Friday, June 3, 2011

A Rose is a Rose

You don't have to search very hard to find a rose in a cemetery usually.  Old graveyards can be overrun with wild roses in every color.  Some of the most beautiful are to be found carved into stone, as the generations past were fond of the symbolism of the rose.  The flower represented beauty and life, as well as motherhood.  A rose in full bloom meant a long, full life or a person who had made it to the prime of life.  A rosebud symbolized a child, the brevity of a life lost early.  Even the stems were meaningful, as a broken stem meant a sudden death or unexpected loss of life.  All of these could be combined for multiple reasons as well.
This is from the headstone of a young mother and her son.  Notice that there is a rose in full bloom for the mother, but also a rosebud to represent the loss of the son.  The hand is reaching down from heaven, which symbolized God reaching down for the soul.  A similar carving for the mother only is this one:

Each detail is important, in many cases the leaves on the stem represent the children of the deceased mother.  What a wonderful way to commemorate the life and beauty of a mother!

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