Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Epitaph - Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - November 2009

In former times, it was the custom to write for fanciful conceits on the tombs of the dead. Acrostics, anagrams, rebuses and puzzles were frequently met with, and no doubt the mourning relative thought that they thus paid a high mark of respect to the memory of the deceased; but to what good end? Surely here in God's Acre, if anywhere on earth, true reverence and simplicity should be found. No skilful conceit of man can ever take the place of the Word of God, even though it be as pointed and direct as that quaint epitaph written in the form of an acknowledgement from the Great Mother
who will one day clasp us all to her bosom:

"Received of Philip Harding his borrowed earth, July 4, 1673.

from "English Epitaphs", by W. Everard Edmonds.1 Victoria Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Sunday, 2 June 1907, page 24. (Read the full article at the British Colonist website.)

The challenge for the November 2009 Edition of the Graveyard Rabbits' Carnival was to write my own epitaph.

'Plan Your Epitaph Day', an international observance for November 2nd each year, coincides with All Saint’s Day, often known as the Day of the Dead, and was created by Lance Hardie, "committed epitaph crusader and consultant".

This challenge wasn't hard as when I first published this blog, I included as a side piece a depiction of the epitaph that I hope is appropriate for myself - Most Days She Did Her Best.

Now it's true that, on the back, I'd like to see my dates and place of birth written and, if I could, a family tree showing at least my parents, grands and greats too.

But I'm set now on being buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC, where my parents, my uncle, and my paternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother's parents are buried, as well as a good assortment of other family. I doubt there will be room for a big stone just for me!

1. The Harding epitaph, I believe, was from Crudwell, Wiltshire, England. See Antiente epitaphes (from A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1800) collected [and] sett forth in chronologicall order by Thomas FitzArthur Ravenshaw (London: Joseph Masters & Co.. 1878), page 127. Read this at the Internet Archive.

Reverend W. Everard Edmonds, born in Ontario, Canada, wrote several books and articles about Canadian history. After World War I, Edmonds, a high school teacher and an Anglican minister, was Editor of the Alberta Historical Review, the journal of the Historical Society of Alberta. "The Historical Society - early years 1907-1952" by Hugh A. Dempsey (Alberta History, Autumn 2007 - read on-line.)

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