Symbols of Death

I know this has been covered in a post in the past, but I thought it be a good one to touch on again as so many of us visit graveyards and cemeteries, some of which may not be so well-kept. This graphic might help you to know what people looked to for meaning when we die.



Depleted Texas lakes expose ghost towns, graves

BLUFFTON, Texas (AP) — Johnny C. Parks died two days before his first birthday more than a century ago. His grave slipped from sight along with the rest of the tiny town of Bluffton when Lake Buchanan was filled 55 years later.

Now, the cracked marble tombstone engraved with the date Oct. 15, 1882, which is normally covered by 20 to 30 feet of water, has been eerily exposed as a yearlong drought shrinks one of Texas’ largest lakes.

Across the state, receding lakes have revealed a prehistoric skull, ancient tools, fossils and a small cemetery that appears to contain the graves of freed slaves. Some of the discoveries have attracted interest from local historians, and looters also have scavenged for pieces of history. More than two dozen looters have been arrested at one site.

Full Story

Cemetery Art


Walking through your local cemetery is always a peaceful way to spend time. Even if there are people around, they are always so reverently quiet. But as you walk along, you might notice the standards of a tombstone:

name of deceased
date of birth and death
an epitaph

What often gets overlooked, though, are the symbols which are also typically found on a person’s tombstone. I decided to search for a listing of the meanings of various symbols found on a tombstone and share them with you so that next time you find yourself in a cemetary or graveyard and notice these symbols, you’ll be a little more enlightened about their meanings.

  • anchor/ship – hope or seafaring profession
  • arrows – mortality
  • broken column – early death, grief, loss of the head of the family
  • caterpillar – time or metamorphosis
  • column – noble life
  • dove  –  innocence, gentleness, affection, purity
  • eye – humility
  • frog – worldly pleasure, sin
  • grim reaper – inevitibility of death
  • handshakes – farewell
  • orb – faith
  • rope circle – eternity
  • shepherd’s crook – charity
  • sun setting – death
  • winged effigies – flight of the soul

The full list from which these were taken can be found at this website.