In a tiny village on the Irish coast lived an old lady, a virgin and very proud of it. Sensing that her final days were rapidly approaching, and desiring to make sure everything was in proper order when she dies, she went to the town’s undertaker (who also happened to be the local postal clerk) to make the proper “final” arrangements.
As a last wish, she informed the undertaker that she wanted the following inscription engraved on her tombstone:
“BORN A VIRGIN, LIVED AS A VIRGIN, DIED A VIRGIN”
Not long after, the old maid died peacefully.
A few days after the funeral, as the undertaker/postal clerk went to prepare the tombstone that the lady had requested, it became quite apparent that the tombstone that she had selected was much too small for the wording that she had chosen.
He thought long and hard about how he could fulfil the old maid’s final request, considering the very limited space available on the small piece of stone. For days, he agonised over the dilemma. But finally his experience as a postal worker allowed him to come up with what he thought was the appropriate solution to the problem.
The virgin’s tombstone was finally completed and duly engraved, and it read as follows: “Returned Unopened”