Plan Your Epitaph With Deviled Eggs Day

Deviled Egg Day by Charlie O'Shields

Today it’s time to celebrate Plan Your Epitaph Day which is “dedicated to the proposition that a forgettable gravestone is a fate worse than death.” As a bonus, it’s also National Deviled Eggs Day, and I wasn’t sure if everyone would have these yolky wonders prepared, so I doodlewashed one for you, to accompany your end of life planning.

Lance Hardie is the creator of Epitaph Day and lives by the motto, “Make it worth dying for.” He also writes them for you if you’re stumped as well as for your furry family members. By this I mean pets, not your cousin with the hipster beard. As for who invented National Deviled Eggs Day, nobody really seems to know, so I’m just going to go out on a limb and assume it was Food Network.

Everyone approaches death in different ways. For example, my best friend from art school made me promise that if she died first, I would stand at the back of her funeral service and look reverent. Just when everything in the room stops and hits that deathly quiet lull, I was supposed to loudly scream “See you, sucker!” and run out. Let’s just say, I’m hoping I die first.

As for me, although I love deviled eggs, I don’t love gravestones and think they’re too showy and take up space. Most of my family prefers cremation, and I’ll likely follow suit, as the box is much more compact regardless of your size while alive. When I arrived in Texas after my father had passed away a number of years ago, my mother simply proclaimed, “Your father’s over there on the bar.”

I walked back to the family room and there was an octagonal brown wooden box with inlaid green marble sitting on the interior Tiki bar my dad had built. It seemed odd that a 350 pound man would fit in there, but according to the photo on top it was indeed him inside. The photo my mom chose was of a younger version of my dad who was about the same age as I was at the time. But there was no epitaph to be found and so I thought I should write one.

I have many memories of my father but they feel like a collection of feelings rather than tangible events. He was there while I was growing up, but more at arms length and was often in his own world. I loved the man, but it’s hard to clearly remember someone you never fully understood.

I felt bad that nothing was springing to mind. I looked at the box again, quietly sitting there at the edge the bar underneath a string of glowing plastic jalapeño chile peppers, and suddenly I remembered. My dad had already written his epitaph. He was always telling me, “Son, when I die, throw a party and have a beer on me.” So I set down a glass, poured a beer and toasted him.

As for my epitaph, I don’t even know if I’d want to be in a box, so I’m not sure where anyone would put it. But assuming I did end up in a tiny box somewhere, with a picture of me ironically smiling on top, I guess I’d just want do what I always do. And say what everyone must be thinking. So in a lovely bit of shiny gold lettering just below the photo, when the light hits it just right, you might be able to make out these words: “Well, this is awkward.”

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you'd like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
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56 Comments
  1. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    My grandma told my dad, “Life is for the living.” I always enjoy your stories. LOL about “See you, suckers” and “Well, this is awkward.” Mine might be, “If you’re reading this, you’re too close.” I dunno!

    • Author

      Haha! That’s an awesome one, Cynthia! Love it! ❤️😃 Hehe…glad you enjoy the stories. I don’t know what I’m even saying half the time. Lol 😊

  2. Sand Salt Moon 2 years ago

    PS I had a hard boiled egg today – does that count?

    • Author

      I think that may be too “clean” and less devilish, but I love hard boiled eggs so let’s say it counts! 😃👍🏻

  3. thepaperbaker 2 years ago

    Fab deviled egg 😉

    • Author

      Why thanks Nicole! I wasn’t sure an egg would make for an interesting doodlewash, so I’m glad ya like it! 😊😃

  4. Gold Standard Test 2 years ago

    Best thing I’ve read all day. And I read a lot today. I did not have a deviled egg, which is a real shame. Yours looks ready to eat!

  5. Jill Kuhn 2 years ago

    Glad you added a deviled egg as it really “cracked” me up! 🐣 And it made your Doodlewash much more interesting! Hehe! Which is amazing BTW! 🌟🎨🌟 I think I’d like one of my strange imaginary birds instead of a photo of me on my box of cremations. It would be fun to make someone laugh while they are eating a deviled egg and trying to act serious. Just saying. 😄

    • Author

      Thanks Jill!! ❤️😃Haha! Yes! You definitely should have that instead of a photo. Could just say, “she was a strange bird…” underneath! But don’t get any ideas… I need you around to keep me motivated to continue!! Hehe😉👍🏻❤️🎨

  6. Sharon Mann 2 years ago

    Oh I love deviled eggs, I’m going to have to give some thought to an epitaph…as always wonderful writing and very cool doodle wash Charlie.

