Inspired by a Microphone with Wings
To me, visiting historic graveyards is like opening a dictionary or using a search engine. While I start out with a clear idea of the information I wish to find, I’m nearly always distracted by other things along the way: a unique monument, a strange name, or in this case, a microphone with wings. Not to mention that I’ve never seen seen someone described as “debonair” on their headstone before!
Here’s the full epitaph for “Todd” Harith Rahman Miles a.k.a. MC Pradah Black: “Devoted Christian rapper, writer, poet, musician, and producer. He was creative, outspoken, upstanding, debonair, & optimistic. He will be missed & eternally loved. He may be from this realm, however, we will meet again.”
I felt like a stalker!
So, what happens when I get distracted/intrigued like this is that I come home and type that person’s name into Google! When I did that with Mr. Miles, however, the first thing to pop up was his Facebook page. And, judging from his status update, at the exact same moment I was snapping photos of his tombstone, he was out having lunch with friends. I’d neglected to notice that his headstone only has a birth date and not a death date.
In other words, he was still very much alive!
I toyed with the idea of sending Mr. Miles a message on Facebook, but what would I have said? “Hi! I visited your grave today and thought you sounded like an interesting person. What a surprise to find that you are still alive!” At the time, I just couldn’t think of a way to word such a message without sounding a bit creepy! So, I left it at that. (What would you have done?)
New Mindset: How should your epitaph read?
All accidental-stalker-stuff aside, I really like Mr. Mile’s approach to his epitaph. Rather than sounding like an after thought, it reads more like a declaration of who he wants to be and all he hopes to accomplish while alive.
I find that inspiring!
Have you ever thought about your own epitaph? What might it include if you were to create one as exuberant as Mr. Mile’s?
Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism:
I am currently creating a field guide to cemetery symbolism. Each Tuesday, I am sharing a small snippet from my upcoming book. It’s my goal to create a handy-dandy pocket guide for taphophiles, genealogists, ghost hunters, and anyone else interested in the historic graveyard symbols that have become forgotten over the years.
What symbols are you curious about?
Let me know in the comments if there is a certain symbol that you are curious about. Also, if you would like to know when the cemetery symbolism guide is available for purchase, scroll down and sign up for my newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you!
Want to read more?
To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!
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Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.