Rest in Pieces


Earlier this week, I received a copy of Bess Lovejoy’s new book, Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses. Bess is one of the contributing writer on one of my favorite blogs, The Order of the Good Death. Check out their mission statement to get a little more comfortable with your Momenti Mori!

Rest in Pieces tells the stories of famous folks’ posthumous adventures, like the worship of Rasputin’s penis, Marquis de Sade’s skull being dug up and pocketed by an aspiring phrenologist, the preservation (and travels) of Einstein’s brain, Timothy Leary’s space mission, and the attempted theft of Lincoln’s corpse. It’s fascinating and morbidly funny.


I’m enjoying Rest in Pieces so much that the publisher is sending me a second copy to give away to one of our readers! To enter to win, just leave a comment below telling us what your epitaph will say! I’ll pick a winner at random on Saturday, March 23.

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96 Responses to “Rest in Pieces”

  1. Anna Says:

    I haven’t decided yet, since someone else will probably be choosing the exact wording of my epitaph when the time comes anyway, but that’s okay as long as there’s asphodel growing on my grave.

  2. kendy Says:

    I am not sure. I hope it reflects on some good deeds that I did!

  3. LaLaLogic Says:

    “We are in the midst of eternity; it is all around us in the sunshine.”

    It’s from a Victorian postcard my mother owns depicting a grave stone. I’ve always admired it. :)

  4. Rebecka Says:

    no flesh, no bone
    there’s nothing left
    but memories

    (or maybe… possibly connected:)

    she gave it all
    every last bit
    for our future

  5. mlle ghoul Says:

    I believe I should like my epitaph to read as follows: “What fresh hell is this?”

  6. Terri Says:

    ‘Whee, I’m a ghost now!”

  7. Mekenzie Says:

    I’d like mine to be a quote, I just haven’t decided which one. My sister has a good one, though: “Shhhh! I’m trying to sleep.”

  8. Milena Says:

    “Not a sound in a world that could now wake her up.”
    (because of my veeeery light sleep that annoys everyone ;) )

  9. Cavender Says:

    “I’m Standing Right Behind You”

  10. CV Says:

    “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

  11. Sarah Says:

    “What we have enjoyed, we can never lose…all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”
    Helen Keller

    This book sounds great!!

  12. Dendra Says:

    “Here she was – there she goes…”

  13. Katie Karpetz Says:

    “I told you I was sick”

  14. Daniela Says:

    Valar morghulis. It probably won’t happen, but it would be pretty awesome.

  15. erica Says:

    “i better not be down here in taupe pumps, bitches, or i’ll be hiding in your closet tonight.”

  16. Barb Says:

    So long, and thanks for all the fish

  17. Natalie Says:

    Dream well.

  18. April Ethereal Says:

    “Cold hard bitch, stone cold fox.”

  19. Vanessa Says:

    There’s no Wifi where she’s going.

  20. Chris Says:

    I’ll be back!

    Ps. this is not a photo location for pathetic goth pictures. GTFO!

  21. Amelia Hart Says:

    It should say RIP: Really Into Partying, right?

  22. Lori Says:

    With an angel monument as my headstone, my epitaph would read,

    “Whatever you do, don’t blink!”


  23. Sam Says:

    I’m not sure yet. I was thinking about leaving it blank, or having the marker be something biodegradable so that it will last just long enough for the people who care to visit but not forever.

  24. susan Says:

    live and let die…

  25. Erin Says:

    hmm.. mine would probably say “allons-y!”, because i’d be ready for what awaits me in the afterlife. i’d need to make sure i get my copy of the handbook for the recently deceased!

  26. Anblick Says:


  27. L Says:

    “The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”
    — Virginia Woolf

  28. Angel Says:

    I think I would like mine to say

    Here lies my body.
    My heart flies free to travel.
    My soul lies in the books of my life.

  29. kammi Says:

    “she leaves behind many books”

  30. Nixon Sixx Says:

    Ok, I’m totally not eligible, but what the hey. I like this game.

