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  • Writer's pictureNancy Rogers

The Cemetery is Talking to You

Especially during Victorian times, each flower symbolized a different virtue. And it was even more complicated than that: a half-opened rose represented a young woman in the “bloom” of her life as they used to say. A rose bud represented a small female child; a morning-glory was solely used to represent an adolescent boy.

I have dozens and dozens of beautiful headstones photographs that I will share with you now and then. Most of them understandably have Christian symbolism, although you’d be surprised how many symbols date back to Roman, Greek and Egyptian funerary traditions.I guess when it comes to grieving our loved ones, we all feel our pain in much the same way.

This symbol on the right is a very common one. It’s of a young woman reclining on the bed holding an infant in one arm, and reaching out to an angel with the other. The picture tells us that she has died in childbirth. Below her name that is listed on another part of the monument, is another name—the name of her infant son who died three months later. The notation of the three months is a huge clue. A child who clearly survived his birth, but died three months later, probably died for the most common cause of death of infants during the 1800s, he died from unpasteurized cow’s milk.

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