The Epitaph


Graveyards.  I have a thing about graveyards.  Odd I know.  I grew up in a morgue.  My father was the undertaker.  Obviously, a corpse doesn’t bother me.  I used to comb the hair of the ladies just before my father closed the coffins.  We even played hide and seek in the morgue and thought nothing of laying on the shelf next to a corpse, holding a finger in the door of the fridge to prevent it from closing.  If you ever wondered, now you know what is wrong with me.

To come back to the graveyards.  As a child, I remember my parents driving into a little town and immediately head for the graveyard.  We walked among the graves reading the epitaphs and discussing the design of the tombstones.  To this day, I still do it.  My children freaked out at first, now they join me.  Small little family graveyards on a desolated piece of land are my favourite.  It fascinates me to see one generation after the other buried in the same graveyard.  I wish I had a family graveyard.  It just seems right.

The epitaphs always spark my curiosity.  Normally they say very little really.
Joe Soap
1960/01/01 – 1990/12/31
Rest in Peace

I always wonder if the family left behind really meant that rest in peace bit.  Or was it just too expensive to engrave something like “May your soul wonder the ends of the earth and may you never find rest, you evil thing”.  You never know hey.

But what will the little line between the two dates on my tomb stone one day represent?  What will remain in the hearts of the people about me long after I had gone?  Will my children remember me patiently driving mom’s taxi, or will they remember me yelling because I am late?  Will they remember the meals I cooked with love or will they remember me moping and moaning in the kitchen each night?  I can come up with a whole list of similar questions.  Point is – what will people remember me for?

What in my day to day dealing with people really has eternity value?

What will another freak with a thing for graveyards, read on my epitaph one day?


2 responses »

  1. Graveyards… and I thought I was the only crazy person on planet earth. My brother died years ago and I go and clean his grave every now and then and then I read the epitahs on the graves around his. It tends to circle out to blocks of graves. I wonder what would have happened if people wrote what they really wanted to "Here lies Michael. What an ass." Just doesn't seem to have the same impact as "Our loving son safe in Jesus' arms." Which is what is written on my brother's tombstone. I guess we can learn a lot from tombstones. If people really cared for their loved ones they tend write some special message. Some people get messages that remind their relatives of who they were like:"On an attorney’s tombstone:GoembelJohn E.1867-1946“The defense rests”Funny as can be. But what will people write about you? What I will remember about my friends are the things they did that no-one else did. Like hold my hand when I am being stuck with a needle. Or come and visit me barefoot in hospital at eleven at night after we both had to most horrific day. I hope they write something funny on for my epitah. It would not be the same if I get remembered for something really boring.


  2. Pingback: Eternity Value. Finally. | A broom for my brain...

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