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Epitaph - your last words

An Epitaph is an inscription on a tomb written to praise or describe the deceased, or draw attention to their humour or achievements.

Consider creating your own epitaph, and having it inscribed, or carved, into the headstone, and written in the book of remembrance.

You can also put it in your Lifebox, so that people can see it online, not just when they visit your grave, or where your ashes are interred.

If you don't write your own epitaph, someone else may do it, and as was once said: 'a bad epitaph is a fate worse than death'.

When you have created your epitaph, put it in you funeral wishes so that your family or executor give the stonemason the right text for your headstone.

Memorable epitaphs should be:

  • short;
  • original;
  • honest;
  • humourous (if appropriate).

Here are some that we think show the right approach:

The best is yet to come: Frank Sinatra

Everybody loves somebody sometime: Dean Martin

I told you I was ill: Spike Milligan

It was good while it lasted: Jimmy Savile

So much to do, so little done: Cecil Rhodes

I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter: Winston Churchill

She did it the hard way: Bette Davis

That was a great game of golf, fellers!: Bing Crosby

Here lies an atheist - all dressed up and no place to go: anon

If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England: Rupert Brooke

Either those curtains go or I do: Oscar Wilde

That's all, folks!: Mel Blanc

What a way to lose weight: Frank Carson

I may be gone but Rock and Roll lives on: John Belushi

I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis: Humphrey Bogart

Please keep off the grass: Peter Ustinov

Celebrities were asked for their epitaphs for a competition run by Dying Matters to raise awareness of death and dying. Here are some of the best:

With thanks to the ingraver for speling my epitarf propperly: Stephen Fry

Tell the chief whip, passers-by, that here, alack, unpaired I lie: Ann Widdecombe

So would you call THIS ‘man flu’?: Louis Theroux

One place I don’t need my lipstick: Alison Steadman

I'd live my life exactly the same again. Except three inches shorter: Stephen Merchant

Unbelievable, Jeff – I've gone!: Chris Kamara

She made a difference: Edwina Currie

Please can I try again?: Bill Oddie

Well now I have Cold Feet: Fay Ripley

Surely there’s been some mistake: Alexei Sayle

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