Monday, May 9, 2016

Give me the beat boys and free my soul...

I love reading the epitaphs on headstones. I thought I'd share a few with you today.

Today's title was actually used on a headstone. The deceased chose it himself. The lyric was from a song by Mentor Williams

  • Just when we learned to love him most God called him back to heaven (1919)
  • Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
  • Always loving, always loved.
  • And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance. (Gibran)
  • And flights of angels shall sing ye to thy rest.
  • Real love stories never end.
  • The winter is past flowers appear on the earth and the singing of birds is come.
  • Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees, I'll wait for you, and should I fall behind, wait for me. (Bruce Springsteen)
  • For all of us you did your best may God grant you eternal rest.
  • Gone is the face we loved so dear, silent the voice we loved to hear.
  • Peace is thine and sweet remembrance is ours.

Some symbols common on headstones and their meanings:
Butterfly - Shortened life
Angels - Spirituality, Guardians of the grave/tomb
Cherubs - Innocence
Holy Bible - Christian

Bird - Eternal life
Anchor - Early Christians used it as a hidden cross; steadfastness, hope.
Anchor with Rope - US Navy 
Broken column - Loss of the head of the family
Grapes - Blood of Christ, sacrament
Hands with Rosary - Catholic faith
Lamb - Innocence, usually on a child's grave
Poppy - Eternal Sleep

There are many, many more. We use symbols on headstones today more than we use epitaphs. Maybe the cost deters people. It would be lovely to use epitaphs, though, wouldn't it? 

I'm not trying to be morbid, just remember what I am doing...genealogy, family history, delving into the lives of those who have gone before us. It's very interesting to me. I hope you will find it somewhat interesting, too. 

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