The Four Words I Want On My Tombstone


 I’m not planning on dying any time soon, but when I do, I know what I want inscribed on my tombstone.

Do you?   

For some people, thinking about death while they’re still alive seems morbid, but it  should be just the opposite. 

Our mortality should be our greatest motivator.

  • Rick Warren, in his book, A Purpose Driven Life, challenges us to think about death this way:

You may feel it’s morbid to think about death, but actually it’s unhealthy to live in denial of death. Only a fool would go through life unprepared for what we know will eventually happen. You need to think more about eternity, not less. When we fully comprehend that there is more to life than just here and now, and you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live life differently.

  • Gary Thomas, in his book, Seeking the Face Of God, says it this way:

Most of us recognize that we will eventually die, but this recognition is reserved for a distant event decades from now; not today, not this week, not this month, not this year. Death is a foreigner, not a close neighbor. The ancients [however] found great spiritual benefit in looking death in the face and seizing its reality and making it their servant. They used death to teach them how to live.

It’s important for you to know that the four words I want inscribed on my tombstone isn’t something I just came up with while writing this blog. This isn’t a fabrication for dramatic affect. I’ve known for the last fifteen years (if not longer) what I want on my tombstone when I die.  



These four words are a paraphrase of Hebrews 11:13, “All these people were still living by faith when they died.” And the reason they mean so much to me is because they describe how I want to live and how I want to die.   

It’s no secretwe are all going to die. So when you do, do you know what you want written on your tombstone? It’s something worth thinking about and worth thinking about now.

Sincerely Submitted
Ken L Roberts

PS – In my next blog I’ll share the top 10 to 15 responses of what people want written on their tombstone. So please leave a comment noting what you would like on your tombstone and then watch for my next blog and see if your’s is one of the ones choosen.

I’d love to hear your response. Please leave a comment. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “The Four Words I Want On My Tombstone

  1. Excellent blog, Ken. If I could choose only four words for my tombstone, they would be, "She ran to finish" meaning that once I put my hand to the plow (as Jesus spoke of), I've never looked back, only forward to the finish line where I know I'll see my Savior.

    God bless,

  2. Great post! Great discipline in doing this. I just spent the day with a guy who is terminally ill and is nearing the end. Nothing gives you perspective on life like death.
    He is a champion as God defines one.

    Maybe that would be my epitaph…God's Champion…and I'd want an etching on it…me wearing some gladiator armor while holding a sword in a Russell Crowe pose.

  3. Jason

    I love your epitaph (words and costume ideas)!

    And it is true, "nothing gives perspective on life like death."

    I appreciate YOU! Keep giving it your best…


  4. Kathi

    Thanks for the kind and encouraging words!

    I love your desired epitaph.

    Keep moving ahead; one step at a time.


  5. I have always been a woman of too many words:) I'm still learning, but have come to realize that the four words that matter most to me are these: All For HIs Glory .Let that be my epitaph.

  6. Patt,

    You inspire me. Always have…still do!

    Love your four words!

    Keep at it. You are making a difference; probably more than you know.


  7. The movie God's Not Dead made you think about death in a good way – it brings to the surface that reality of what's really important. Mine would be "She never gave up" – referring to fighting the good fight of the faith

  8. Well it would not be, "Pepperoni, Green Peppers, Onion and extra cheese!" it would be something like "walking into His presence". I want to be so close to God that my transition is so smooth!

  9. Donna A.

    I love your response! I saw one tombstone with the heading "He Loved Bacon!" As you said, hopefully we can leave a legacy with a bit more substance than that!

    Yours made me smile!


  10. Love the thought. I wonder if some of the "churchy" or "Christianese" terms will have any meaning to most people walking by. Knowledge of Scripture is waning in our world, and few even understand the word "saved". Particularly in future years, as the Body of Christ – our churches – seem to be shrinking, and changing language to fit "the street". My choice is "Still walking with Jesus".

  11. I remember a very specific incidence being in God's presence, that totally changed my perspective on death, after which all fear of dying was erased from my mind and has been ever since. I have difficulty understanding a Christian who knows and loves God, yet fears death… I remember Bro. Gene Jackson — TN District superintendent for A/G said many times, "the doctors can't scare me with 'death'", and I believe as a lover of Jesus, that can be our stance as well. Death is only the door-way to an eternity is his presence without the daily cares of this life weighting us down. However until them, "to live is Christ." I think I would like my epitaph to read, "Served His Purposes".

  12. Diana

    thanks for leaving such a great comment. I'm certainly with you on…no need to fear death. It is the entrance to our true LIFE.

    Love you epitaph. I think it fits who you are and the legacy that you are building. Keep at it.

    With appreciation, care, and respect


  13. Great article Ken. This was a challenging task at first but once the gray matter started working I came up with a few that were more then 4 words. However, I landed on "Heaven Bound." For the past five years, or longer, I have been feeling as a foreigner in this land and know deep within my soul this world in not home. I am looking up and keeping my sight on heaven.

  14. Colleen

    Great epitaph. And concerning more and more "a foreigner in this land" – I feel exactly the same. Keep looking up…