Most people say that they are not especially superstitious, but is that really the case?  The other day I came across a great website that allows you to create an image of your own tombstone ?  I went there and created mine…..

Do you dare go there and create your tombstone?  My guess is that lots of people will find reasons not to do it.  Perhaps they will say that they are too busy, or that they can’t think of what to write, or that they don’t want to upset loved ones.  My other guess is that these are just excuses and that deep down they feel uneasy about doing it.

So, are you on for creating your very own memento mori? All you have to do is click here.

Feel free to say whether you did it and how it felt.


  1. i did it. misspelled the word “clueless” and couldn’t see how to go back and edit it! i’m always thinking about life and death, so it was no big deal for me. most of family died before they were 60, so at 55 i think i’m already on borrowed time, but doing well.

  2. “Always finish whatever you” I admit, I *am* puzzled.

    That said, I don’t really know much of what to say. When I was still dreaming of becoming an anatomy research professor, I had great plans of having my remains frozen, sliced up, freeze-dried and impregnated with paraffin for new anatomy students, but times have changed and the usefulness of such a procedure is now relatively doubtful.

    Since I have published a number of books, chances are I will continue to contaminate history for a long time to come, but all that matters to me is that I both enjoyed my life and did my best to improve that of other humans and other species. For the rest, I expect no tombstone, only to be recycled in as environmentally-friendly a way as possible. Nevertheless, here is my tombstone attempt :

    1. Most definitely not. You have to realise that my university time is over 30 years ago. Those were different times. It was also a different place, at the University of Gent (Belgium), then a hopelessly derelict and corrupt university where 16 students were learning anatomy on a single corpse and where even skeletal samples were usually so worn out that finding the structures we had to learn was oftentimes not possible because they had disappeared.

    2. Oh, the blood levels in my caffeine system were too high, I was referring to your first line, the question, the bit you are puzzled on. It *should* read:

      “Always finish whatever you start”

      He didn’t even finish what was on his tombstone, get it? I did the same with my comment as a clue to what Richard meant, I didn’t finish what I started. See what I did there?

    3. Thanks for the explanation! I obviously didn’t get it. I guess I got too irritated by the limit of how many characters could be entered to even consider the possibility of an intentional missing part.

      And your sarcas…, I just interpreted as “no need to continue, I am sure you’ll get it”, which obviously I did not!

      Haha, the castle indeed. It is called the “Gravensteen” in Dutch. I loved it. For one thing, it was always cool there, even in summer!

    1. “I expect no tombstone, only to be recycled in as environmentally-friendly a way as possible.”

      It sounds like what you need is a “Body Farm”. Google it. It fits your final wishes perfectly.

    2. I wouldn’t accuse a body farm of being environmentally friendly. However, your point is well taken. A body farm would at least allow science to find some minor practical use for my otherwise useless remains. Good thinking!

  3. I tried it, but since it wouldn’t let me enter my whole name on one line (thus failing in precisely the same way that twitter does, curiously enough), I became irritated by it and didn’t bother (legitimate excuse for a geek?).

    Let us know when version 1.1 is live, and I’ll try again.

    1. That wasn’t Richard’s point. His point was that most people claim that they are not superstitious, but that many of these would recoil at actually thinking about their own deaths. In a way, it is a dare: do you dare think and talk about your own death?

      I don’t want a tombstone either. Dead is dead, I won’t know either way. I am not looking forward to death. In fact, I want to live for ever and ever. Once my miserable youth was behind me, I have enjoyed life tremendously, including the hardships it threw and throws and probably will throw at me. Life is great. I don’t want it to stop. Ever.

      But reality is that it will. I have accepted that. It’s no fun, but I’d rather accept an unfunny certain future than attempting to live in an untrue fantasy.

  4. Peter Hugosson-Miller, I feel your pain… 🙂 And what Bart said.

    Off to work now, but I may give it a go later on.

    Love your epitaph, Richard!

  5. I just made my own tombstone and it was a suprisingly peaceful thing to do. Doing the maths for that final date was a great reminder that at best i could have another 50 or 60 years around here and not to get so worked up about it. As someone who has found herself becoming increasingly more concerned with death, dying and losing my place in the world getting to see my name carved in stone gave me a reassurance that there will always be a part of me around here.

  6. I’m not going to do it. It feels a bit uneasy, but I also just don’t feel like it at the moment.

    My grandfather was a gravedigger. He always digged one grave ahead, in case somebody would die suddenly. Then he died suddenly himself. So actually, he digged his own grave… (Just in case anybody would wonder: this story is true…)

    1. Well, that wasn’t uneasy at all actually…

      It is also very comfortable to presume death at 31 februari 2050.

  7. Oh yes, the tired old “if-you-don’t-follow-my-silly-instructions-it’s-because-you’re-afraid-to” routine that we have heard from every huckster, charlatan, con-man, and fraud since the dawn of time…
    And it works!

  8. No gravestone for me, I want my ashes blowing in the wind. Thanks for the link, tho’ the warning sign generator was much more fun.

  9. I clicked on the link but it was blocked by my company’s firewall (reason “Message Boards and Forums”). Does that count as an excuse? 😮



  10. i created a stone… i did’t find a nice punchline…
    so i dated my death on yesterday… meaning i already defeated death…
    (i definitively don’t care for my tombstone, as i won’t be albe to see it or to be happy about it.. ) (btw. 100 years later noone will remember you so it not even important for the bereaved)

  11. I’ve always kinda liked the tombstone game invented by W. Cooper. (I don’t think the site is maintained anymore, so little point submitting anything there.)

    The idea is to imagine that your tombstone is the only evidence that you ever lived, and that tombstone includes your name, your date of birth, your date of death, and one word (strictly a word: NO phrases) of your choice. All you have to do is decide what that word should be. The twist — which makes it a psychologically interesting exercise — is that once you’ve played, you can never change your mind, never play again and choose a different word. The point lies precisely in making that permanent (if perfectly inconsequential) commitment.

    I played years ago, and my word was “mwahahahaha” … because a good maniacal laugh sums up much of what I might want to say from the grave.

  12. Let’s see if the ‘act first’ principle works with death ~ I’ll act like I’ll live to 100 by making my tombstone confirm it. =p

  13. Here lies the body of good Mary Lee. Died at the age of 103. Fifteen years she kept her virginity. Not a bad record for this vicinity

  14. Wasn’t a problem to make it (with a suitably distant termination date), but as a graphic designer I’d want to insist on better typographic options. Hmm… perhaps I should start working on one now…

  15. I don’t plan on having a tombstone. My instructions are for direct cremation, with my ashes scattered by airplane over the Everglades “in one final skydive.” I’ve made 2,302 freefall parachute jumps.

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  19. ここで初めて|へや私は私は。 |このボードを、私はそれが本当に本当に見つける|私は見つかりまし出会った有用&それは私を助けました。私を| 助け助け |私は戻って何かを与えることを望むと助け援助あなたのような他の人。
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