Calling all wordsmiths
January 9, 2007 3:30 PM   Subscribe

Word challenge: Please help me express undying love in four words or less for posterity.

I have been entrusted to decide the epitaph for my father's tombstone. The problem is that the V.A., which is providing the tombstone, only allows four words. I want the epitaph to convey that love can't be destroyed by death; that love binds us forever. However, the epitaphs I've come up with seem trite. This is the best of what I've come up with so far:

'Love knows not death'
'Forever bound by love'
'Love knows no boundary'

Any Ideas?
posted by dudiggy to Writing & Language (37 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Any Ideas?

‘Love binds us forever?’
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 3:32 PM on January 9, 2007

I like "love binds us forever," too; it's almost always best to go with your gut feeling rather than trying to torture the words into something else. If you want to sound slightly more religious-speak, however, maybe "love binds us eternally."

I'm sorry for your loss, and I love the sentiment you're trying to express. I hope you find something that works for you.
posted by occhiblu at 3:34 PM on January 9, 2007

Death cannot vanquish love
Love conquers even death

I am sorry to hear of your loss.
posted by sueinnyc at 3:36 PM on January 9, 2007

Love endures forever.
posted by JayRwv at 3:37 PM on January 9, 2007

I'm sorry to have to admit that, to me, the words bind/bound are synonomous with constipation. There, I've said it.
posted by dudiggy at 3:42 PM on January 9, 2007

Latin? Substitute in 'love' for 'art in "Ars longa, vita brevis"?
posted by daisyace at 3:46 PM on January 9, 2007

Love through eternity.

Beloved father, always.

Loved beyond death.

(I'm also sorry to hear of your loss.)
posted by inging at 3:47 PM on January 9, 2007

To borrow from the first letter to the Corinthians,

"Love never fails."

Simple but elegant, plus you save one word.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:55 PM on January 9, 2007

"Always In Our Hearts"
Here's a link to a list of epitaph sites.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:59 PM on January 9, 2007

I like "love binds us forever," too, and I have no poo connotations. I also like daisyace's suggestion, but don't know Latin so don't know how to say it properly.

Sorry for your loss. Hope you are doing OK.
posted by librarina at 4:14 PM on January 9, 2007

Perhaps a bit cliche, but there is

Always in our hearts
posted by Ms Snit at 4:28 PM on January 9, 2007

Loved, and was loved

from John McCrae's WWI poem.
posted by A189Nut at 4:40 PM on January 9, 2007

Beloved son, husband, father.
posted by cda at 4:43 PM on January 9, 2007

Love abides death
posted by staggernation at 4:52 PM on January 9, 2007

I don't like "binds" either. I don't have a constipation connotation, but it makes it seem like being involuntarily tied to something unpleasant. I do, however, like the ones you already marked best.
posted by arcticwoman at 4:53 PM on January 9, 2007

Amor Vincit Omnia, while it doesn't specifically refer to death, can be used to express this concept.
posted by cacophony at 4:59 PM on January 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ever alive in our hearts, or just, Ever Alive.

Boundless love lives on, or just Love Lives On.

And condolences to you and yours.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:06 PM on January 9, 2007

from now until forever
posted by zachxman at 5:18 PM on January 9, 2007

Love still endures.
posted by headspace at 5:25 PM on January 9, 2007

My humble suggestion:

Love's Embrace Forever Endures

...and my sincere sympathies to you and your family
posted by krippledkonscious at 5:27 PM on January 9, 2007

Love will survive us (outlast us?)


What survives is love

(adapted from Philip Larkin's Arundel Tomb)
posted by londongeezer at 5:41 PM on January 9, 2007

Apologies if a list seems tacky, but The sentiement you want to express is too moving

beautiful unbroken chain

bound beyond death

love binds us forever

love born never dies

love reaped not sown

alive in love

love breaks life's chain

the love still soars

parent and child forever

child's hand parent's love

father, I love you

chid's love only deepens

father sit with me

your shadow comforts me

your voice echoes always

happily bound in love

lover never ends

love planted forever reaped

love is no epitaph
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:00 PM on January 9, 2007

Our love endures.
posted by hot soup girl at 6:25 PM on January 9, 2007

Love is no Epitaph... Brandon, that is beautiful. Here's mine:

Gently cradled forever

As in life, evermore

Love outside of time

Nothing but love

No words for it
posted by Elle Vator at 6:35 PM on January 9, 2007

always yours with love
posted by Attackpanda at 6:43 PM on January 9, 2007

love without end
united in love
together in love
posted by sarahw at 6:43 PM on January 9, 2007

How honored you are to have such a problem, and how sad that you must do it. I am sorry for your loss, dudiggy.

Thinking in terms of how the dead only fear being forgotten (C. S. Lewis), and knowing in my heart that upon death, I would rejoice in the lives of my survivors (even though I am childless), something along the lines of the following comes to mind:

Through our lives, immortal.

... a slightly different tack. You love/remember/miss him, but what might he be most proud of (e.g.; his marriage, kids, career, life, ethics)? What message would HE send with 4 words from the grave?

It's a very somber and important duty you have, and I wish you good luck in finding the perfect words. Peace.
posted by FauxScot at 6:47 PM on January 9, 2007

Only Love Remains
Let His Love Endure
In the
One Man. Good. True.
His love was boundless
Remember his heart. Always.
His Truth Was Love
His Legacy Was Love
A Very Good Man
posted by rileyray3000 at 6:48 PM on January 9, 2007

Time and all eternity.

So sorry for you loss.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:01 PM on January 9, 2007

Always loved.

I'm sorry for your loss.
posted by gt2 at 7:45 PM on January 9, 2007

Love rests here eternally

Maybe you can have something inscribed in your Father’s native language?

/also sorry for your loss.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:03 PM on January 9, 2007

Love means forever love
posted by peewinkle at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2007

Undying Love Undoes Death
posted by Falconetti at 9:22 PM on January 9, 2007

The Heart is Incorruptible

Death Cannot Corrupt Love
posted by Falconetti at 9:28 PM on January 9, 2007

How bout: "You were my world"
posted by talkingplant at 1:16 PM on January 10, 2007

I have a co-worker whose father died and he has a tattoo that says 'A son never forgets'
posted by CwgrlUp at 2:22 PM on January 10, 2007

Loved Always
posted by Ironmouth at 3:38 PM on February 18, 2007

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