Commemorating the dead is a practice that was present even in the earliest of civilizations. Marked graves were the best way people could pay their respects to the deceased. The use of tombstones has been a practice right from the times of the Egyptian and Roman civilizations, and included elaborate funeral customs that were created to complete the process of laying the dead to rest. After burial and funeral rites came into prominence in European civilizations, there was no looking back in the art and architecture used to denote a loved one’s death.
Not to forget the fact that there is a wide array of symbols and motifs used on the tombstones not only to decorate them but also to share a special belief or thought of the deceased. There are a wide range of motifs that convey various messages. Are you aware of the different types of messages depicted in these motifs? Here is a list of the messages denoted by these symbols and the symbols that are used to denote them.
Resurrection : Almost everyone wants their near and dear ones to be happy, content and peaceful in their afterlife. The human tendency to look for a life beyond death is represented through different motifs on tombstones. These include trumpeters, seashells, roosters, horns, flying birds or angels. The presence of these motifs indicates resurrection or rebirth, that brings hope in the minds of every onlooker. Furthermore, flying doves, a star and ivy are also used to denote resurrection.
Short Life and Early Death : A butterfly indicates a short life with early death, but one that is filled with transformation and beauty, much like a butterfly’s. A severed flower stem or a leaning tree trunk also indicates a beautiful but short life, much like a cut flower. If you come across a fully bloomed rose motif, you should know that it is used to depict the early death of an individual.
Sorrow or Mourning : Weeping willows and urns with a wreath or crepe is the commonest indicator of sorrow or deep mourning on part of the friends and family of the deceased. The urn with a flame signifies undying remembrance of the deceased.
While there are many more symbols used on headstones, these are perhaps some of the most common. In order to get suitably engraved tombstones, Beverly, MA residents have to use the services of professionals extending cemetery services and get tombstones designed according to their choice.