in the sky!

    Jazz – Oh. Oh! If they’re going to chop you up, you could have this: “She came. She’s Slaw. She’s Compost.

    Julia – Basil does smell pretty good. I think it would be cool to write your own eulogy and then video tape yourself reading it, so they can show that at the funeral.

    Cedar –You kill me…phone calls taper off…I bet the emails will keep coming though.

    Chris – I think it will cost you a lot extra to be buried upside down. You might want to rethink that one.

    Friar – You mean like, “this is what happens when you dive off a 18 storey building”??

    Bandobras – I’m writing this down in case everyone else forgets.

  6. ‘doesn’t snore any more’

    ‘yes, i know where i hid your missing cotter pin. no, you’ll never find it.’

    ‘i will haunt the fuck out of you people’

    any of those would do, for me.

  7. I’m going to be cremated too. There was a challenge several years ago for bloggers to write their epitaph in 7 letters or less and mine was “She knew how to have fun.” I also like: This is not pancake mix.

  8. “It’ll be up soon.”

    Maybe your funniest post ever if you add in the comments on the comments – the riff on Veni, Vidi is absolutely priceless.

  9. Porter – Ya, I’m going to go with that one. I think there’s an urban myth and/or maybe it’s a story my mum told me about the war where a soldier’s ashes are shipped home in a plain paper bag and the family thought it was part of a care package and thought it was soup mix. It pays to label things correctly.

    Hallie – I like the second one. That will make people stop and think for centuries to come.

    Meanie – I don’t think you actually get to choose…if there is such a thing to begin with. How was the yard sale?

    Friar – Perfect. Not really appropriate for a blogger, but what the heck.

    Geewits – How did I miss that contest? Who won? That would have been fun to read.

    Mary – Ya think? Seriously, the comments are 75% of what give this blog interest, I think.

  10. This is not pancake mix made me chortle.

    Ummmm …. I reckon it would need to be something like…

    “Burned out and faded away…” (With a nod to Uncle Neil Young)

    Turned it up to 11. Bad idea.

    I may come back with more… I am feeling a bit sick. Help The Man if I die from this ok. He’s not as funny as he thinks he is.

  11. Nat – “burned out and faded away” – I told you that you were a rock star!

    Geewits – I can’t really think of one either. I’ll probably just go with the pancake mix one. (if anyone even knows what pancake mix is anymore when the time comes, 100 years from now.

    RR – ha!

    LoLa – Very efficient!

    Loth – Should he be thinking about stuff like that at 8??

  12. Good one XUP!

    “Noli illegitimi carborundum…”


    “Don’t let the bastards grind you down”.

    Been my motto for as long as I can remember.

    Or maybe I’ll go with:

    “Shit. I die and THEN the Leafs win the Cup!”

  13. i love your choices, and the one that said “i told you i was sick”. i don’t want anything sappy either and plan on cremation too.

    mine should be, “she put up a good fight”.