Alpha (A) and Omega (Ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These letters are often reproduced on gravestones, and when displayed separately Alpha is depicted on the left and Omega on the right.
Frequently the letters are combined to create a recognized Christian symbol derived from the book of Revelation in which they are mentioned in separate verses.
1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
They are commonly used in conjunction with a cross, a crown or the Chi-Rho (a monogram of chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ) which are the first two letters of the Greek word Khristos.
On a side note, there is a cemetery in Henderson, Vance County, North Carolina, USA which bears the name Alpha Omega Cemetery.
The thistle is symbolic of earthly sorrow; defiance; the inevitability of death; and remembrance. It is also believed that the thorns on the thistle symbolize the crown of thorns and the Passion of Christ.
A thistle engraved on a gravestone may also identify that the deceased was a native of Scotland (the thistle is the national emblem).
McEwen. This surname was first found in Argyllshire, a region in the west of Scotland. The Island of Islay is in the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.
McLean. The surname is from the western region of Scotland and the Hebrides.
Kilmartin is a small village in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland best known as an area with one of the richest concentrations of prehistoric monuments and historical sites in Scotland. It contains over 350 monuments within a 6 mile radius.
Brush is believed to be a French name from the region of Normandy brought to England in the 11th century. It would appear that the deceased was a native of Scotland per the thistles and bagpipe engravings.
Murdock originates from Ayrshire in the south western area of Scotland. It is derived from the Gaelic word Murchadh meaning sea warrior. There are many spelling variations of the name, the most common being Murdoch. This stone reveals so much about the family: Bob and Ella were married in Scotland, Bob was awarded a WWII Military Medal for Bravery in the Field, and they were nature lovers.
Margaret Henderson, relict of John. Relict is an old Scottish term for widow. Henderson is a common Scottish surname derived from the patronymic form of the name Hendry.
Halkirk is a village on the River Thurso in Caithness, in the Highland council area of Scotland.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
The surname Dymock is derived from the village Dymock in the county of Gloucester. The name was brought to England by the Norman Conquerors. The association with the thistle must be related to his wife, Margaret Ferguson (a name found in the south western region of Scotland.)