Kiss of Death

This life size statuary known as the Kiss of Death sculpted in white marble was erected in 1930 and is located in Poblenou Cemetery, Barcelona, Spain.

The sculpture is attributed to Jaume Barba who has his signature on another statue in the cemetery: a full-sized angel placing a wreath on a cross. However, for unknown reasons the name of the sculptor is disputed, and an alternate sculptor, Joan Fontbernat, has been suggested.

The statuary is a memorial to textile manufacturer Llaudet Soler as inscribed on the sarcophagus although all online references state the name to be Josep Llaudet Soler. I found a notation (unverified) which infers that the statue was a memorial to his son who died in youth.

The memorial shows the robust figure of a naked young man on his knees in the act of dying. A winged skeleton (a dual symbol of mortality and resurrection) supports the body as it places a tender kiss on the left temple.

An inscription on the plinth is taken from a poem written by Jacint Verdaguer, one of Catalan’s greatest poets, translates as: His young heart is thus extinguished. The blood in his veins grows cold. And all strength has gone. Faith has been extolled by his fall into the arms of death. Amen

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Often you will find headstones that commemorate entire families like this one in St. Nicholas Churchyard, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. It belongs to the Buchan family who lived in the village of Easthouses. The patriarch was James Buchan, a farmer, who died in 1843. His son died in 1841,and his daughter died in 1847 just 5 days before his wife. The stone also mentions the death of seven infant children and two adult sons. A possible nephew, James Buchan Dobie and his wife and two sons are also mentioned on the stone.

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My dere: children:
Think on God; And His Commandments:
An he will Think on yo:
Observ your youth: dont lose no time.
Least God should take you in your prime:
Serve God above: And on this world fix not your lov.

Also in this churchyard is a stone dedicated to the Hogg family. John Hogg departed this life in 1798. He rests with 7 of his children ‘three sons and four daughters who all died in childhood’.
Mrs. Jean Fraser, wife of William Hogg, died in 1841 and was ‘deeply lamented by her family, who felt for her the sincerest affection.’ She is interred with two sons who died in childhood, her husband and an adult son who died at age 63 and is remembered as ‘a dutiful son and affection brother. His loss is deeply lamented by his sorrowing sisters also their eldest daughter’ who died 4 years later.

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In Copps Hill Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts is the gravestone of Erasmus and Persis Stevens. Erasmus was the ‘issue’ of Erasmus and Elizabeth who died in 1670. Erasmus Jr. died in 1750 at age 64.

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A flat stone in Milton Evergreen Cemetery, Ontario, Canada remembers the Clements family. The names of John Clements, his wife Jane Barr and their son John are inscribed on the stone. His brothers, Joseph and Samuel who were born in Tyrone, Ireland, emigrated to Canada in 1823 where they sleep in eternal peace.

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Fillial affection stronger than the grave
from time’s obliterating hand to save
Erects this humble monument of stones
Over a father and mother’s bones.
Far from their native land here mouldering lie
As one in life, now in one cemetery
In heaven their children hope that bless’d abode
To meet their spirits with a risen God.

Did you notice that none of the gravestones are marked with Memento Mori?

Buccaneer Resting Place

Ile Sainte-Marie is a long, thin island off the coast of Madagascar with easy access to a popular maritime route between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. With numerous inlets and bays, the island was the perfect location to hide ships. Known as the Island of Pirates it was a base for an estimated 1,000 pirates who lived in the Bay of Rogues.

The Pirate Cemetery is perched on a hilltop which is reached by walking on a plank to cross an inlet! Cyclone and other weather related damage over the centuries has eroded much of the engravings on the stone markers. Palm trees overlook the 30 gravestones that remain mostly from the 1800s. It is said that the large black tomb in the center of the cemetery is the final resting place of Captain Kidd buried upright as a punishment for his sins. A nice story but he was actually buried in England.

The skull and cross bones, internationally recognized as a symbol of piracy is not very prevalent. The ancient symbol of death was adopted by pirates on their black flags. When it appears on tombstones it simply means, “He’s dead.”

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Under Glass

Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Source: http://www.citrusmilo.com/mymi/detroit13.cfm
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Source: http://ladyeuphoriadeathwatch.blogspot.ca/2009/05/on-childs-headstone.html

Boston, Massachusettes, USA

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Source: http://ladyeuphoriadeathwatch.blogspot.ca/2009/05/on-childs-headstone.html

A Soviet funeral monument in the Roman style encased in glass, Novodevichiy Cemetery, Moscow

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Source: Tumblr

Martyrs Monument, Valley Cemetery, Stirling, Scotland

In the late 17th century two sisters, Margaret and Agnes Wilson from Wigtown, were arrested for refusing to renounce the Covenanter faith which was in opposition to Royal control over the church. A plea from their father released Agnes; however, Margaret aged 18 refused to swear an oath declaring James VII as head of the church. She was chained to a stake in the tides of the Solway Firth and drowned on 11th May 1685.

A glass tomb memorial commissioned by William Drummond in 1859 was designed by Handyside Ritchie and cast by George Smith & Co. Sun Foundry Glasgow. The cupola which was added in 1867 is capped with a crown resting on a pillow. The tomb contains marble statuary of the sisters and an angel. Margaret, with a look of determination on her face, is seated with a bible in her left hand. Agnes, the younger sister is leaning against her as she looks down at the bible. An angel holding a wreath overlooks the pair, and a lamb is seated at their feet (a symbol of martyrdom).

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Creative Commons License, Stephen C. Dickson. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie

An engraved plaque is located on the stone pedestal.
Margaret / Virgin Martyr Of The Ocean Wave / With Her Like-Minded Sister / Agnes.
Love, Many Waters Cannot Quench God Saves / His Chaste Impearled One In Covenant True / O Scotia’s Daughter Earnest Scan The Page / And Prize This Flower Of Grace Blood-Bought For You.
Psalm IX:XIX

There are four symbols above the legend: the letters nr, a Sun Cross, the Greek letter Omega, and waves or water.

The octagonal stone base has several engravings.
Revelation 22:13-21 is engraved on the stone at the front of the pedestal and is a reference to Christ as “the First and the Last.”
A second biblical reference is Isaiah 17:12-14 which refers to the roar of the seas and mighty waters.
A third panel is engraved with the words Glory To God

Individual glass panes beneath the cupola display the words, It Is / Christ / In Us / Lord / Jesus / King / Judge / Saviour