Category Archives: Cemetery

The Cemetery at St. Munn’s Church

A sleeping chamber for eternity, this graveyard is attached to St. Munn’s Church in the village of Kilmun. The village is located on the shores of the Holy Loch in the Scottish Highlands within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Gravestones are located not far from the shore and stretch beyond onto the hillside. What a beautiful serene setting.visit scotland2

All things once
Are things forever,
Soul, once living,
Lives forever.visit scotland

Let friends forbear to mourn and weep
While sweetly in the dust they sleep
This toilsome World they left behind
A Crown of Glory for to find.


Kilmun Argyll

Thy wish is granted thou art free from every earthly pain
We miss thee but it would be wrong to wish thee back again.
But we shall meet thee blest through aught
Where partings never come where endless ages rolling fall
Will find us all at home. – 1855

james carter
copyright Bricheno
Photographer, Bricheno

Weeping Woman

This barefooted woman draped in a long vestment, with locks of hair falling within her hood, leans forward, hands covering her eyes as she weeps. I find this image to be the epitome of grief. There are few of us who have not felt the depth of this woman’s grief, the total despair and heartbreak.


“The grief within me has its own heartbeat. It has its own life, its own song. Part of me wants to resist the rhythms of my grief, yet as I surrender to the song, I learn to listen deep within myself” ~ Alan Wolfelt

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The tomb at which the woman weeps is located near the top of the Cimitero delle Porte Sante, in Florence, Tuscany, Italy.


A gravestone is propped against the exterior of the tomb. I have not been able to find an image that clearly identifies all the details inscribed on the stone. From the few words that are decipherable it would appear that the inscription is in memory of Giovanni, a student who died suddenly of a disease.

An identical statue is also seated beside a sealed tomb in Vvedenskoye Cemetery, Moscow. She weeps through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

The Weeping Woman appears again seated beside the grave of the family Neumanow in the Evangelical Cemetery in Warsaw, Poland .

Gate to Heaven

A gate engraved on a gravestone represents a Heavenly entrance, the passage from Earth to Heaven and the afterlife.

When the gates are open, it symbolizes the soul entering heaven.


Shickluna Memorials

This memorial located in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada is in remembrance of three young children. They are the offspring of Joseph & Mary Shickluna and grandchildren of the celebrated Louis Shickluna.

Myra was born and died in 1879, Thomas (Tomey) Shickluna was born in 1875 and died on 28 August 1879 from acute dysentery. Leo also died from acute dysentery a few days later on 2 Sep 1879.

The memorial shows 3 young children seated around a lamb, a common symbol on the graves of children.
Myra aged 6 months Tomey aged 4 years Leo aged 15 months
Children of Joseph & Mary Shickluna

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Weep not for me, dear parents dear.
I am not dead but sleeping here.
My glass is run; My age you see.
Wait but awhile and follow me.

The patriarch of the Shickluna family in Canada was Louis Shickluna who was born in Malta in 1808 into a family of shipbuilders. He emigrated to North America disembarking in Quebec and moving to the United States where he was employed as a ship construction worker in Youngstown, New York State. In 1835 he visited his family in Malta, probably to claim his inheritance from his wealthy parents. In 1838 he moved to Ontario, Canada to pursue opportunities with the recently completed Welland Canal at St. Catharines and became one the city’s most notable citizens with a reputation of being a skilled shipbuilder, constructing over 140 vessels including snub-nosed schooners designed to make maximum use of the canal locks, barkentines, steamers and other vessels designed primarily for service on the Great Lakes. He is recognized in Canada’s Maritime History and his story is detailed in a plaque unveiled on November 29, 1979 on Yates Street, St. Catharines, Ontario.


A prominent Canadian shipbuilder, Shickluna was born in Malta, where he worked before emigrating to North America disembarking in Quebec. By 1835 he was engaged in ship construction at Youngstown, New York. Three years later, attracted by the traffic stimulated by the Welland Canal’s completion in 1833, he purchased a shipyard on the Canal at St. Catharines. Shickluna steadily expanded his operations, which contributed significantly to the commercial prosperity of the region. Between 1838 and 1880 he directed the construction of over 140 schooners, barkentines, steamers and other vessels designed primarily for service on the Great Lakes, thereby promoting the development of inland navigation in Canada. Following Shickluna’s death, his son, Joseph continued to operate the St. Catharines shipyard until 1892.

