Memorials are the symbols to show various emotions like religious beliefs, victory, joy or grief. Headstone is a kind of memorial referring to the deceased and his life. Early headstones portrayed a picture of skeletons and devil in a way that they showed that the life after death is very fearful and dangerous. Later in nineteenth century this idea was replaced by peaceful and loving monuments in the form of angels and cherubs implying that the souls have been taken peacefully in their eternal life.
Monuments are also used as headstones. The difference between the two is that headstone is a rectangular piece that is placed erect on the ground whereas a monument is piece of sculpture carved out of stone usually in the shape of humans, angels and cherubs. These monuments are usually of white color referring to peace, love and purity, and they are also showed as having satisfied faces to refer to their happiness in the life after death. These white parts actually are generated from the same piece of stone as the black one. They look white because they have the unpolished finish, while the black parts are of polished surface.
These headstones or monuments can express grief as well as joy. Happy headstones are the ones that send a message that afterlife is peaceful and with death all the worries, anxiety and difficulties are ended, and the souls will now rest in peace. The doors of eternity have now been opened for them and they will forever remain in light and there will be no darkness. Some people also think that death will serve their love with eternity and one day they will again meet in the life after death. To show this feeling they use happy headstones as their memorial.
Some headstones give a message that even if the person has died his memories will be with us till the end. He is always alive in our hearts and his love will always burn like a flame lightening our soul. “Love never dies”, as they say.
Happy headstones are generally referred to carved sculptures of angels and cherubs that radiate positiveness. Some examples are:
- Cherubs which are shown praying for the deceased.
- As death and music have strong relationship and it is believed that music have soothing effect on souls, angels are shown playing violin, flute etc.
- A monument depicting the picture of a cherub sleeping peacefully on the headstone. He is happy and satisfied with his worldly life as well as his life after death.