Two weeks ago I posted something that falls in the "thought-provoking" category. That blog post, "the dash and the jar ," looked at the quality of the life represented by the dash between the dates of birth and death.
Today's iv is a much lighter look at this topic - epitaphs on tombstones. I have no way of knowing if they are all for real, but some of them are quite humorous. They range from puns on the name of the deceased, to insights into how the person lived or died, to insights into "those left behind" whose task or joy it was to write the epitaphs.
The following are reported to be actual epitaphs on tombstones:
Here lies Ann Mann;
She lived an old maid
And she died an old Mann.
(Bath Abbey, England)
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
Here lies Johnny Yeast.
For not rising.
(Ruidoso, New Mexico)
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June
- Jonathan Fiddle -
Went out of tune.
Here under this sod and under these trees
Is buried the body of Solomon Pease.
But here in his hole lies only his pod
His soul is shelled out and gone up to God.
Someone punned on the name of Owen Moore in England:
Than he could pay.
Underneath this pile of stones
Lies all that's left of Sally Jones
Her name was Briggs,
It was not Jones,
But Jones was used to rhyme with stones.
(Skaneateles, New York)
Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake,
Who died for peace and quietness sake
His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin',
So he sought for repose in a twelve dollar coffin.
Beneath this stone, a lump of clay
Lies Arabella Young
Who on the 21st of May
Began to hold her tongue.
Ran for sheriff, 1872
Ran for sheriff, 1876
(Dodge City, Kansas)
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
She always said her feet were killing her
but nobody believed her.
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.
Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Beneath this stone
lies Dr. John Bigelow,
an atheist all dressed up
with no place to go.
Here lies my wife,
I bid her goodbye.
She rests in peace
and now so do I.
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102
The Good Die Young.
(East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia)
Beneath this stone, this lump of clay
Lies uncle Peter Daniels,
Who too early in the month of May
Took off his winter flannels.
A widow wrote this epitaph in a Vermont cemetery:
Sacred to the memory of
my husband John Barnes
who died January 3, 1803
His comely young widow, aged 23, has
many qualifications of a good wife, and
yearns to be comforted.
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.
He called Bill Smith a liar.
She lived with her husband
50 years and died
in the confident hope
of a better life
Beloved husband of Elizabeth Jones
Rest in peace until I come
In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.
To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent
Until I know which way you went.
A popular pizza commercial asks, "What would you like on your Tombstone?" If your life were to be summed up in an epitaph, how would it read?
I doubt that the apostle Paul had a tombstone, but if I had had to write it, I think I would have just recorded what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:21, "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
That pretty well sums up Paul's life. The question is, does that sum up my life?
In a blog post in early June  I included pictures of a flower box I built. Below is a picture of what it looks like now - the zinnias and lantana are doing great, the trailing petunias are not, and the pansies and Johnny Jump-Ups ... well, they've not yet appeared.
"Don't live for anything less than God." - Dr. Drew Conley
"My greatest fear in life is that no one will remember me after I'm dead and gone." - some dead guy