    • Author

      Thanks Sharon!! ❤️😃 Glad you like the doodlewash. It’s fun to think about epitaphs, which sounds completely weird since it also means contemplating one’s own death. But it’s an interesting exercise to be sure! 😊😉

  7. Jacob 2 years ago

    Don’t you just love it when Deviled Egg Day comes around? Wooo!!!!!! Great doodlewash Charlie! This really cra..oh Jill already did that.

    I like “this is awkward.” Very succinct indeed 😉 It’s a tricky subject and not something I’ve ever given much consideration, but as I’ve apparently been obsessed with words since forever, I feel the only fitting epitaph/headstone for me would be one written in Countdown Conundrum/anagram form. “Here lies NUTJOBS COAT”, that kind of thing. Ideally with a musical clock and buzzer attached somehow. Leave ’em scatching their heads! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! 😃 ooooooo… And anagram is super clever!! Yes, you definitely need a musical timer and countdown!! I guess another simple epitaph would be “Times Up!” or a more inviting one like “Join Me?” I’d never really thought about it much before but it was apparently a good day for it! 😉👍🏻

      • Jacob 2 years ago

        Ha, I like “Join Me?” a lot! How about “Don’t worry about me – it’s nice and warm down here!” or “Over my dead body will I have a decent epitaph!”

        There are too many to choose from. I might have to get several gravestones.

      • Author

        True… To just create a complete list and put it in the program at the service. 👍🏻

  8. herschelian 2 years ago

    I have always had a fascination for graveyard epitaphs, in the UK there are some real stunners you can search out. Spike Milligan (a famous British comedian who was one of the Goons) has ‘I told you I was feeling ill…’ on his tombstone.

    In my husband’s hometown of Aberdeen there is a very famous one that reads:

    Here lie the bones of Elizabeth Charlotte,
    Born a virgin, died a harlot.
    She was aye a virgin at seventeen
    A rare thing in Aberdeen

    • Author

      Oh wow!! Those are awesome!! 😃👍🏻I love a clever goodbye. There are some really great celebrity ones out there as well. I think the funny ones speak well of people. Like to see people who obviously had fun in life, taking it all the way to the grave.

  9. amaryllislog 2 years ago

    I love this image and a good devil egg. I think I would like just to be thrown into the wind off the edge of somewhere with no words, just the freedom to fly in ash form please.

    • Author

      Thanks Cathe! ❤️😃 Yeah…I don’t actually like the idea of being trapped in a little box either. Flying sounds like a much better way to go!

  10. Jodi 2 years ago

    I know the message here is a bit more serious….. but I do work in the hospice world….. and I am dying (pun intended) for a deviled egg! xo

    • Author

      I don’t think I could be truly serious if I tried 😊 And that is an awesome pun Jodi!! This is why I love you ❤️😃

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Oh Charlie O! That’s what you say to all of us “old girls!” LOL! But – flattery WILL get you everywhere! 🙂

      • Author

        Haha!! That’s wonderful to know! 😉 And you’re not an “old girl” …we’re all just nicely aged…like a fine wine. 👍🏻

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        Yeppers! I don’t think you are as finely aged as me though you little whippersnapper. 🙂

      • Author

        Lol… I think you must think I’m younger than I am! But I’ve never been called a whippersnapper so that’s awesome! 💕

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        You are in your 40s – eh? I’m hanging on to 52 for another month – so that makes you a whippersnapper – lol!

      • Author

        Mid 40s where I plan to stay. And you’re younger than my brother and sister! Lol

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        sorry – buddy – can’t stay – only in your heart – which is okay too! Embrace the years you earn! Take it from the old bag! 🙂

      • Author

        In my heart I’m 30… In my mind I’m 10😜lol

      • Jodi 2 years ago

        me tooo! 🙂

  11. Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

    You are killing me with your stories, Charlie (pun intended)…LOL!! From cousin with the hipster beard to “this is awkward”…is Philippe constantly laughing because you keep him amused? 😀 You know that your stories are over-shadowing your doodlewashes, don’t you?

