Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me. –Mary Shelley, author of FRANKENSTEIN
Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me. –Emily Dickinson
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Have you given any thought to what you want on your tombstone after you’ve gone to that great big pizzeria in the sky? I wouldn’t wait until the last minute if I were you, because ye know not the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, or thereabouts), and once ye’re at the pearly gates, it’s too late. Now, it’s possible, before getting the gate, that your spirit may remain a while in the grave to consider what far-out gems of wit you might have come up with — but dream on. Afterthoughts aren’t written in stone….and if you don’t write your own epitaph, others may use the occasion to pick a bone “After you’ve gone.”
All of which brings me to SWI and its impending death. SWI, the blog for which I wrote many posts up to a few years ago, will bite the dust in November, according to its editor. Two of those remaining posts (published in early 2012) deal with real epitaphs not deserving of being left to vanish forever into the cold November ether or….wherever. Here are some of my favorites:
Here lies the body
Of poor Aunt Charlotte.
Born a virgin, died a harlot.
For 16 years
She kept her virginity
A damn long time
For this vicinity.
–DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Here lies Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.
Beneath this smooth stone
by the bone of his bone
sleeps Master John Gill;
By lies when alive
this attorney did thrive,
And now that he’s dead he lies still.
Here lies Anna Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
She always said
Her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her.
SIR JOHN STRANGE
Here lies an honest lawyer
That is Strange.
This is the grave of Mike O’Day
Who died maintaining his right of way.
His right was clear, his will was strong
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.
Beneath this stone my wife doth lie
Now she’s at rest and so am I.
JOHN BROWN, DENTIST
Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity!
John Brown is filling his last cavity.
Here lies the body of W. W.
Who never more will trouble you, trouble you.
Here lies the body of Mary Ford
Whose soul, we trust, is with the Lord;
But if for hell, she’s exchanged this life,
‘Tis better than being John Ford’s wife.
Has passed away
Than he could pay.
I’ll close with one I wish one and all could say in the end:
and Gone There.
Had a good time.