Epitaphs - The Final Word
Almost twenty years ago, my husband and I embarked on our honeymoon. We drove up through Connecticut through Massachusetts and into Vermont all the while playing ABBA gold on our stereo. We stopped off along the way checking out roadside attractions and such. At one place a book on epitaphs caught my eye -Epitaphs to Remember by Janet Greene and I purchased it. It was a fun book. I have always loved checking out cemeteries and reading the stones. I find it interesting how people leave a final message on their graves. There is a stone in Hamilton, Ontario that gives passers by the advice to follow their dreams. I liked that one and would see it almost every time I would visit my in-laws’ grave. I saw one in a churchyard that read, “Hoping in the Resurrection”. As a Christian, that spoke to me. I’ve walked many a cemetery and I stop to read the stones to see if I can understand who the person from the information on the marker. Some of us choose to be cremated and have our cremains returned to the earth with no marker at all. Some choose a green cemetery that does not allow markers and they become part of the landscape. Those wishing to visit these graves can do so by GPS. Either way, they have chosen to leave behind a silent word. There are those who cannot afford a burial and so cannot afford a marker. I suppose there are many more of us who fall into this category than most of us would care to think about. I do not wish to convey the idea that having a marker is wrong. They give information about who you are and the times in which you lived. Markers are important for those seeking their families’ paths on earth. They can convey ideas you hold dear. Sometimes they are there to make the visitor laugh. Some stones even come with pictures of those who occupy the grave. If you are considering a marker, think about what you would like to leave behind for your family, others who might be passing by or even scholars in the future. Take sometime to consider what you would like to have as a final tangible word.
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