Put This On My Tombstone

Years ago, I used to have a job at my synagogue organizing their events. Clipboard in hand and an envelope of checks in my pocket, I used to refer to myself as the cruise director of the congregation. At the end of every dinner, program, fundraiser, lecture, or Chanukkah party, I’d station myself at the front door to say goodbye to the attendees. Not wanting to sound like the flight attendants on SNL who shooed passengers off the plane saying “buh-bye, buh-bye, buh-bye.” I opted for a simpler catchphrase – Thanks for coming.

One night after a particularly long and hectic day, Mr. K approached me at my post with an amused look on his face.

“That should be on your tombstone,” he said to me.

I looked at him confused – not fully understanding what he was talking about. Mr. K. had a weird sense of humor.

“Thanks for coming; that should be engraved on your tombstone.”

At first, I thought that was a weird and random thing to say. We didn’t know each other well enough to discuss my plans for the afterlife. But the more I think about it, I kind of like it.

Cemeteries are sad places, and no one really wants to be here. What if someone sees that sentiment on my tombstone, gets the irony, and lets out a chuckle? Thanks for coming would be a sincere appreciation from me to the living who came for a brief visit. And how nice it would be for me to know that I can still spread a little joy to someone from the great beyond.

5 comments on Put This On My Tombstone

  1. Tamara
    January 19, 2022 at 10:13 am (4 months ago)

    Aww, it would certainly make me smile. And who can’t use a smile while at the cemetery?
    Speaking of “Barbie buh-bye” though – this is one of my favorite movie scenes ever:

  2. Hanna
    January 19, 2022 at 2:50 am (4 months ago)

    This is actually a great idea! Would love to see that on a tom stone

  3. Lynn
    January 18, 2022 at 10:01 pm (4 months ago)

    I would agree that if I read a tombstone that said “Thanks for coming” I would indeed smile because of the uniqueness and wit of the sentiment.

  4. Kebba Buckley Button
    January 18, 2022 at 9:30 pm (4 months ago)

    Elisa, what a great piece! And what a great story. I think he was giving you a high compliment. You know, the image of that phrase on a gravestone would make a comic image for the front of a memorial service folder. Or it would be too much. Anyway, you made me think about a few things, with humor! Thanks!

  5. Victoria Juster
    January 18, 2022 at 9:22 pm (4 months ago)

    Lovely, Elisa. You must have made many people feel welcomed and part of the community. And you’re right, I would love to see that on a tombstone!

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