Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why and How to Write Your Epitaph on All Soul's Day

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Actions
"Wit is the epitaph of an emotion." 
Frederich Nietzsche

Tragically, recent current events remind us that life is fragile, fleeting, and not forever. The world is offering sympathy and condolences for lives lost in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting; the Yosemite death of an Indian couple falling from a cliff; Ntozake Shange of "For Colored Girls" fame dead at 70 and; the list continues with the recent names of loved ones and pets--too many to add here.

While prayers must continue to disavow hate by being love, these events must also serve as a strong reminder to get your house in order--to make certain your wishes are legally listed in a will or living will; that instructions about your gifts to others and medical wishes are documented; your passwords to bank accounts and social media sites are compiled and; your epitaph is written.

For anyone--including writers, authors, and creatives--this may be one of your toughest assignments to embrace: 

November 1, Plan Your Epitaph Day. 
It also coincides with All Souls' Day 
"Day of the Dead."

According to Google Dictionary, "This is a phrase or statement written in memory of a person who has died, especially as an inscription on a tombstone." It can also be a short poem that’s serious, witty, or humorous!

What one or two lines would you want on your epitaph? 

My dad, an Air Force pilot and veteran, left his earthly flight suit on October 4,  2003. His burial took place at the National Bay Pines Veterans Cemetery in St. Petersburg, FL. For his gravestone, they allowed for only five words besides his name and dates of birth and death. 

Yes, just five words to reflect 75 years of life and 30 years of patriotic service. 

In a Divine Download, his epitaph came to my mom; she recalled what my brother at age three used to say when people asked, "What does your daddy do?" 

He always answered, "Zoom in the sky!" 

And that's Daddy Bear's epitaph.

While this day on the surface might seem morbid, doesn't it make more sense for YOU to be the author of this final piece of writing?

Decades ago while feeling forever young and immortal, my "final day" seemed too far away to give it any thought. The reality now whispers and reminds me every day that I am in the "autumn" of my life at 65 years young.

Perhaps you will join me for this challenging writing assignment and follow these suggestions on how to write an epitaph:
World National Holidays reports on "The Origin of "Plan Your Epitaph Day": We believe Lance Hardie is the creator of Plan Your Epitaph Day. He is the author of How to Write Your Own Epitaph -- and Live Long Enough to Enjoy. (I was unsuccessful in finding the book's link.)

So, if you "need a little nudge to plan your epitaph, let today be the day."

Shout Out! Celebrating the success of others:

Dr. Debra L. Reble's new book,  Soul-Hearted Living: A Year of Sacred Reflections & Affirmations for Women , will be released by#InspiredLivingPublishing on December 5th!

Each of the 365 daily reflection pages features a sacred reflection and affirmation by Debra, as well as an inspirational quote submitted by women around the world. 

Claim your gift of gratitude, two free meditations, when you register for VIP notice today!

Delighted to be a contributor!

Let's stay connected!
Join the Writer's VisionQuest, free, dynamic private Facebook group for women writers to "transform your words somewhere brilliant."


  1. Thank you for sharing Lore. Sad happenings al over the world. We are called to reflect first on what we want to leave as legacy.

    1. Beautifully said..relfect NOW on our legacy so that we might indeed write our epitaph through our actions AND one day on our gravestones.

  2. While the thought of an epitaph might be sad for some Lore, it is a brilliant tool to aid the reader to think seriously about what they would like to be remembered for and the legacy they wish to leave behind them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I's the principle "begin with the end in mind" and then act towards that goal.

  3. What a great idea and certainly worth thinking about. I often read people's epitaphs and they range from deeply touching to very amusing. I would like mine to be amusing. ;-) Shared. Thank you.

  4. Thanks Lore for sharing your thoughts and resources on writing your own epitaph. It really is a reminder to us all to think about how we want to be remembered. ... Also love the shout out. Congrats!

    1. You're welcome, Pamela. And yes, I am also enjoying the SHOUT OUT! on my blogs. Thanks for your kind words.

  5. Probably the toughest writing assignment of my life.

  6. Hmm... I never thought of writing one but by thinking about what I would want to say in my epitaph I am actually thinking about the kind of life i would like to live.

    1. Happy to hear that you're noodling the idea, Rachel..yes, it's doing what many coaches suggest, "Begin with the end in mind."

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