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Archive for the ‘Symbolism’ Category

I’m not lucky enough to see many tombstones with this particular combination of symbols, but those I have seen have all been gorgeous. A woman mourns at a tomb topped with an urn under the shade of a weeping willow tree, a representation of the grief felt by the bereft loved ones of the deceased.

Loudon James (2)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Loudon James (3)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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I’m fairly certain that the symbol on top of this stone is a sunrise, and if so, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting representation of the family’s faith.

Anna (1)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Our society perceives sun and sunshine as almost overwhelmingly positive. It is a powerful symbol of belief in an afterlife of hope and comfort.

Anna (2)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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The winged hourglass is a symbol of mortality, but it is a much rarer find than a weeping willow or an urn. Imagine my delight when I found multiple examples in the Olmstead family plot in Harrisburg Cemetery.

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A winged hourglass adorns each step down to the family plot.

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Olmsted 13//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Olmsted 10//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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Harrisburg Cemetery has a lot of lovely old funerary art, and willow trees are a personal favorite of mine.

I’m guessing based on proximity to another monument that the surname on this one is Haehlen as well. It’s a slightly different style of willow than I’ve posted in the past.

Haehlen

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Frank Irvin

The shell on this tombstone in Lake View Cemetery intrigues me.  A shell like this, specifically a scallop shell, is the pilgrimage symbol for Santiago de Compostela in Spain, where there is a shrine to the apostle St. James the Greater.  The shrine holds bones that are reputed to be those of the saint, also the patron saint of Spain, and has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since the 9th century.  Medieval pilgrims would wear a shell as a symbol of their journey, and such scallop shells are still available today.  Did Irvin make this journey and treasure it in such a way that a representation of it was to be on his grave marker?

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When I wrote about the Sacred Heart previously, I mentioned that sometimes the heart would have blood droplets as if it was in the act of bleeding. This heart shows that feature very clearly.

Abbey graveyard (45)

Abbey graveyard (44)

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Mongey Monument on Hill of Tara

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The symbol on this tombstone is the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ – a flaming heart within a crown of thorns and topped with a cross. Some representations also include a halo of divine light, blood drops, or a lance wound like the one that Christ received in his side during the crucifixion. There is an associated Roman Catholic devotion.

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