A very common symbol on gravestones is the winged effigy which represents the deceased soul in flight.
Another winged effigy sometimes seen contains a skull and is known as Death’s head. It is usually depicted without the lower jaw.
There are many different gravestone symbols relating to the death of a child. The most common is the lamb which represents innocence.
Happy children early blest
Rest in peaceful slumbers, rest
Early rescued from the cares
Which increase with growing years
Though your youth and beauty fair
Cruel death refused to spare
Your souls are winged to worlds on high
And dwell with saints above the sky.
Victorian memento mori of a deceased child is represented by a sleeping child. Sleep is the link between life and death.
If tears could build a stairway
And memories a lane
I’d walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.
A vacant chair also represents the death of a child. Small, empty furniture symbolizes unfulfilled lives of children and represents the child now gone.
Our family chain is broken
And nothing seems the same
But as God calls us one by one
The Chain will link again
Empty shoes symbolize the loss of a child; often one shoe is overturned. Shoes on a chair identifies childhood and the inability to achieve adulthood.
A crib is instantly recognized as a the grave of a child.
Safe in the arms of Jesus
Cherubs also signify the death of a child.
Suffer little children to come unto me