Headstone Art Question

Those flowers and architectural details we see on headstones are purposefully chosen for the individual laid to rest there.

For example, each flower has a different meaning:

  • daises are for youth, innocence
  • iris denotes hope, purity
  • lilies signify the resurrection
  • poppies are a symbol of eternal sleep
  • roses mean motherhood, beauty

Even the way flowers appear has meaning:

  • buds mean mortal life unblossomed or renewal in the afterlife
  • broken stems signify a life cut short
  • a bouquet of flowers are seen as a tribute, sweet thoughts

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack’s book Your Guide to Cemetery Research is my go-to resource when I see something new during one of my frequent cemetery visits. (The information about flowers above was on pages 221-222 of her book.)

But I couldn’t find the answer to my question about this headstone in Crystal Lake Cemetery


The stone itself, half-carved and half-uncarved symbolizes the transition from life to death. The cross signifies faith in God. Even the scroll is more than just a background for the name, it denotes wisdom or life.

But why is the branch upside down and the scroll torn by the cross?

2 thoughts on “Headstone Art Question

  1. I wish I could help you here, but I haven’t a clue. I usually associate tearing with death, and I’ve seen upside down images that are also meant to indicate mourning, but those are Jewish associations, so I doubt that’s what’s going on here.


Share your thoughts below:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s