Friday, February 11, 2011

Cemetery Symbols of Love

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and with it, thoughts of love.  Love for a spouse, a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend.  As the song says, “Love makes the world go round….” And that is true, even in death. 

There are numerous symbols used on gravestones that represent love.  Some are obvious to us, two entwined hearts or two entwined wedding rings.  But other symbols from Victorian times had meanings that are a bit more obtuse at first glance. For example, a tied knot signified marriage and unity. 

Let’s let the photos and the captions explain more about these symbols of love.

The two clasped hands of a man and a woman indicated marriage and a unity,
 even after death.

A dove represented purity of spirit but also devotion. 

An arch joining two columns represented a gateway to eternity and is commonly found where a husband and wife are buried side-by-side.

An urn with a flame denoted undying remembrance and eternity.

A fleur-de-lis represented passion and dedication.

The letters F – L – T with a linked chain was the symbol of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows and represented Friendship, Love and Truth.

A dog embodied loyalty and characterized someone worthy of unconditional love.

A weeping willow symbolized remembrance.

 Of course, the language of flowers has always spoken of love in all of its many aspects.  Most people know that a rose stands for romance, passion and true love.  In Victorian times joined roses epitomized a strong and loving bond between two people.  Honeysuckle signified the bonds of love and affection.  Ivy had many meanings including devotion and faithfulness.  Pine also stood for fidelity.  And the lily, which has many religious depictions, signified beautiful thoughts and emotions.

And, as this stone shows, even in our modern times, we still use icons that are special to us and that tell our stories to symbolize our eternal love and devotion. 

Regardless of the symbol used, the reflection remains the same – 
Love does indeed transcend death and the grave.

Enjoy a happy Valentine’s Day with someone you love!

~  Joy


  1. Beautiful photographs! I look forward to reading your posts!

  2. Thank you both for the kind words! It is so much fun sharing these photos with others who appreciate them!

  3. Hi Joy,

    I have the "Meet A Rabbit" column over at the Graveyard Rabbit Association and would like to feature your blog. Please email me -

    Sheri Fenley

  4. These are lovely! Great blog, I can't wait to read the rest of your posts. =]

  5. Thanks so much Stacey! I'm really having fun with this!!