What This Key West Resident Has Written On Their Gravestone Tells It Like It Is

The epitaph has traditionally been used to give the deceased or their loved ones a way to immortalize a person in just a few words. Whether it's a stoic quote from a long-dead philosopher, a stanza from a meaningful poem, or a reminder of who they were in life, these words and phrases briefly paint a picture of the deceased for those who make the pilgrimage to their grave. The markers in Key West Cemetery have epitaphs just like every other cemetery in the world. With an estimated 100,000 burials, any visitor is sure to find a good number of markers that carry immortal messages to those who get close enough to read them (via the City of Key West). 

You don't have to travel too far into the cemetery to find epitaphs that go beyond the traditional "loving husband, father, and brother," or "always in our hearts." The historic cemetery located in Key West, Fla., is getting quite well-known for its unusual phrases on the many markers that dot this sacred ground. Perhaps the most well-known epitaph is written on the face of B.P. "Pearl" Roberts' stone (per The Marker), with a message inscribed that is equal parts thought-provoking as it is blunt.

Roberts' stone is one of the most popular sites in Key West Cemetery

Inscribed quite plainly on B.P. Roberts' stone are the words: "I told you I was sick." NPR's popular "Here and Now" program highlighted Key West Cemetery in an episode from January 2017 (per WLRN). They spoke with tour guide Patty Tiffany about Roberts' epitaph, who had some pretty insightful things to say about it. She noted that it's one of the favorite stones in the cemetery for tourists. Though Roberts died more than 40 years ago, her final words are still making people laugh every day. 

The Marker tells us a little bit of background on Roberts. She feared that she was always ill, perhaps giving her final words a funny reminder of her character. With those words, it would seem like Roberts was the one who will always have the last laugh. A look upward from Roberts' marker is one belonging to Gloria Russell, whose remains were interred in 2000. Her epitaph has a different, but equally humorous, phrase. Below her date of death are the words, "I'm just resting my eyes"(per Roadside America).

There are more last laughs in Key West Cemetery

But Roberts and Russell aren't the only stones in Key West Cemetery known for humorous final one-liners. If you take a stroll around the place, you're bound to find many others that will make you laugh or think. In a spot where cremains have been interred, there are a wide variety of memorial markers that have been assembled to bring some levity into a process that is usually heavy with grief (per WLRN). One stone on a mausoleum reads, "If you are reading this, you desperately need a hobby," while another is etched with the quip, "I always dreamed of owning a small place in Key West." But the laughs don't stop there. 

Set into bronze on a headstone belonging to Georgio Aversa are the words: "Jesus Christ, These People Are Horrible." Though the cemetery caretaker had some reservations about allowing this, the deceased's widow explained the inside joke to listeners (via WLRN). "The reason why the epitaph reads like this is because we would go out socially sometimes or we would meet people and he would go 'Jesus Christ, these people are horrible!'" She went on to say that her late husband probably used that phrase 20 times a day.

Finally, one person's last laugh was to pay tribute to Douglas Adams by having "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish" carved into their stone. Fans of the late science fiction author might be delighted to see a reference to one of the genre's greatest series etched forever on the headstone of a fan.