unusual cemeteries the other day, and I thought the following post would be a nice companion: Headstones and Epitaphs. Of course, the entire range is great. I have over 20 books on epitaphs, as well as books on headstones and monuments. As I've mentioned before, my two favorite cemeteries are Pere la Chaise outside Paris and Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. London's Hightower Cemetery is great, too
With epitaphs you usually learn the person's name, date of birth, date of death, perhaps who they are survived by or whom they're buried with. On some headstones, the epitaphs tell a story about the individual, using poems and verses. Most headstones are simple, but then there are the others! These are the ones that make you say, "What! You're kidding me?" I like headstones that tell a story.
"Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102, The Good Die Young" East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia
"Here lies Johnny Yeast, Pardon me For not rising" Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery
"She always said her feet were killing her but nobody believed her" Margaret Daniels, Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia
"Here lies an Atheist, All dressed up And no place to go" Thurmont, Maryland, cemetery
On a hanged sheep stealer: "Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp. Who lived by wool and died by hemp." Larne, Ireland
On a coroner who hung himself: "He lived And died By suicide"
On a waiter: "Here lies the body of Detlof Swenson. Waiter. God finally caught his eye. April 10, 1902"
On a watchmaker: "Here lies in horizontal position the outside case of Dear George Routleight, watchmaker, whose abilities in that line were an honor to his profession -- integrity was the mainspring, and prudence the regulator of all the actions of his life. Humane, generous, and liberal, his hand never stopped until he had relieved distress. So nicely regulated were all his movements that he never went wrong, except when set agoing by people who did not know his key; even then he was easily set right again. He had the art of disposing his time so well that the hours glided away in one continued round of pleasure and delight, till an unlucky moment put a period to his existence. He departed this life November 14, 1802, aged fifty-seven. Wound up in hopes of being taken in hand by his Maker and being thoroughly cleansed, repaired, and set agoing in the world to come." St Petrock's Church, Lyford, Devon, England
"Tears cannot restore her -- therefore I weep" New Hampshire cemetery
On an adulterous husband: "Gone, but not forgiven" Atlanta, Georgia
"See You Soon" Tulocay Cemetery -- Napa, CA
"On vacation, hold mail" Tulocay Cemetery -- Napa, CA
And, my Father's headstone:
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