It's only fitting that an epitaph would cover the theme of sadness, but "Epitaph for an Old Woman" doesn't wallow in its sorrow. It allows us to feel grief over this woman's death, but it also helps us to understand that the sadness only comes from joy. Weird—but if you think about it, it's true. Still, we're not sure if that helps with the sorrow or deepens it. Either way, as depressing as this poem can be, it can also be read as an uplifting take on the nature of sorrow. So turn those frowns upside-down, campers!
This poem shows that sorrow only exists because joy exists. (You know, that whole yin-yang thing.)
Well this is depressing. This poem shows that all joy results in sorrow.