Grave Tribute

Gravestones should not make us laugh. Indeed, they are the foci for the grief of those left behind. So why could I not stop laughing last week upon reading one? Outside the old Congregational chapel of Keld (Yorkshire) was a stone that tickled my humours. As well as offering dates and ages of the couple commemorated, the very diligent and literally-minded stonemason duly carved:

A fitting tribute to be placed here

It might have been more dignified to have left that particular section blank. On the other hand, I have read actual gravestone tributes that went like this:

He always made us smile

What, always?

Looking down on us now

If he’s up there, I very much doubt he’s looking down

Never a bad word to say

Out loud, perhaps

Reunited at last

Ok, but where?

Having a good laugh in heaven

I wouldn’t be so sure.

Trite and questionable tributes are worse than nothing at all. The best phrase one could write on a tombstone is this:

A sinner saved by grace