Due to failing health and rheumatoid arthritis he left the shipyard to his sons. Following his death in 1880, (he is buried in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, situated beside Welland Canal in east St. Catharines) his son, Joseph, continued to operate the St. Catharines shipyard until 1892.

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Louis Shickluna’s grave alongside the memorial to his grandchildren who died the year prior

Jalan Kubor Cemetery

This graveyard located in Singapore is comprised of three separate burial grounds collectively known as Jalan Kubor Cemetery. Within the cemetery there are tombs, stone and wooden gravestones. Many graves are topped with coloured cloth – yellow denotes Royalty and green represents Islam.

The burial ground known as the Tombs of Malayan Princes on Victoria Street was reserved for the royal household of Sultan Hussein. There are many raised tombs denoting royal graves. It was also known as the Sultan’s Burial Ground although he is buried in Malacca, and in fact, anyone could be buried there which resulted in it being packed with graves.

The Malay Burial Ground also located on Victoria Street near the Rochor Canal is commonly known as Syed Omar’s burial ground.

The Indian Muslim Burial Ground surrounded by a wall is located at the junction of Victoria Street and Jalan Sultan. This plot of land was originally donated to the Indian Muslims residing in Kampong Glam for use as a burial ground. However, it became popular with Bugis and Banjar merchants. Inscriptions on stones are in Bugis script, Arabic, Chinese, English, Jawi and early forms of Malay.



Cemetery of Horns

In the Kopet Dag mountains that separate Turkmenistan from Iran is an isolated village called Nokhur which is famous for its cemetery, and although a hospitable people, the Nokhuris do not allow visitors to enter the hallowed ground.

Although there is a variety of grave markers, (stones and vertical wooden posts) almost all of the markers are adorned with the horns of mountain goats or Urial mountain sheep. The Nokhuris tribe believe that mountain goats are sacred animals that have the ability to fight off evil spirits and ensure the soul a safe passage to Heaven. When someone dies, a relative kills a goat and mounts the horns above the grave.


The wooden posts are decorated with horizontal and crisscross markings engraved to show the deceased the steps or paths to Heaven.


Many posts are wrapped in several rows of vibrantly coloured fabric; and as Nokhur is famous for silk weaving and the fabric is valued, this ritual may be a sign of respect.

Houses in the village also seek protection from evil spirits by hanging the skulls from goats or sheep on sticks outside.



A Tale On Stone

St. Andrew’s cemetery in Peebles, Scotland, offers a variety of centuries-old gravestones. A tower within the grounds is the only remaining part of St. Andrew’s church which was destroyed in the 16th century.

The hourglass is a classic symbol measuring time until the sand runs out, and as such, is the perfect allegory for life and death controlled by the hands of God.

The skull and crossed bones is symbolic of crucifixion, death, and mortality. These symbols were commonly used together.


The effigy of a face embraced with wings is a symbol of the deceased soul in flight.

Forget them. No we never will
We loved them here we love them still
Nor, love them less although they are gone
From us to their eternal home.   1887

The image below shows two trumpeting cherubs heralding the soul’s entrance into Heaven. The circle signifies eternal life with no beginning and no end. The skull represents death, and the words Memento Mori is a Latin phrase meaning, Remember that you have to die.

The open compass on the top of the stone denotes a Masonic affiliation. The urn or casket is a container of the soul. The drapes and bouquets of flowers are symbolic of grief and mourning. The skull signifies death and the winged effigy represents the deceased soul in flight. This legend is resolved with the phrase Memento Mori.

Another stone with multiple symbols relates a similar story with additional symbols. Two snakes intertwined around a rod are held by God’s hands, and a dove is situated between the snake heads. This symbol represents resurrection and peace.

The Latin phrase, Fugit Hora meaning the hour flees is aptly set above the wings, and Memento Mori is also aptly set between the skull and hourglass.

Two hands holding a figure of the deceased represent God.

These images containing a cross behind a circle symbolize eternity and God’s endless love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The first two images show a Patée cross identified by the narrowing of the arms towards the center.

The image below shows the circle of eternity with a Latin cross.
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A cairn is a heap of stones used as a marker for the dead. The scroll represents the scriptures and symbolizes honor and commemoration.
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The draped urn is a symbol of mourning.
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