Friday, June 21st, 2013

Writing Prompt – Epitaphs

Spina Monument - O Holy Redeemer Cemetery - Baltimore MDI attended a family member’s funeral on Monday.

It was not unexpected, and I’ve been thinking a lot about death in the last weeks or so. I’m the unofficial genealogist of the family, and have a collection of death memorabilia — so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that I’ve been paging through albums of tombstone photos this week.

I love tombstones.

I’ve always wanted something really cool to mark my spot in the acreage where generations of my family are buried. (It’s unfortunate that we’ve become so lazy as a society that many cemeteries are no longer allowing upright stones since they’re harder to mow around. If I want to be buried with my family, then no stone for me…)

I’ve thought long and hard about what I want my epitaph to read.

Epitaph: a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.

(You should know: most epitaphs are composed not by the deceased prior to his or her demise, but by the person who buries him. Not a rule, it’s just how it happens…)

Sadly, like a tattoo, I can’t seem to find the phrase I want to be stuck with for eternity. But I keep trying.

Long ago, pre-teen, I heard a (trite, pithy, silly) poem about death which has always stuck with me:

When I’m gone
Bury me deep
Lay two speakers
at my feet
Put some headphones
on my head
And Rock and Roll me
When I’m dead!

Yes, please! And make it heavy metal. I want to rock through eternity!

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write your own epitaph! Be known how you want to be known for eternity.
  • Write the epitaph for the characters in your WIP.
  • Create a character for a new novel or story. Start by writing the character’s epitaph. Work backwards to fill in the details of the person’s personality based on the slogan. Here is a list of famous epitaphs to give you some ideas.

If you write an epitaph, please leave it in the comments. I’d love to read them.

Good luck!