Comments Off on Epitaphs

Tombstone epitaphs fall into several categories.

There are the silly ones that don’t really exist:

Perry Mason:  The defense rests
Humpty Dumpty:  “I was pushed!”
Elvis Presley:  A hunk, a hunk of rotting bones
The Pillsbury Dough Boy:  “I will rise again”

There are epitaphs that people have been assured are real, but are just urban legends:

W.C. Fields:  “On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia”  (Fields’ actual stone features just his name and dates)

Then there are authentic tombstones that feature both wry and edgy messages:

John Penny: “Reader, if cash thou art in want of any, dig 6 feet down and thou wilt find a Penny” (Wimborne, England)

Edgar Allan Poe: “Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore'”

TV host Merv Griffin: “I will not be right back after this message”

Eleanor Smith:  “Fatally burned March 21, 1870, by the explosion of a lamp filled with R.E. Danforth’s ‘Non-Explosive Burning Fluid’”

And then there are tombstone inscriptions that inspire us.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last”

George Washington Carver: “He found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world”

Ruth Bell Graham, Billy’s wife, once drove through a lengthy stretch of road construction.  There were several miles of cones, barrels, warnings, and detours.  At the very end there was a sign:  “End of construction – thank you for your patience.”

Those are the words that she requested be chiseled on her tombstone. 

As long as we are alive, God is still working on us.  That’s what makes patience such a virtue in families, workplaces, and communities. 

Ruth was furthermore convinced that for those who trust Christ, life isn’t over when it’s over. 

What’s on the other side of the grave? 

At last – an open road!