Whoever said, "You can't take it with you" was obviously not referring to a sense of humor ...
Here is a list of actual epitaphs from departed souls who clearly had more to say than the time to say it, or from their next of kin, who wanted to be sure they literally had the last word:
On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
The Good Die Young.
In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767
In a Ribbesford, England, cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread
And the Lord sent them manna,
Old clerk Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.
Playing with names in a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:
For not rising.
Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas
Instead of the brake.
In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.
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.
A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.
Someone determined to be anonymous in Stowe, Vermont:
I was somebody.
Who, is no business
Lester Moore was a Wells Fargo station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880's. He's buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:
Here lies Lester Moore
Four slugs from a .44
No Les No More.
In a Georgia cemetery:
"I told you I was sick!"
John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England, cemetery:
Reader if cash thou art
In want of any
Dig 4 feet deep
And thou wilt find a Penny.
On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:
She always said
her feet were killing her
but nobody believed her.
In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June
- Jonathan Fiddle -
Went out of tune.
Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont has an epitaph that sounds like something from a Three Stooges movie:
Here lies the body of our Anna
Done to death by a banana
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go.
Here's more fun with names, this time featuring Owen Moore in Battersea, London, England:
Than he could pay.
Someone in Winslow, Maine didn't like Mr Wood:
In Memory of Beza Wood
Departed this life
Nov. 2, 1837
Aged 45 yrs.
Here lies one Wood
Enclosed in wood
The outer wood
Is very good:
We cannot praise
On a grave from the 1880's in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod:
Pease shelled out and went to God.
The grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania is almost a consumer tip:
Who was fatally burned
March 21, 1870
by the explosion of a lamp
filled with "R.E. Danforth's
Non-Explosive Burning Fluid"
Here's Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903--Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
In a Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.
But does he make house calls? Dr Fred Roberts, Brookland, Arkansas:
Office now upstairs
About The Author
J Square Humboldt is the featured columnist at the Longer Life website, which is dedicated to providing information, strategies, analysis and commentary designed to improve the quality of living. His page can be found at http://longerlifegroup.com/cyberiter.html and his observations are published three times per week.