Tuesday, January 24, 2006

About Poor Old Mr. Smith...

I blurred his given name away out of respect. I figured the name Smith was common enough that it would not be a giveaway to this person's identity. I would just die if one of his relatives wrote to me saying they were offended that I was discussing the ramifications of his epitaph on the world wide web.

Anyway, the bird, the one on his marker, I don't know the significance of it. Further visual confusion is rendered by the fact that the little side marker on the tombstone has what looks to be a dogwood flower on it, not exactly images of masculinity (not that there is anything wrong with men being in touch with their feminine sides on occasion). These are the reasons I assume Mrs. Smith totally picked out this marker for her husband with no regard for his tastes.

Perhaps there is some sort of passive-aggresive behavior involved. Maybe Mrs. Smith is the one who will not move when the trumpet sounds if'n Mr. Smith will be arising--you know, due to the old "if heaven is going to be full of those kind of people, maybe I don't want to go" syndrome. Maybe Mrs. Smith has an equally thought-provoking epitaph waiting to be inscribed on her own separate monument.

But still, with all the poking fun aside, these words give us much to consider in our own lives. I know in my own life there have been more than a few times when if I had been a little more unawed by opinion, a little less concerned with what someone else thought, I would have made different choices. On the other hand, we all know people who are so rigid and stubborn that they will not be swayed by anyone's opinion because they already know all the answers. Perhaps that is one of the saddest traits a person can possess, a closed and immoveable spirit.


  1. Maybe Mr. Smith is a bird watcher and gardener. Maybe Mrs. Smith honored his most joyous of activities. :)

  2. That's an interesting, epitaph, alright... a bit of a double edged sword, as you say, Annie... with the birdie and the flowers, it seems a dichotomy... truly an interesting marker- it's boggling...:)

  3. don't make me want to start frequently cemetaries......

  4. The second time I read the epitaph sounded like Mrs Smith was a bit tired of old Mr Smith....funny how we interpret the meaning of someone's whole life by a few very short lines. kind of like judging a book by it's cover.


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