Ten individuals share the profound, humorous and thought-provoking messages they'd choose for their own epitaphs after they pass away.
Selecting what appears on one's epitaph is something that requires some thought. It serves as a reflection of one's life, values and legacy. It need not always be very serious, but should give the reader an idea about the individual in a unique way. So it becomes crucial to put some effort into choosing the right words to put on one's epitaph as it can influence how people remember a person. u/YourAverageGuy3 asked the community, "If you could write on your own tombstone, what would it say?" Here are 10 of the most thoughtful and funny answers that people gave.
I’m always waiting for my wife so we’ve agreed that if I die first I’m having “I’m waiting for you” on my headstone. It means something to us but will seem especially creepy in 100 years time. u/NotoriousREV. That's kinda sweet and creepy at the same time. u/Temporary-Leather905. I laughed so hard at this that I snorted. Not because of you dying but because of the image that was put in my head. In 100 years from now when some kid or someone walks by at night, fog, spooky crow noises and then turns and reads a creepy ass tombstone that says 'I'm waiting for you' and the kid/man runs out screaming. u/BrokenCookiez
"Stranger pause as you pass by. As now you are, so once was I. As I am now, so you must be. Prepare for death and follow me." Saw this on a tombstone from the 1800’s 30 years ago and never forgot the poem. u/ThriftyBros. Saw this poem over 40 years ago in an old cemetery in Illinois! Like you, I have never forgotten it. Only on the one I saw, the first line was “Behold ye strangers passing by…” u/SouthSideSurvivor. I actually did some research on the poem and the origins aren't too clear, unfortunately. It seems as though the oldest version found is the following: "Whoso thou be that passeth by; Where these corps entombed lie: Understand what I shall say, as at this time speak I may. Such as thou art, sometime was I; Such as I am, such shalt thou be." It was found on a tombstone from the 1300s (I do have to add that this is a translation). u/Rivemliz
"I tried." u/Qfn4g02016. Bukowski’s tombstone says "Don’t try." u/Drunken_pizza. Ok. For the past two weeks, I've had this Bukowski r***** coming at me from all angles. In fact, in that span of time, I learned that is indeed his epitaph. But what exactly is the universe/algorithm trying to tell me? It's kinda weird. I've never been the least bit interested in Charles Bukowski, but I might start looking into his work. Charles Bukowski was an entertaining, insightful and excellent author. He had an incredible talent for writing in the simplest vocabulary with as few words as possible. "An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way." I remind myself of this when I find my emails verbose. u/boof_diddley
Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. Poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye. u/doseofsense. Let’s hope that the tombstones don’t have character limits, if they don’t then: Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush. I am the swift uplifting rush. Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die. u/CooljiGD
"Only the living can experience death." It's the final line to a thing I wrote down a few years ago when someone asked me if I thought anything came after death. What do you think happens when we die? Nothing. We lack concept, consciousness. No good, no evil, no grand scheme or big reveal. Not even nothing. An incomprehensible lack of nothing. To "experience death" is an impossibility, as to experience something, it requires a beginning and an end. Since there is no end to something that doesn't exist, the inherent lack of nothing is death itself. In dying, you cannot experience death. The only way one can is by knowing someone who has died. You experience their end, and that experience affects you. Only the living can experience death. u/ExcessivelyGayParrot
While I'm alive I'd start spreading a rumor that I'm loaded and I'm really into treasure hunts, how I have a secret treasure out there and put a cryptic puzzle on my tombstone that would either be impossible to solve (just a bunch of gibberish with no answer) or a real puzzle whose answer leads you to a rickroll. u/Potential-Oil-7005. Gibberish would get you on the news, History Channel, etc. within a few months/years. You would never be forgotten lol. u/D048
You see my tombstone. It’s just a blank slate. Nothing written. But at a second glance, you notice a tiny little scrawl, way up in the corner. You lean in closer, and the scrawl appears to be patterned scratches, closer still, your eyes are able to make out that those scratches form small letters. You lean in as close as you can, the cold stone nearly touching your face, and you squint and see words written there. Squinting harder still and pressing your face against the stone, you finally are able to read: “Well aren’t you a nosy little f***?” u/Jalopy_Junkie
I would say something ominous or chaotic but genuinely when I pass, I want a willow tree or some type of tree to be planted there and I want on my tombstone or a sign that says something like “Stay as long as you need, I’m here to listen.” Because I want anyone, family or not, to be able to come to my grave and just vent, talk into the void, cry, anything they need. It’s too often that we feel the need to shut down and hide our emotions and if my death can help people open up about their own feelings then I’ll have lived to be of good purpose. I understand people may abuse that in the sense of destroying the tree or carving into it or something and I don’t know, I’ll tell my family to just suggest it to their friends or if they see someone having a hard time and maybe not share it online as that will probably contribute to people going there to destroy it. I want to become a place where people can feel safe to express themselves and say whatever is on their mind whether they say it in a way we can understand or not just babbling I will still hear them. u/deadXbitxh
"All that is gold does not glitter. Not all who wander are lost." Although it was made for King Elessar, I've always taken these words as reinsurance for myself. Because I truly think that not everything is as good as it looks, or good just because it seems good. I truly believe that not all who wander are lost and it took me years of starting to get my life back together and show people around me that although I wander a lot, I'm not lost. u/lucalsrc
They can write whatever. I just want one line at the bottom. "I Love You." Mostly for my kids but for anyone else around who is hurting. I know I didn't hear it nearly enough when I was younger. Unfortunately, it took me having kids and being in my 30s to truly understand not just saying it, but meaning it. My kids haven't gone a day on this planet without hearing me tell them I love you. I'd like that not to change when I'm gone, now they have an option for me to say it forever. u/Tamagotchi41