    Hubby makes a great deviled egg. I think it’s because he ate so many variations on deviled eggs during all those years of family reunions he had to attend that he set out to make one that actually tastes good (and one that has no potential for harboring salmonella). 🙂

    • Author

      Haha! Thanks Teresa! ❤️😃 Philippe is really funny! We keep either other amused all the time. Lol And that’s awesome that your husband took the time to make a good one. There are some truly wretched versions out there. There was a version in my extended family with a ton of pickle relish, which just makes everything taste like a hot dog. 😝

      • Teresa Robeson 2 years ago

        Hubby’s secret weapon is hot sauce. 😉

        You and Philippe are so perfect for each other! 💕

      • Author

        Ohhh….hot sauce is a good secret weapon! Yum! (And thanks! 😊)

  12. Kari 2 years ago

    Love the devil eggs! And the spoon is fabulous! I love eggs and I haven’t had deviled eggs in so long!

    I don’t know what I want when I go.. On one hand it would be nice to be close to family in an urn but I think I like the idea of returning all my physical chemicals back to earth.

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kari! 😃❤️Glad you liked the doodlewash! I agree…I think ultimately that would be my choice as well. But it would have to be a good spot that was really special to me in life, like a close parking space at Trader’s Joes.

      • Kari 2 years ago

        Ha! Good luck with that! 😜

  13. ann christina 2 years ago

    That was so much fun to read, Charlie!!! And your little painting looks fabulous, as always!!! I think I hate these kind of eggs, but it´s probably the nicest an egg can look like. Almost aristocratic. I like them better when they´re “sloppy”. 😉
    I have an old T-shirt which has some lettering on it you barely see, and it says: It´s time for a new you with music. As I think death is not the end, that´s maybe a nice one for a new beginning. 😊

    • Author

      Thanks so much Ann! Glad you liked the doodlewash and story! ❤️😃 some versions of deviled eggs can be pretty nasty. Hehe But I love that epitaph!! That’s wonderful!! Perfect for the next new beginning! Be sure to pack the t-shirt! 😉

  14. DrawingConnections 2 years ago

    Funny post and I’ve just learnt what devilled eggs are 🙂

  15. lizintheshed 2 years ago

    I am sad that I didn’t get this post until 3 Nov (the joy of time zones) – it arrived at 12.06, so I have missed plan your epitaph day for another year. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your stories even more than your paintings (and I enjoy your doodles alot). Keep ’em coming!

    • Author

      Awww thanks!! Sometimes I think the stories aren’t great, but hope the doodlewash is good. Sometimes they both stink, but hey, that’s why I’m practicing! 😊lol Thanks so much for reading and looking. 💕😃 And apologies that I made you miss the day…I didn’t come up with this new challenge idea in time to be a day ahead so I can’t yet post these in the morning. 😊😊hehe

  16. kungfunaomi 2 years ago

    Once we went to a graveyard, and there was a husband and wife’s graves next to each other. The husband’s read “I win”. 😀

  17. kungfunaomi 2 years ago

    Love the egg!

  18. Rachel Murphree 2 years ago

    Doodlewash and story, fabulous again! “this is awkward.” perfect! Your story reminded me of the public radio podcast I love called “Death, Sex and Money”. http://www.wnyc.org/shows/deathsexmoney/

    • Author

      Thanks so much Rachel!! So happy you liked this! ❤️😃 And I hadn’t heard of that podcast, but sounds really cool! I’ll definitely have to check it out!

  19. artandmoondreams 2 years ago

    Love your writing, it brought laughter and a few tears. Your deviled egg shines like a beacon, and inspires me to whip a few up…your pen caught my attention, (love pens), but your salt shaker is brilliant. Beautiful ‘glass-work’ and great shadows. Thank you for sharing…./hug

    • Author

      What wonderful compliments, Haunani! You made me blush! 😊😊❤️😃 hehe… It was a fun challenge to trying so many objects I’ve never painted before in a single doodlewash. Glad you liked the result! 😃

  20. Akire Bubar 2 years ago

    I love this. Great post. 😀

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