As I’ve posted about before, lamb statues in cemeteries are usually on top of children’s graves. To me, a lamb clearly symbolizes a life ended too soon. If you look at the final inscription on this side of this marker, the Christian symbolism of the lamb is emphasized with the epitaph “I am Jesus’ little lamb.”
Archive for the ‘Lambs’ Category
For whatever reason, I am looking more at lambs lately when I visit cemeteries.
Lambs are always sad for me, as they are a commonly accepted symbol of a child’s grave in American culture.
But even in the most well-maintained cemetery, you will find lambs like these. There is something about the particular shape of lambs (and probably the materials they are carved from) that makes them very susceptible to damage.
In my walk of Harvard Grove, that covered about 1/3 of the graves, I didn’t find a single intact lamb sculpture.
As I wrote about last week, lambs often signify the grave of a baby or child. During my tour of Union Cemetery in Columbus, I found a number of lambs.
First, we had very traditional lambs, like this one for Emma Elizabeth Long.
Other memorials integrated the lamb as part of the engraving, rather than a separate piece. This is probably going to help with preservation in the future, as we have noted the tendency for lambs to lose their heads.
It may just be erosion, but Carrie Wiedemann’s lamb seems to still have some texture left.
This style of monument, where there is a small lip behind the lamb, seems like it might provide a little more protection, but in my experience it doesn’t seem to.
Willoughby Village Cemetery has its share of lambs, too. The first stone I photographed when I visited there was a little lamb for Lowell H. Bigley.
Both of the lambs I found there were in fairly good repair.
Unfortunately, lambs, due to their somewhat slender necks, seem to lose their heads rather often. These two seem to be faring better than a large number I have seen.
In yesterday’s post, I referred to lambs as a funerary symbol heavily associated with children, but I realized I haven’t shown many of them yet. We already looked at the sadly decapitated and deteriorating lambs for Fern and Wanita Robinson, victims of the Lake View School fire in Collinwood, Ohio, in 1908.
This lamb is in even worse shape – I am not sure I could even tell you the name that is on it.
You can also find a lamb for little Frieda in Euclid Cemetery, worn with age but holding onto its head. Frieda’s marker suffers from a second common problem. A significant portion of children’s markers contain only first names. They are often placed near larger markers with surnames, but over time the delineations between family plots are not as clear to us as they were to the people who originally placed the memorials.
In the best condition of the lambs in the cemetery is the one for baby Arnold Miller.