    There is nothing amusing about being dead, they will say.
    Ah, but there is.
    -Mary Roach

  31. Heather Says:

    “She found the cure for curiousity.”

  32. Ella Says:

    A quote from my favorite film, “Has it ever occured to you that death may be simpler than life, and infinitely more kind?”

  33. s. melville Says:

    probably “here lies the hands of the corpse” written out in the elder futhark of norse runes. but then there is that eerie and mysterious headstone with “victim of the beast 666″ on it which would be cool to do just to freak people out…

  34. Mrs. K Rasmussen Says:

    Not set in stone yet ;) but maybe:
    “Nothing is true, Everything is permitted”

  35. Ashley Says:

    Beautiful faces are they that wear
    The light of a pleasant spirit there;
    Beautiful hands are they that do
    Deeds that are noble, good and true;
    Beautiful feet are they that go
    Swiftly to lighten another’s woe.
    -Unknown (to me anyway)

  36. caracabe Says:

    My epitaph will say “I don’t think you’re listening to me.”

  37. Vesper Says:

    I would like to be buried at sea, and maybe all my pieces will one day meet again and grow into a coral reef or become a thousand pearls.

  38. kate s. Says:

    i don’t want a gravestone. i just want to be put in the ground and have a tree planted as a marker. i guess my “epitaph” would be the lovely animals my tree would nurture.

  39. Salina Says:

    “Most definitely not a zombie.”

  40. nadi Says:

    I am so into this book I will probably buy it any way. My grave will say nothing as it will be one of those tree seed urns. I’m really into the idea of eco conscious body handling but maybe I will leave my skull to my family…just to freak them out.

  41. Lindsey Short Says:

    Eram quod es, eris quod sum

    (I was what you are, you will be what I am.)

    One of my favorites from my 10th grade Latin Class when we did a project illustrating our headstone epitaphs with Latin inscriptions.

  42. Henna Says:

    I quote Sir Walter Raleigh’s written in his cell the night before his execution:

    Even such is time that takes in trust,
    our youth, our joys, and all we have
    and pays us but with age and dust.
    Who in the dark and silent grave,
    when we have wandered all our ways,
    shuts up the story of our days.
    And from which earth and grave and dust,
    The Lord shall raise me up, I trust.

  43. Anna Says:

    It will all be okay.

  44. stephvr Says:

    Perhaps Ovid’s classic ‘omnia mutantur, nihil interit’ – everything changes, nothing perishes

  45. Anne Says:

    Death Before Decaf

  46. xenia Says:

    “In the horrible occasionally is the sublime.”

    Edgar Saltus, Lords of the Ghostland

  47. Brittany M Says:

    “Don’t stand here too long she’s coming back”

  48. Morfydd Says:

    “Here lies the late* Morfydd

    *as usual”

  49. Jessica Says:

    She was a nice, quiet girl….RUN!!!

  50. Tara Says:

    “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”

  51. Lina Says:

    I won’t have an epitaph since I want my ashes to be spread out into the air, free to roam ever after.

  52. Jess Says:

    > MORS CERTA, HORA INCERTA (death is certain, but the hour is uncertain)
    > be as alife as you can be during the time you are given.
    > you’ll be dead and absent enough when burried down here.

  53. Stephanie Says:

    Monday’s child is fair of face,
    Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
    Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
    Thursday’s child has far to go.
    Friday’s child is loving and giving,
    Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
    But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
    Is fair and wise and good and gay.

  54. Amanda Thomas Says:

    Then that happened

  55. Brendan Steele Says:

    Why Me?

  56. Wendy Says:


  57. Lisa Miller Says:

    I’d like my remains made into a diamond or other gemstone-ish thing(do they still do that?) and attached to a chain with a charm which reads, “Senusality Transcends.” It is my mantra.

  58. contessadeiveleni Says:

    “death is just the beginning”

  59. Gingerbedlam Says:

    I’d like a tree for a tombstone…no epitaph needed.

  60. shannonc Says:

    “See you soon”

    Book sounds awesome!!

