Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery
by Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
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GRAVEN IMAGES: Gravestone Motifs & Their Meanings
The following list was compiled from several different sources. I welcome additions.
These are a few of many motifs found on gravestones with some of
the commonly held interpretations of their symbolism.
Don't forget to visit Grave Symbols - my list of various initials for lodges and organizations, often found on gravestones.
- Anchor/Ships -- Hope or Seafaring profession
- Angel, Flying- Rebirth; Resurrection.
- Angel, Trumpeting- Resurrection.
- Angel, Weeping- Grief and Mourning.
- Arch - Victory in death.
- Arrow- Mortality.
- Bird- Eternal life.
- Bird, Flying- Resurrection.
- Book-Representation of a holy book: i.e. the Bible.
- A pair of Holy Books on Mormom (LDS) headstones indicates the Bibleand Book of Mormon
- Three Holy Books on Mormom headstones indicates the Bible, Book
of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants -- all of which are scripture to the LDS Church.
- Breasts (Gourds, Pomegranates) - Nourishment of the soul;
- Bouquets/Flowers -- Condolences, grief, sorrow
- Broken Column -- Loss of Head of Family
- Broken Ring -- Family Circle Severed
- Buds/Rosebud -- Morning of Life or Renewal of Life
- Bugles -- Resurrection and the Military
- Butterfly -- Short-lived - Early Death
- Candle being Snuffed -- Time, mortality
- Cherub -- Angelic
- Coffin, Father Time, Picks/Shovels, Darts -- Mortality
- Columns and Doors- Heavenly entrance.
- Corn -- Ripe Old Age
- Cross -- Emblem of Faith
- Crossed Swords -- High-ranking military person
- Crown- Glory of life after death.
- Cup or Chalice- The Sacraments.
- Dove- Purity; Devotion.
- Dove, Flying- Resurrection.
- Drapes- Mourning; Mortality.
- Flame or Light- Life; Resurrection.
- Flower- Fragility of life.
- Flower, Severed Stem- Shortened life.
- Flying Birds -- Flight of the Soul
- Fruits -- Eternal plenty
- Full-Blown Rose -- Prime of Life
- Garland or Wreath- Victory in death.
- Grim Reaper- Death personified.
- Hand, Pointing Up- Pathway to heaven; Heavenly reward.
- Hands, Clapsed- The goodbyes said at death.
- Hand of God Chopping -- Sudden Death
- Handshakes -- Farewell
- Harp -- Praise to the Maker
- Heart- Love; Love of God; Abode of the soul; Mortality.
- Horns -- The Resurrection
- Hourglass- Passing of time.
- Hourglass, Flying- Time flies.
- Imps -- Mortality
- Ivy -- Friendship and Immortality
- Lamb- Innocence.
- Laurel ---Fame or Victory
- Lily or Lily of Valley -- Emblem of Innocence and Purity
- Lion- Courage; The Lion of Judah.
- Morning Glory -- Beginning of Life
- Oak Leaves and Acorn -- Maturity, Ripe Old Age
- Open Book/ Bible -- Deceased Teacher, Minister, etc.
- Pall- Mortality.
- Palm Branch -- Signifies Victory and Rejoicing
- Pick- Death; Mortality.
- Poppy -- Sleep
- Portals -- Passageway to eternal journey
- Rod or Staff- Comfort for the bereaved.
- Rooster- Awakening; Resurrection.
- Roses -- Brevity of earthly existence
- Scythe- Death; The divine harvest.
- Seashell- Resurrection; Life everlasting; Life's pilgrimage.
- Sheaf of Wheat -- Ripe for Harvest, Divine Harvest, Time
- Skull- Mortality.
- Skull/ Crossed Bones- Death.
- Skeleton- Life's brevity.
- Snake (Tail in Mouth)- Everlasting life in heaven.
- Spade- Mortality; Death.
- Stars and Stripes Around Eagle -- Eternal Vigilance, Liberty
- Sun Rising- Renewed life.
- Sun Shining-Life everlasting.
- Sun Setting- Death.
- Thistle- Scottish descent.
- Thistles -- Remembrance
- Tombs -- Mortality
- Torch Inverted -- Life Extinct
- Tree- Life.
- Tree Sprouting- Life everlasting.
- Severed Branch- Mortality.
- Tree Stump- Life interrupted.
- Tree Stump w/Ivy -- Head of Family - Immortality
- Tree Trunk- Brevity of life.
- Tree Trunk Leaning- Short interrupted life.
- Trumpeters -- Heralds of the Resurrection
- Urn- Immortality (ancient Egyptian belief that life would
be restored in the future through the vital organs placed
in the urn).
- Urn with /Wreath or Crepe -- Mourning
- Urn with Blaze -- Undying Friendship
- Weeping Willow Tree- Mourning; Grief; Nature's lament.
- Willows -- Earthly Sorrow
- Winged Face- Effigy of the deceased soul; the soul in flight.
- Winged Skull- Flight of the soul from mortal man.
- Wreath- Victory.
- Wreath on Skull- Victory of death over life.
- Wheat Strands or Sheaves- The divine harvest.