Monday, November 13, 2006

Sarah Sleeps

I had never seen anything quite like it--a temple, an ornate colonade sheltering a sleeping lamb (beautifully preserved). My first thought was of a wealthy child.

But then, I saw the inscription. I was wrong. It was the grave of a young wife.

That's when monument changed for me. Here was her youth and beauty. The afternoon sun in her hair.

A Tribute
To the Memory of
The Lamented Wife of
George L. Harrison
Who "Fell Asleep"
Sunday, May 12, 1850
Aged 33 Years

I wonder how many times he stood on the very same ground and watched the light kneel down for her.

(Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)


Susan Abraham said...

A tender picture, Jason.
Your post made me cry.

RuKsaK said...


Bernita said...

Very unusual mortuary art.

Ester said...

that's a really powerful inscription, and so sad. Your photographs of this place are beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

So sad but a powerful image.

JLB said...

Thank you for sharing this Jason - and for your moving thoughts.

Wilf said...

Such love. Sheltered and visible forever.

LiVEwiRe said...

Wow. I would have to say that is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Also, very unusual in it's makeup, I think.

Buffy said...

Your last sentence...what a lovely turn of phrase.

M.E Ellis said...

33. Sobering--my age.

I love masonry. Castles are my favourite.


Anonymous said...

Susan, even though it was sad, I'm glad the post touched you.

Ruksak, yes, I do get that feel from it. A great sense of longing.

Bernita, now that I'm visiting cemeteries fairly regularly, I'm intrigued how each has its own character. Things common in one may be utterly absent in another.

Ester, thank you. :) I could spend hours and hours in that place. So much to experience.

Marie, the monument draws your attention from everything surrounding it.

JLB, you're very welcome.

Addy, although the top surface is worn down from the years, the interior endures.

Livewire, yes, I have to think it was specially made just for her.

M.E. Ellis, that was another reason why I was intrigued by this one. 33 is a special age.

Bev said...

such a sense of a life missed, a love lost, haunting and sad

today's flat slab markers will never carry this impact of feeling to our future generations

Anonymous said...

Bev, I couldn't agree more. Today's grave markers are like longer lasting paper. Just record the bare facts and move on.

k l gilbert said...

So hauntingly elegant and infinitely sad.

It must have been so moving, Jason, to stand by this monument, and take in all its beauty and meaning.

What a loving tribute from her husband.


anna said...

Lucky me to have stopped by this morning. Here on this little island our gravestone carvers seem to be without imagination. This is wondrous. I can see in my mind's eye the young husband and a child, a daughter I think, visiting this place.

beadinggalinMS said...

Very beautiful. I imagine her husband knelt there many times, head down, tears flowing.