April 6: Plan Your Epitaph Day

Did you know that April 6 is national Plan Your Epitaph Day?

An epitaph is a brief inscription that appears on a grave to memorialize the deceased, usually written by loved ones after the person has died. In many ways your epitaph is the last opportunity to say how you want to be remembered; why let someone else say it for you? Imagine 50 or even 100 years from now, a passerby strolls past your final resting place, what do you want to tell them about yourself? 

If you need some inspiration, here are a few unconventional examples:

“I will not be right back after this message.”

-Merv Griffin (1925-2007)
Interred at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles, CA.

 “Lost life by stab in falling on ink eraser, evading six young women trying to give him birthday kisses in office Metropolitan Life building.”

-George Spencer Millet (1894-1909)
Interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY

“Here lies deposited the body of James Leeson who departed this life on the 28th day of September 1794 aged 38 years.”

-James Leeson (1756-1794)
Interred at Trinity Churchyard in New York City.

Photo by Allison C. Meier

What makes this epitaph unique is the cryptogram that appears at the top of the stone. Once deciphered the message warns, “Remember Death.”