Nobody lives forever, but some people have gained immortality through the incredible actions and accomplishments they achieved while alive. And these moving epitaphs poignantly sum up what made these icons of literature, culture, and history so great. They’re truly the perfect reminders of why we still remember them long after they've gone.
1. Rick James
He always seemed larger than life, so it makes sense that Rick James’ headstone is bigger than death as well. Engraved on the stone is a picture of the Super Freak singer himself — who passed away in 2004 — brandishing his trusty bass. And underneath it reads triumphantly, “I’ve had it all, I’ve done it all, I’ve seen it all.”
2. Elvis Presley
Following his untimely death in 1977, Elvis was buried on the grounds of Graceland, his former Memphis mansion. And in recognition of his monumental contribution to culture, his epitaph reads, “God saw that he needed some rest and called him home to be with him.” Wherever Elvis is now, we can only hope it's filled with rhinestone-studded suits and peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.
3. Bette Davis
Anyone who’s ever seen the TV miniseries Feud knows just how much of a firebrand actress Bette Davis really was. And naturally, her Los Angeles resting place pays tribute to the star’s headstrong personality. Etched onto her sarcophagus are the words, “She did it the hard way.” It's a fitting homage to such a determined character.
4. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra’s music always had the uncanny ability to make people feel good — even when he was singing about loneliness and sorrow. And his optimism is perfectly encapsulated in the song “The Best is Yet to Come” — a phrase that also serves as the epitaph on his paired-back Palm Springs headstone.