What Will Your Epitaph Say About You?

A gravestone is often marked with the birth and death dates and sometimes a single line written by children of the deceased.

Children will remember you from their point of view and each child will remember things differently.

By Jackie Saulmon Ramirez | August 22, 2013

My family and I went to Emley’s Cemetery in Imlaystown, New Jersey with cameras and equipment to take photographs of stones. While we were setting up the tripod between stone shots I was thinking about something I had heard many years ago: If your children were to write your epitaph tomorrow, what do you think they would write?

Epitaphs are usually a short note, sometimes about a person’s career or hobby, often about family and from one word like ‘Mother’ to several lines used to describe the person or define the sum total of their life. Some are quite somber and others are quite funny, saying a bit about the kind of personality the person might have been.

What would I want people to know about my life? I have done many things but two things I am most proud of would be my children and my volunteer service. Thinking about my children though, I don’t know what they would write.

You may have been a great parent but they also remember what is stamped on the bulk of time.

Would they remember all the crafts we did together or the movies we watched while munching popcorn? Will they think of the private family jokes or all the silly things we laughed about? There were school projects and trips to school and the yearly car trips home to North Carolina, I wonder if they will think of those. Will they remember the homemade toys I made for them?

When it comes right down to it, our kids are all that really matter. If I did my best every single day I will let go of this concern as I will of writing the epitaph. I put it squarely into their hands.

No matter where you stand with your kids there is good news— your children are still growing and you can make changes now if you want. The bad news is that you cannot start over; you’ve got to start from today. Today is day one. It’s all in how you think about it.

One… two… three… GO!

Copyright © 2014 Jackie Saulmon Ramirez. All Rights Reserved.

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About Jackie Saulmon Ramirez

Jackie has volunteered for more than twenty years for children and family issues. Currently she writes for parents in the "Reminder" and "Parent Rap" Facebook page. If you are interested in receiving the "Reminder," send her a message.
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12 Responses to What Will Your Epitaph Say About You?

  1. tric says:

    I love the epitaph made famous by the comedian Spike Milligan it said “I told you I was sick”. I would not like to imagine how cruel my children would be if they were to write my epitaph.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Yours will say, “Mom got me a puppy.”

      I still think (and laugh) about that. 🙂


      • tric says:

        At last I was good for something! It is great to hear you still chuckle at that post. I am delighted.


      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        You would know better than I what will stick in children’s memories. After all the posts you’ve written and I’ve read, I thought about that one the most. Thinking about that was what inspired the article below:


        Isn’t it our job to inspire thought or lift spirits? I hope you will delight us for years to come– and please do– update us on the growth and antics of your daughter’s four-legged companion.


        *Jackie Saulmon Ramirez, MCC* E-mail: ParentRap@gmail.com Website: http://www.JackieSaulmonRamirez.com Facebook: “Parent Rap – Soup to Nuts” Facebook: “In The Wrong Line” WordPress: “Soup to Nuts” Graving Blog: http://www.FoodForWorms.org

        “Because NICE matters.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ “Be careful how you speak to your children. One day it will become their inner voice.” ~ Peggy O’Mara

        On Wed, Aug 21, 2013 at 3:39 PM, Soup to Nuts


      • tric says:

        Yes I read that excellent post and I think I commented that it was too late for me! I have a friend who got a puppy the same day as we did. She should certainly have read your post as her life is turned upside down now by her whirlwind of a pup!
        It is great to know my post got you thinking and writing. Thanks Jackie.


  2. DeDivahDeals says:

    Great post, it’s the “dash” that counts.


    • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

      Ah, I know it well!

      “It isn’t the date on either end that counts, but how they used their dash for that dash between the dates represents all the time spent on earth and now those that loved them know what that little line is worth.”

      Thank you so much for that uplifting reminder! I have a poster about that.


      • DeDivahDeals says:

        yes…but it gives me pause to think what my sons would say… “that mean ole lady!” – lol


      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

        Ha ha ha ha! That’s a good sign you are a great Mom. I was “the meanest Mom” where we live too. Once my girls were grown they understood why the rules, chores, etc. So, you just keep being a “mean ole Mom.” 🙂


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