The New Year

At this time of year some bloggers post about New Year Resolutions, others concentrate on their most popular posts and some have even given predictions for 2011. It seems there is a common urge to make a significant impact at the start of a new year. I simply want to share a quotation with you and to wish you and all those you love, a very special New Year.

This is by Raymond Carver. He was an American poet and writer, much of what he wrote seems sad to me, but he chose this to be the inscription on his tombstone.

Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

A worthwhile epitaph, and one that reminds us of how important it is to accept one another and to share love. For those with faith, I like to think it gives the added bonus of always being loved and accepted in spite of our flaws.

It made me wonder what I would like on a tombstone (or book of remembrance.) What about you?

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13 Responses to The New Year

  1. Anne Gibert says:

    You made me think about this. I guess the epitaph I would choose would be simple rather than elegant.

    “I lived a long time, I loved a lot of people, dogs and cats. Although I shed some tears, I had a lot of fun too.”

  2. freda says:

    That’s a great epitaph, Anne. I guess mine would be much the same.

  3. Marcia Mayo says:

    She had a good heart and she made me laugh.

  4. Lyn says:

    I agree. Anne, that is lovely. I think it would suite me, as well.

    As for Mr. Carter’s inscription, what a wonderful thing to be able to say. To know you are or have been loved …. what a wonderful thing!

  5. Freda, I agree that the epitaph is a surprise coming from Ray Carver. I’d not see it before. I’m pleased to know Carver wanted the words on his tombstone, because, as you say, much of his writing is sad.

    Some days, knowing I am beloved of God is what keeps me going.

  6. Tabor says:

    A wonderful epitaph. We should all keep this in mind.

  7. Graham says:

    To be remembered would be enough for me

  8. RevRuth says:

    Heard a good one last night:
    “and who’s going to be the centre of attention now?”

    Bit too close to home for me!!

  9. friko says:

    No tombstone for me.
    No words either. I hadn’t even thought of words, but what I most definitely want is to return home by any means . Therefore I have asked to be cremated, and have my ashes tipped into a river or the sea that washes the shores of Northern Europe and I will thus become a minute part of the place I call Heimat.

    Golly, I never meant for my reply to your question to be as gloomy and serious as this, but as it happened, let it stand.

    I have just bought a book of Carver’s short stories; you are right, he dwells on the sad aspects of life.

  10. David and I are both being cremated. Although we have niches at the local cemetery, he wants me to sprinkle his ashes on the dog path where we walk the dogs. I told him he can do what he wants with mine, but the kids will want a place they can visit. I like Friko’s idea too, only my home is here in Arlington VA.

  11. Lydia says:

    I love Carver’s epitaph. Thank you for sharing it for the new year (and may it be a happy one for you at your family).

    My mother always said she wanted her gravestone to say “She Lived.” Then she asked to be cremated and to have her ashes scattered at sea. It was up to my sister and me to figure out how to honor her epitaph idea, and my sis thought to have She Lived written on a center ribbon in the huge beautiful wreath we had made for the occasion. After my husband and I scattered her ashes we threw the wreath over the edge of the boat and watched her words bob, twirl, bob out of sight….

  12. freda says:

    Lovely idea Lydia, I like the image of the ribbon bobbing and swirling out of sight. It seems the consensus is that it is important to live life to the full, then to feel that our remains have somehow come home or as part of the world we know. A good thing to remember day by day.

  13. Sheila says:

    I want to be cremated and put in the Columbrarium where we finally put Mum and Dad after having them on my book shelf for 15 years! Of course I am trying to convince John to join us. If not I will be put in with him. That’s the plan for now anyway.

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