In case you need to know, November 2 is “Plan Your Epitaph” Day — founded in 1995 as an opportunity to take control of our final words that will stand for as long as our gravestones stand.
Worldwide Weird Holidays claims that …
… a tombstone is your last chance to say goodbye, crack a joke, be profound or otherwise make cemetery visitors imagine you were cool and wish they’d known you before they move on to visit their Nana’s weed-covered grave.
To get your creative juices flowing, here are some famous last engraved-on-stone words:
Merv Griffin, talk show host: “I will not be right back after this message.”
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield: “There goes the neighborhood.”
Someone named Robert Clay Allison: “He never killed a man that did not need killing.”
Here’s another way to look at “Plan Your Epitaph” Day: What if thinking about our epitaph provides an opportunity to evaluate how we want to live our remaining days on earth?
What would we want to be remembered for?
Several years ago, I struggled through a period of time that felt like an active campaign to be rid of me from a place of employment that I loved — working with teenagers from around the globe. And in defending my character, I was less than gracious. Too many of my words were spoken in frustration. And anger.
In hindsight, the situation seems so small in comparison to the significant things that have happened since.
And I regret that I wasn’t more kind and gracious under fire.
Because of what I learned through that experience, maybe what I’d want my epitaph to read is something like this: “She had no regrets about every opportunity she took to be kind and gracious.”
What about you? This is a challenge to write your own gravestone message in honor of “Plan Your Epitaph” Day. What would you like your final words to be?