Here is a vocabulary word for the day. Epitaph. What is an epitaph and why do I need to have one? According to Google, epitaph is a phrase or form of words written in memory of a person who has died, especially on a tombstone. April 6th is Plan your Epitaph Day so we thought we’d give you some help observing this day.
If you are ahead of the game and pre-planning your own funeral, your family and loved ones will be relieved to know that the words inscribed on your tombstone is what you wanted. But how do you go about deciding what words you want to be read everytime someone pays their respects to you after you pass? Some simply have the first and last name and date of birth-date of death. Do you want to have your life summed up by two dates with a dash in between? Or like a well known pastor preached, how will you live your “dash”; the time in between those two dates. Maybe you want to put a little statement that says something about the time that the dash implies.
How do people think of you in life? Are you always making everyone laugh, do you motivate people to achieve, are you always encouraging and loving. How can your personality be expressed in the words your loved ones will read on your tombstone?
There are some pretty creative epitaphs out there. One tombstone in a cemetery in Hartscombe, England read, JONATHON FIDDLE “On the 22nd of June Jonathon Fiddle went out of tune.” You surely know that Mr. Fiddle had quite a sense of humor.
Famous talk show host Merv Griffin wrote his own and it was very fitting. He wrote:
July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007
I will not be right back
Use Your Life As Inspiration
If you love to make people laugh in life, wouldn’t you love to know that your memory continues to bring joy to the ones you love? If you pride yourself on inspiring others you can continue to do that even after you are gone.
To help you decide what your epitaph will be, ask yourself these questions:
- How do I want to be remembered?
- What quote or bible verse do I say or live my life by?
- How can I express my personality through the words on the epitaph?
- What religious beliefs do I have that may influence the message?
If you can answer some of these questions it will surely lead you to writing an epitaph that is will be a fitting way to remember you.
Choose a Classic Epitaph
If you still are having trouble finding the right epitaph, here are a few classic epitaphs that can get the thought processes going:
- In loving memory
- Rest in peace
- Forever in our hearts
- Until we meet again
- Much loved
- Loved always
These are all perfectly lovely and will be suitable for any loved one. One of the many benefits of pre-planning your funeral is the ability to express yourself with more creativity if so desired. Thinking about how people will remember you after you die can be a hard thing to do. But it can be a good exercise to challenge ourselves to live a life that is worth remembering. Your spirit and personality can live on by the epitaph you choose.
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