Merriam-Webster describes epitaphs as ‘an inscription on a tomb or a grave in memory of the one buried there’. I think epitaphs go beyond that. Sometimes it even describes the love-hate relationship that is prevalent in the contemporary life of the family of the person described in the epitaph.
Given a pen to write one last (one lasting) sentence about a person who has left me, what will those scribblings be? Proposing epitaphs has put me in difficult situations. How about you? If not in ink and paper, we all might have thought of an epitaph deep in our heart for the many that has walked away from our life: our friends, our neighbours and the many faces that have left us for eternity.
Whenever I visit a cemetery, I always like to discover unique wordings that fully embody the life of the dead and the feelings of the living. Today, with a huge limitation in space for the dead (!), beautiful epitaphs are hard to discover. So, the ancient epitaphs holds good.
One of the most beautiful epitaphs that always come to my heart is that of the much-admired Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. It speaks every breath of his life: Free, Free... I am Free at last!
Take a good look at all these epitaphs on the head-stones of the dead. When a friend of mine forwarded me these epitaphs last week, I understand that the art of scribbling the dead isn’t really dead!