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”
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.
Thank you for taking a look Amy! This is a new one on me, I hope someone can shed some light on it.
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