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What Should I Put on My Gravestone or Grave Marker?

Updated on August 7, 2020
Sychophantastic profile image

I'm an eclectic gal with many diverse interests. They include relationships, film, trivia, and an assortment of other things.

Although mortality and the thought of death are difficult subjects, it's never too early to plan out what will be on your gravestone. After all, whatever phrase you decide to engrave on your tombstone is likely to be around a lot longer than you were.

So, do you go funny or do you go serious? Do you try to impart some wisdom upon all who pass by your grave or do you leave them laughing.

While I don't exactly have an answer to the "funny or serious" question, I must admit I've been thinking about my own mortality lately and how I want to be remembered when I'm gone. So here are a few ideas for phrases for my tombstone.

CC-BY 3.0
CC-BY 3.0 | Source

"That seemed really short"

As I grow older, life seems to be speeding by. That is the major thought that's crossed my mind as I ponder my own mortality. Just as we start to get a handle on life and what's important, it's over. If we try to remember that life really is short, perhaps we'll live for the moment a little bit more and try to focus on what's important rather than some of the silly stuff.

CC-BY 3.0
CC-BY 3.0 | Source

"I didn't take it with me."

Accumulating wealth is a major life goal for a lot of people, particularly those of us who live in a capitalistic society like the United States. But is that the most important goal in life? Should we be spending so much time trying to make ourselves rich or well-off or comfortable or whatever? When you think about it, it really is amazing how driven by money most of us are. However, in the end, you really can't take it with you. If, instead of trying to get money, make money, win money, and accumulate stuff, most of us spent our time on enjoying life and getting others to enjoy it with us, we'd all be a lot happier. When you're dead, not much of that matters of course, but so much better to remember living life rather than regret not living it. And even though I'm not religious, remember what the Bible says about the rich man getting into heaven (hint: it's about as likely as a camel getting through the eye of a needle).

CC-BY 2.0
CC-BY 2.0 | Source

"Don't sweat the small stuff."

Despite the fact that we all know that stressing out over the little things isn't usually worth it, we all do it anyway. Yet, in the end, folks most often regret that they didn't enjoy life and take full advantage of their opportunities.

The older you get, the more you realize how quickly time goes by. Life is just so much more fun when you don't worry about small stuff, stuff that doesn't really matter. At the very least, you can worry about it, just not for very long. Some people let the little things consume them and they can't focus on the bigger picture. If I'm going to regret worrying about all the little bothersome things in my life, I'd like to at least pass along the wisdom to others that it really doesn't matter that much.

Australian - PD
Australian - PD

"I tried to make people happy."

I'm basically paraphrasing the late Roger Ebert, who I hope put something like this phrase on his tombstone. He basically said that life is about trying to make other people happy.

I'd like to put this on my tombstone, but if I'm going to do so, I've got to do some work. Something I could probably put on my tombstone right now if I kicked is "I tried to make people laugh." That's not bad, though I think "I tried to make people happy" is better. And that's not easy. Too many people in our world really do their best to take things away from people, to make them miserable, to deny them rights they should have, rather than leaving them alone to live life the way they want.

We should all aspire to trying to make people happy and do things that make them happy on a regular basis. That's a life well-lived.

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"I'm buried face down for a reason."

This is very much the opposite of what I wrote in the previous paragraph. If I decide to be buried face down, it's because I want people to kiss my ass.

I don't know what my older years are going to be like, but I hope they're happy ones. Unfortunately, we don't really treat our old people all that well. I don't really want to be that cranky old lady who everyone dislikes, but I also believe that if you are that person, there's no reason to hide from it.

"This guy to my right smells."

Though I don't believe in an afterlife, I think it would be funny to suggest to people that I'm stuck in my grave complaining about the stinky, rotting people around me. I guess that would mean I was a zombie with an acute sense of smell.

"Humor made everything better."

What's the meaning of life? That's what everyone is hoping to know when they die. Well, that's actually what people want to know well before they die. So far, in my life, there really hasn't been an instance when humor didn't make something better. Finding the humor in every day situations, in mundane things, even if the face of overwhelming sadness, is what keeps some of us from going crazy and makes life worth living.

"Zombies will rise!"

I just want people to think that there's a chance I'm coming up out of the ground at any moment as they walk by my grave. People walk around graveyards without much notice of anyone but the one they're looking for. I want to stand out (and potentially stand up).

"In retrospect, taxes weren't that bad."

So many people complain about paying taxes and there's that saying: "Only two things in life are certain: death and taxes." I'm not sure who said it, but when it comes to the day when you finally kick it, paying taxes doesn't seem like something I'll give much thought to. People should stop complaining about it.

"Oh go ahead, spit on my grave."

You've probably heard of that movie "I Spit on Your Grave". The act of spitting on a person's grave is considered an insult - disrespect to the dead. However, I'm pretty sure that once you're dead, you don't care much about what people are doing. At least if somebody is spitting on my grave, they're noticing or remembering that I was alive.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Sychophantastic


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