Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cemetery Symbolism: The Rose

Victorian cemetery art incorporated elaborate symbolism to convey the hopes and sorrows of those left behind.

The Rose: Symbolizing youth and beauty and the particular longing evoked by death in the midst of life's greatest promise.

Daughter of
James & Aseneth P.
Born Jan. 11, 1863
Died July 20, 1869
She is now enjoying the
bliss of a Heavenly home

(Forks of the Brandywine Presbyterian Church, West Brandywine Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania)


Jeff said...

It's a good picture and I like the symbolism of the rose, but it also makes me sad. Few things are more tragic and unnatural than when children precede their parents in death. :(

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jeff on this one. It's a good pic... kind of sad and lonely!
I can't look at it for too long. It bring back some sad memories :(

Anonymous said...

Jeff and Farzad, yes it is very sad. The Rose is often going to be associated with tragic deaths. However (I may be flying off into the weird zone here), by bringing Laura out of shadows 140-ish years later and remembering her, to me it lessens the tragedy just a bit. If her parents knew that in 2005, people would be seeing her grave all over the world (I post links in other forums too) and that even just a piece of her story is kept alive, I can't help thinking they would feel good about it. I would.

Allen said...

Jason...this is just an idea here, but why not write a story about this girl? You know, her life, her death, etc. I would think you could write an exellent story about this, just from this tombstone and the inscription.

Kara Alison said...

I always look at gravestones the way I view an old picture. It's easy to make the mistake of fictionalizing the people depicted simply because they appear in the same way an actor might. I'm not sure if this is odd, but I like to remind myself that these are, in fact, real human beings who thought and felt. It's a sort of historical snooping I suppose. Reality still-life?

Anonymous said...

Allen, if I knew the story of Laura, I would be comfortable writing it in a "fictionalized" way, so long as I stuck to real events (like my "Interlude in Grandview Cemetery" series). However, since Laura is a real person and I don't know her true story, I wouldn't feel right creating a history for her. I think Kara might be mirroring what I'm feeling. Thanks for the suggestion, though. It got me thinking!

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

The tombstone is simple, yet pretty.

arash said...

پرسيدند که در آدم چه گويی؟ در دنيا تمامتر بود يا در بهشت؟
گفت: در دنيا تمامتر بود از بهر آنکه در بهشت در تهمتِ خود بود و در دنيا در تهمتِ عشق

Anonymous said...

Arash, I'd love to know what your comment is, but I'll need a translation to English. Thanks!

jane said...

Such a moving image...