The above epitaph certainly leaves a bit of room for interpretation, doesn’t it?
Leaving out the wholly literal – and decidedly unpleasant – vision of James E. Williams being returned physically to the womb of his aged mother, we’re left with a few other options:
- That the epitaph refers to the concept of Mr. Williams’ soul returning to God, from whence it came;
- That Mr. Williams was a real jackass and was sent to his maker before his time was actually up because those around him had had more than their fill of him; or
- That Mr. Williams was a former postal worker and the inscription was a means of underscoring his years of service.
While No. 2 is the most entertaining option, it would seem that if the decedent was real pill it’s likely his cohorts would have helped him shuffle off this mortal coil long before he reached 79 years of age.
Given that Mr. Williams is buried in the Hannah AME Church Cemetery in rural Newberry County, SC, it appears that No. 1 and possibly No 3 are the more probable explanations.
Of course, it could simply be that Mr. Williams wanted to ensure a chuckle to those passing by.