Friday, February 10, 2012

Cemetery Symbols of LOVE - A Valentine’s Day Remembrance

Facing Eternity Together

Regardless of what we might say, most of us are romantics at heart.  And this is evident in the cemetery.  In the Victorian era, certain symbols were used to convey true devotion, or a deep and abiding love. Today, we don't really worry about using symbols, we just say what's in our hearts and on our minds.

Victorian Symbols of LOVE:

The heart shape is the most well known symbol of love.  Philosophers and Stoics thought that the heart was the seat of the soul and emotions. Even in religious teachings, the heart was believed to hold our spiritual or divine traits.

Clasped hands indicated a married couple, united after death.  The hand that is shown holding the other indicates the person who died first, who is assisting their love into eternity.

Two round columns joined by an arch on top represents the gateway to eternity.  This is used for the graves of a husband and wife, joined in death, as in life.  Notice the bench?  Falling down a bit, but still strong and sturdy….

Calla Lilies are found on many older stones in the cemetery.  These lilies symbolize marriage, purity, and resurrection.

Roses signify true love, eternal love, and passion.

Modern Day Symbols of LOVE:

In today’s world, we state, and show, what’s on our minds and in our hearts very plainly.

Epitaphs abound in the cemetery, but those that are loving tribute are the most common.  Sometimes a simple word says it all:

Beloved – someone who was dearly or much loved.

Many times a phrase sums up those feelings of love quite succinctly.

Some Where My Love

Wait for Me the Best is Yet To Be

God Gives Us Love,
Something to Love He Lends Us.

Together Throughout Eternity

Dear Morgan Thou Hast Left Me
In This World To Weep For Thee
But With God's Will & His Good Pleasure
I Soon Will BE At Rest With Thee

Dear Husband, Can I E're Forget
Or Shall The Grave Eternally Sever?
No, In My Memory You Still Live Yet,
And In My Heart You Will LIve Forever.

May We Pass Together
Through The Gates Ajar.

It Broke My Heart
To Lose You,
But You Didn't Go Away,
Part of Me Went With You
The Day God Called
You Home.

Although this is difficult to see well, the sentiment is truly touching.  I photographed this through the window of a mausoleum.  It is a written tribute and photo to a wife, from her husband.

We are beginning to include photos and etchings on stones, once again.  Although this was popular in the early to mid twentieth century, it fell out of favor until the turn of this century.  

Another symbol of love - listing the marriage date.

And the one that seems to sum up those words of love the best:

There Abideth Faith, Hope, Love.
But the Greatest of These is Love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

~ Joy


  1. Those sweet and parting words engraved in those headstones are very moving. It only shows that love is truly eternal, even after death. It's so inspiring! =)