Vintage Post – What Would Your Epitaph Say?

(This post was originally published on August 6, 2013.)

If we could plan to meet for coffee one afternoon, I’m sure we would talk about normal everyday kinds of things. But there would be a moment when the conversation turned to the more personal side, where I would share heart to heart what is currently going on in  my life.  There would be tears of sadness, followed by tears of gratefulness, but always the main point of the communication would be biblical fellowship. What is that, you might ask? It’s when two Christians (friends or spouses) sit down and talk about life in light of eternity. It’s talking about the things that matter most in the midst of the mundane, and attempting to make sense of it all using the infallible words of Scripture as the framework.

So, grab a cup and let me share with you what’s on my heart and mind lately.

I pray we’ll find biblical fellowship together and both be encouraged as a result. I’d love to hear your comments as well! The following was first posted at on my birthday.

Last  month I turned 54. 54! How did that happen? I know, I know, the answer is simple–one year at a time. But wow.

This was my first birthday without my Mom and Dad (He died in 2004. She died in 2012)), who were used by God to give me life in July of 1959. My Dad led me down the aisle of our little baptist church in 1969. It is strange to no longer have parents here, but they’re not gone. They’ve just relocated to a better place. And because of God’s gift of salvation to me on December 19, 1969, I will see them again. Until that day I am resolved to live out the rest of my years in glorifying the One True God who gives life to all who call on His name and choose to follow Him.

Jonathan Edwards was considered to be one of the greatest American philosopher/theologians of his time and was a key figure in what has become known as The Great Awakening of the 18th century. He has been quoted as saying:

“Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”

The Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman trial has received unbelievable media coverage this past month. We live only a few minutes from Sanford, FL. so it was with great interest that we stayed up with the trial. When that February night occurred in 2012, neither Trayvon nor George knew that their lives were going to be permanently changed as a result of the choices they made. My point isn’t to discuss which side was right/wrong, for both lost in my opinion. But their case stands as a stark reminder of Mr. Edwards quote.

I ask myself…

  • Am I living today as if it were my last?
  • What do I want to be known for?
  • If my epitaph was to be written tomorrow, what would it say?
  • Better yet, what would I want it to say?

I heard someone suggest that we take time to write the epitaph we would want written about us today. Then, make our choices based on that goal. Of course, even those who have the best intentions can’t always guarantee their life will play out as planned. This is why my epitaph should reflect God’s work in my life and not my own plans.

Photo Credit: Josh Martin Ink blog

Photo Credit: Josh Martin Ink blog

Some of my favorite epitaphs include:

George Washington

Looking into the portals of eternity teaches that the brotherhood of man is inspired by God’s Word; then all prejudice of race vanishes away.

Benjamin Franklin

The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the cover of an old book, its contents worn out, and stript of its lettering and gilding) lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost, for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended by its Author.

Evangelist Billy Sunday

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 4:7

Wife and Mother, Frances Lowe – died November 28, 1877

A loving mother and devoted wife has gone to her rest, and the light has gone out in the happy home. Graces with those rare virtues which are peculiar only to her sex, the deceased was all the wife and mother could be. Her sorrowing husband to whom she had been a faithful and loving companion for so many happy years, now that she is gone will cherish her memory and children whom she has tenderly reared will arise up and call her blessed.

John T. Whitehead – died September 11, 1860

In All Life’s Relations He Exemplified The Virtues Of The Christian And Gentleman, And Won The Love Of All. He Was Beloved By His Family, Cheerful In Company, Conscientious In Spirit, Successful In Business, Patient In Affliction, And Victorious In Death. The Love Of This Community Claimed A Longer Stay, But Higher Attraction Prevailed, Earth Yielded, And Heaven Bore Away The Prize. The Key To His Most Triumphant Death Is Found In His Dying Request, To Be Put Upon His Tomb, “I Am A Man Of Prayer.”

(source for some epitaphs: Southern Graves blog)

After taking the last delicious sip of my latte, I would look in your eyes and ask, so what about you? What’s going on in your life and how can I pray for you? What would you want your epitaph to say?


About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
This entry was posted in Aging, Biblical Encouragement, Christian Marriage, Seasons of Life, Vintage Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Vintage Post – What Would Your Epitaph Say?

  1. Mine no doubt reflect my last words in this life, “Yo, dude, hold my beer and watch THIS!”

    I’m OK with that. It was fun.


Comments are closed.