Parting Words

strange tombstone.jpg

Above is the tombstone of John Laird McCaffery (1940-1995) which is found in Montreal’s Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. There’s also an epitaph written there composed together by McCaffery’s wife and mistress:

Free your body
Unfold your powerful wings
Climb up the highest mountains
Kick your feet up in the air
You may now live forever
Or return to this earth
Unless you feel good where you are!

“Afterwards, as I’m done, I’m looking at it and I’m like, ‘Wow.’ I noticed it just like that,” the one who engraved the headstone (who wished to remain anonymous) said.  “This guy’s ex-wife and mistress came in together and ordered the stone. They said the message represented him. It was a thing between the three of them,”

The engraver also noted that the only other strange engraving he’s tasked to write was this: “I’d rather be in Boston but my wife buried me here.” However, his latest one took the cake.


Kathy Benjamin, Funerals to Die For, 2013



About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is
This entry was posted in Oddities, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Parting Words

  1. lindasschaub says:

    I enjoyed your post – it gave me a giggle. It reminded me of this story that was trending in the States a few years ago. I Googled it to show you about the “dueling obituaries”:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy your research and work. Thanks for sharing. This is such an unique read

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hippiepoints says:

    Reblogged this on susie whittenberger and commented:
    Let’s see who catches the secret message!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kelly Hansen says:

    I’m thinking some of the other commenters didn’t catch the whole meaning of the verse. What a send off!! I laughed out loud as soon as I saw it. Thanks for sharing this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Graci says:

    For the love of love. Interesting fact! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. delphini510 says:

    Wow, what a powerful verse these two women created together.
    They must have both loved him and somehow respected each other. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Garfield Hug says:

    Wow! A mistress and wife came up with that. Must be those ancient times where wives and mistresses coexist happily.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. masercot says:

    If my ex-wife and mistress got together to create my epitaph, it would be decidedly less friendly and a LOT less poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

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