  61. RICHARD Says:

    Richard Thomas Mullin
    Teacher ?Actor ? Genealogist

  62. Arantza Says:

    I was planning on having
    “Too much peyote for this old coyote”

  63. Mathilde Says:

    “Don’t say ‘she’s up there’
    Since you put me in the ground”

  64. Brandi Says:

    BRANDY, n.A cordial composed of one part thunder-and-lighting, one part remorse, two parts bloody murder, one part death-hell-and-the-grave, and four parts clarified Satan. Dose, a headful all the time. Brandy is said by Dr. Johnson to be the drink of hereos. Only a hero will venture to drink it.
    Ambrose Bierce
    The Devil’s Dictionary

  65. Colleen Says:

    “Dont fuck with demons”

  66. Natasha Says:

    On the most beautiful adventure of her life

  67. Mary Says:

    “the mad girl finally found her box”

  68. Amanda Says:

    Probably something Vonnegut related…

    So it goes…


    Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

  69. A Says:


  70. Monique Says:

    Probably just “at rest” if I do end up having a grave marker. Book looks interesting!

  71. Miki Dear-Dark Says:

    Hmm. . . maybe my favourite quote-
    ‘Better to Reign in Hell Then Serve in Heaven’ –John Milton, Paradise Lost
    or maybe just ‘SOS’

  72. Lizz Says:


  73. Stephanie Grant Says:

    “Bereaved friends have laid her here
    They mourn her loss and shed a tear
    There in the grave she must lay
    Until the resurrection day.”

  74. M'ris Says:

    I’m planning on having my body kicked off in a biodegradable casket, so hopefully my headstone will actually be a plaque at the venue I managed in college: “Tip your barstaff. Don’t listen to shitty music.”

  75. ggw Says:

    “She loved, she loved, she loved.”

  76. Anna Says:

    “Feeding the worms”

  77. Krista Says:

    “Curiousity killed the cat”

  78. Dalyn Says:

    This is what I’ve been running away from my whole life.

  79. lorien Says:

    “If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”
    ? Haruki Murakami

  80. Melissa Says:

    She like big butts and she could not lie…

  81. Erin Says:

    Nothing, science will make me immortal.

    Plus this book will go excellently next to Stiff (Mary Roach) and Cemetery Stories (Katherine Ramsland)!

  82. Aise Stewart Says:

    “It seemed like a good idea at the time…”

  83. Debz Says:

    Not compatable with newer versions of windows

  84. Morguie Says:

    Not for use after sell by date

  85. Marta Nancheva Says:

    I haave known this would be it since I was 15 “All fled – all done, so lift me on the pyre; The feast is over, and the lamps expire.”

  86. Aubrey Says:

    The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none I think do there embrace

  87. Luo Says:

    “You have eaten too many sushi” ;)

  88. Nicollette Says:


    Keeping it classic.

  89. Romain Says:

    The first time I died, I walked my ways;
    I followed the file of limping days.

    I held me tall, with my head flung up,
    But I dared not look on the new moon’s cup.

    I dared not look on the sweet young rain,
    And between my ribs was a gleaming pain.

    The next time I died, they laid me deep.
    They spoke worn words to hallow my sleep.

    They tossed me petals, they wreathed me fern,
    They weighted me down with a marble urn.

    And I lie here warm, and I lie here dry,
    And watch the worms slip by, slip by.

    Dorothy Parker

  90. Michelle Says:

    “No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep”
    I was always really fond of that song by Dissection, really beautiful, and reflects my ideas of the beyond more or less.

  91. An Says:

    Don’t worry, I’ll be back!

  92. shaneyl-lynn Says:

    “don’t forget to feed the dog”

  93. Reen Says:

    “I’m lookin’ at the world through fly’s eyes.”

  94. JMTolman Says:

    “Her last words: What does this button do?”

  95. Amy Says:

    “well, that was that”

  96. Georgiana Marie Kateri Waldron Says:

    Looked For Strange, Found It.