Epitaphs are among the oldest forms of writing in the world. They are a way to commemorate the dead and celebrate the lives they’ve lived. They can be poetry or verse and are usually inscribed onto a gravestone or memorial plaque at a burial to honor the memory of the deceased. A memorable epitaph is short and heartfelt. The feeling that it conveys is generally a reflection of the deceased person’s personality. It can be tragic if the person’s death was sacrificial or humorous if the person liked to laugh things off when alive. It may also be ironic. A good epitaph is not overly sentimental. It is a summation of the life that the individual lived.
If you're writing your own epitaph, you already have the voice figured out. Now, all you have to do is determine who the epitaph will be addressed to. It could be a general address to the common public, a passerby or a beloved. As discussed above, you could inject a little bit of your personality into it. So if you're religious, you could include scripture from a sacred text.
The reason epitaphs are generally asked to be kept short is because the gravestone affords very little space for lengthy text unless you want to spend lavishly on your tombstone, in which case you can write yourself a long one. However, it is best to keep it short. You could list a couple of your achievements on your epitaph if you'd like to be remembered for them. You could leave a few comforting words for those surviving you to offer solace. If you're confused about how to write an epitaph, you could do some research. Once you’ve written one down, you could show it to your friends and family and ask for their opinion.
You could leave your family or friends to write your epitaph for you when you're gone. However, if you choose to write your epitaph for you – there's nothing wrong with that either.
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