What words do you want to leave behind? Not like telling people you love them but literally, in stone, resting for (presumably) all eternity over your bones – what thought do you want to give people when they walk past what’s left of you? Here’s 25 of the most beautiful epitaphs to inspire you while you’re still here.
"HE KEPT THE PAPER STRAIGHT" - A.M. Rosenthal, New York Times columnist for over 55 years
"Cast a cold Eye On Life, On Death. Horseman, pass by!" - W. B. Yeats, famous Irish Poet.
"I HAD A LOVER'S QUARREL WITH THE WORLD" - Robert Lee Frost, famed American Poet
"Beneath these walls are deposited the body of Mrs. Betty Stiven and her child. She was the beloved wife of Alex B Stiven. To the end of his days will deplore her death, which happened upon the 25th November 1783 in the 23rd year of her age. What was remarkable of her, she was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it except by her kind indulgence to him."
"The passive master lent his hand, To the vast Soul which o'er him planned." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, famed American Poet
"In testimony of their Respect For The Patriot of incorruptible Integrity, The Soldier of approved Valour The Statesman of consummate Wisdom; Whose Talents and Virtues will be admired By Grateful Posterity Long after this Marble shall have mouldered into Dust" - Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father of the United States
"...If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...." - Charles Lindbergh, Aviator
"And alien tears will fill for him Pity's long-broken urn, For his mourners will be outcast men, And outcasts always mourn." - Oscar Wilde,
"He was only a cat, but he was human enough to be a great comfort in hours of loneliness and pain" - Dewey, a much beloved companion
"ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ (translation meaning 'according to his own daemon')" - Jim Morrison, Singer, Songwriter & Poet
"SO WE BEAT ON, BOATS AGAINST THE CURRENT, BORN BACK CEASELESSLY INTO THE PAST" - F. Scott Fitzgerald (Authour) and his wife, Zelda
"Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you rached the mountain top, then you shall beging to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limb, then shall you truly dance " - Heath Ledger's memorial, taken from "The Prophet" by Kahil Gibran
The epitaphs on this list are beautifully written. But if you want to see some of the funniest epitaphs ever, check out this list.
"The soul which God in his image created, is incorruptible, can not be lost. Our life on earth is the seed of eternity, Our body dies, but the soul can not die!" - Hans Christian Andersen, famous writer, from his poem The Old Man
"Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five time more. Perhaps not even that. How many times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." - Brandon Bruce Lee, son of Bruce Lee. Quote is by writer Paul Bowles
"Free at last, Free at least, Thank God Almighty I'm Free at last!" - Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something form yesterday." - John Wayne, American Actor
"The story of life is quicker than the wink of an eye. The story of love is hello and goodbye Until we meet again" - Jimi Hendrix
"MEN MUST ENDURE THEIR GOING HENCE" - Clive Staples Lewis, Author, atop the grave he shares with his brother, Warren Hamilton Lewis. Quote from King Lear.
"This Grave contains all that was Mortal, of a Young English Poet, Who, on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water." - John Keats, English Poet
"I KNOW IN MY HEART THAT MAN IS GOOD; THAT WHAT IS RIGHT WILL ALWAYS EVENTUALLY TRIUMPH; AND THAT THERE IS A PURPOSE AND WORTH TO EACH AND EVERY LIFE" - Ronald Wilson Reagan, 40th President of The United States of America
"I AM A SONG, I LIVE TO BE SUNG, I SING WITH ALL MY HEART!" - John Denver, Singer/Songwriter
"EVEN AMIDST FIERCE FLAMES THE GOLDEN LOTUS CAN BE PLANTED" - Sylvia Plath (Hughes), Author
"Thank you for all the love you gave me. There could be no one stronger. Thank you for the many beautiful songs. They will live long and longer." - Hank Williams, Singer & Songwriter
"Shed not for her the bitter tear Nor give the heart to vain regret Tis but the casket that lies here The gem that filled it sparkles yet" - Belle Star, American Outlaw "Queen of the Bandits"
"Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones." - William Shakespeare, most famous Playwright in History
Photos: 25. Anthony22 at en.wikipedia, 24. Andrew Balet via wikimedia commons, 23. Mauro Lanari via wikimedia commons, 22. findagrave.com (fair use), 21. User:victorgrigas via wikimedia commons, 20. slgckgc via flickr, 19. aviation-history.com (fair use), 18. Elizabeyth via flickr, 17. Paul Koudounaris on instagram via imgur 16. SuzanneGW via wikimedia commons, 13. Stefano Bolognini via wikimedia commons, 12. Joe Mabel via wikimedia commons, 10. the-great-silence.blogspot (fair use) 8. headington.org.uk (fair use) 7. Piero Montesacro via wikimedia commons, 4. Jennifer Boyer via flickr, 2. findagrave.com (fair use) 1. david_jones via flickr