What’s on Your Tombstone?


A few weeks ago I asked some friends what they’d like written on their tombstone? A few lines which would encapsulate their lives.

Some came up with an answer quickly while others were at a loss for words. A few of them had already bought cemetery plots and one couple had even purchased their headstones. Upon hearing this, I wondered, “how often do they go and stand in the place where they will be buried?” It’s not a morbid question, wisdom teaches us acceptance of our own mortality is the first truth. 

An article From The Huffington Post on what it’s like to be 80 years old is interesting. Similar to standing on your own grave, a suit which allows the user to experience the challenges of old age would give a needed perspective to most people.


Several years ago I took a group of young people to visit residents of a nursing home. While we were there one of our more gregarious students stood apart from the group, looking frightened. Going over to him, I asked what was wrong and he replied in a somber tone; “I don’t want to get old.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” 
― Jean-Paul Sartre

Getting old is not an option but we can choose not to let it take us by surprise.



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Posted on November 22, 2013, in Mindfulness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Always thought that’s why hamsters and gerbils were good pets. They force you to meet death as part of life. There have been more touching hamster funerals than is ever acknowledged. But my curiosity is about those who believe in God and the topic of dying. It’s either one big Hallelujah or one big silence. Confuses me.


    • confuses me as well…i have found those who are very sure about either side of the belief haven’t given it enough thought. for me it is one step and day at a time. i cannot deny where the path has led me so i keep heading in that direction.

      wonderful post. thank you for taking the time to read and share.



  2. That’s one smart kid — tell him to pray and worship, eat healthy, exercise, get lots of rest, and work at what he loves. No one wants to be old and sickly.
    ~ Eric


  3. Perhaps death really hits us for the first time with the death of a parent or spouse. My parents had their tombstone in place years before the death of my father earlier this year, unlike his father who would not even contemplate his own demise or write a Will. I think death is preferable to the life I see many suffering through these days.


  4. I fear that I became wise too about this topic rather early in life. I watched Disney’s “The Lion King” and learned about this thing called the “circle of life.”


  5. I have nothing to write on my tombstone because I want to be cremated and my ashes scattered across the sea. As for aging, it simply happens day by day until you realize you ache a little more and your hands don’t look like you remembered them, but inside you are still far younger.


  6. thanks for sharing…greatly appreciated.



  1. Pingback: SEVEN PHILOSOPHICAL DEATHS | Thought Uncommon

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