Shine On…Epitaphs

It’s not a thing that most people like to think about if they can help it.

Death, that is.

I’ve had reason to do just that a few times of late.

The other day I had an interesting conversation with Cathi, a blogging friend.

About epitaphs. You know, those words that people have engraved on their headstones.

Which led me to take a mind stroll around a cemetery.

While there I met this interesting headstone and paused to have a chat:

Hello! That’s a very interesting epitaph!

Whoa! You talkin‘ to me?

Well, yes I am. Would you rather I didn’t?

No, no, no! It’s just that no-one ever does. Most folk just point at me and laugh. Makes me feel kinda sad. I’m really quite  a fellow when you get to know me. But no-one bothers to stop and have a chat with me. I mean – I don’t smell bad or anything. In fact, I think I look pretty neat. Flowers and all. That’s almost like putting out a welcome mat.

A lot of people find cemeteries kinda creepy. Scary.  They think the ghosts come out at night. Know what I mean?

I been here a loooong time and I ain’t seen no ghosts. It’s a pretty peaceful neighbourhood. The only time anyone ever pays any attention to me now is when they bring these bunches of flowers once a year. I appreciate that. I really do. I even appreciate the tear drops although there’s not so many of them now. I was near drowned in them at first.

You know what? I think it’s nice that people notice you – and laugh. Cemeteries are pretty sad places most times. You get noticed, at least. ‘Cos what’s written on you is funny. A bit of laughter lifts the mood. That’s good in my book. It’s like a sparkling little diamond in the sky! There’s even a song about Diamonds in the Sky. Have a listen:

Hey, I never thought of it like that. Thanks! I like the thought of being a diamond. I like that song too.

And you know what else? It makes me wonder about the person whose epitaph it is. They must have had a good sense of humour. Maybe they even believed in reincarnation.

What words would you have on yours?

I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.  It’s good to have a different perspective on things. Having this chat with you has made me wonder that very thing. See? You have given me something to think about.


I’m going to meander around a bit  and have a look at a few more. See ya!!

What would your epitaph be? I rather like – She lived. She loved. Sometimes she laughed till she cried.

©  Raili Tanska

Written in response to Lady Calen’s Sandbox Challenge 7

Steps for Peace
Smile, love, laugh – lots! 






48 thoughts on “Shine On…Epitaphs

  1. People have a sense of humour even in death. I saw one once that had a recipe on the back of the tombstone with a message saying mum said she’d only give it out over her dead body.

  2. Id have to think on that for a long time. I do think about death probably more than normal. Maybe I can come up
    With an epitaph that I like. Or, I guesss it doesn’t matter bc I’m pretty certain I want to be cremated. I told my sister to put me in the grave with my mother. Or my dad, after he died. He is still alive. Or some family member. It would
    Comfort me knowing I’m with someone I love. Maybe if I ever have a husband. But maybe my epitaph could be on my obituary card. I’ll still maybe think about it, or at least find a quote that I love. Death, wow.

      1. I am a great believer that when we pass over what and where our mortal body is put is not important, it must be changing in to a butterfly from a caterpillar! I definitely do not want a burial never mind a grave stone.

      2. Intereseting. How would you have your body disposed of? I rather like the idea of turning mine into a tree. I’ve seen some videos about people doing that.

      3. Yes, it has become a money making machine and many families get sucked in by guilt or one-upmanship. Years ago on one of his trips to Finland dad returned with a sample mini cardboard coffin. True. He flew back with it and was very excited by the prospect of cheaper, more environmentally friendly burials. Back then, it wasn’t deemed to be ‘proper’. Dad was a pastor and did a lot of work with the homeless, alcoholics and disadvantaged people. I don’t know how many pauper’s funerals he conducted where he, Mum and the funeral director were the only mourners. I think some places now use cardboard coffins.

      4. I’ve heard of those , I used to sell advertising and trust me there are some very wealthy funeral directors. John has organised his funeral already and if I get any inheritance that is what will pay for mine 😬

  3. You have the ability to overcome sadness with perfect humor I don’t know how you do it but I also know you’re capable of huge empathy. If everyone were able to handle hard subjects this way we’d be less fearful.

  4. LOVE this and VERY well done, Raili. Personally, I love cemeteries. There is great peace (not just because everyone is ‘resting in Peace’ ) but because it’s usually filled with trees and flowers, and the silence is soothing. When my mom crossed over, I spend a great many years taking my father to her grave. While he sat with her, I had chance to walk among the many graves, and see the names, the dates, the families gathered together in whatever afterlife they were in. I never thought about what I want on my grave, since I will be ashes mingling with the wind, soaring with the Hawks, and other winged ones. But I do believe in reincarnation so the epitaph in the lead photo tickled me.

    And the music… most excellent!


    1. Thank you. Soaring with the hawks sounds sublime, Fim! I remember when I was on a school camp many long years ago, one of the places our teacher took us to was an old cemetery. He was a wise and gdood teacher and opened our eyes to see them in a very different light. To ponder the stories of the people who had died. There were some very sad family plots from the early days of settlement when whole families were buried within a short space of time from babes to grandparents. Life was different then and people did not live as long as we do now.

  5. I’m planning on being cremated…having my ashes mixed with Jims and the kids scattering us into the wind and ocean of our beach while the sun rises…..with that said…at this moment I’d say Id like mine to read She Lived Her Life OUT LOUD!!!! :)))))

  6. Great thought provoking post, Raili.

    When I was younger, when my first born was still in a pram, my wife and I would walk around the local cemetery (we had no car to drive anywhere) and it was so peaceful and green and not at all haunting. Friends thought us morbid. I found these words on a gravestone which have stuck with me over the years…

    ‘For he hath traced with feathered pen, pictures beyond the eyes of men.’

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